Sunday, August 19, 2007

No NJ State Song: I would adjust

New Jersey is the only state without a state song. Our neighbor to the east, New York, has, of course, I Love New York. Our neighbor to the west has one with the appropriate title, Pennsylvania. But, New Jersey ---we ain't got nothin'.

We're not deficient in other areas, though. We’ve had a state flower since 1913: The Violet or Viola sororia [yes, I know that sounds like a character from The Sopranos.] We have a state bird: The eastern golden finch. We even have a state bug: The honey bee. How cool is that?

But, alas, we have the no state song. But it’s not like we haven’t been trying like heck to get one on the books:

Sometime after the American Revolution, our fourth governor, Gov. Richard Howell, tried to get down to business and pick a song. He wrote his own tune called "Jersey Blue", which was used in 1794 by New Jersey troops marching to help put down the Whiskey Rebellion. Unfortunately, the song never caught on beyond helping to quell the rebellion. Try as he might, Howell was not the Bruce Springsteen of his day, but you have to give the Gov major points for trying.

Later on in 1939 and 1954, both the state legislature and the Department of Education respectively also failed to come up with a worthy song, although they both tried in vein.

Red Mascara's "I'm from New Jersey" has been erroneously listed as the state song, but never became officially so. It passed four times in the Assembly in [‘66, ‘68, ‘71, & ’80]. It passed both houses in 1972 and 1979, but neither Governor William Cahill nor Governor Brendan Byrne signed the song in to law.

Of course, the Assembly approved in June 1980 Born to Run" as the official rock anthem of New Jersey. The Senate never followed through ----so, how the hell did any senator get re-elected a year later after dissing the Boss that way?

Finally, in 1996, the state legislature called upon the State Arts Council to hold a contest for a state song, with mixed results. After reviewing more than two hundred entries ---including one from a fourth grade class in Bridgewater entitled “In New Jersey”, and one called "Be Proud to be in New Jersey" by a married couple from Springfield ---- Trenton politicos chose not a one. Nada Zip. Zilch.

So, mostly we don't have a state song because Trenton never picked one.
Folks, just pick one. At this point, any song.

I recommend another song entitled “I’m From New Jersey”, this one by John Gorka. The lyrics are too true to behold:

I'm from New Jersey
I don't expect too much
If the world ended today
I would adjust

I'm from New Jersey
No I don't talk that way
I watched too much TV
When I was young

I'm from New Jersey
My mom's Italian
I've read those mafia books
We don't belong

There are girls from New Jersey
Who have that great big hair
They're found in shopping malls
I will take you there

I'm from New Jersey
It's not like Texas
There is no mystery
I can't pretend

I'm from New Jersey
It's like Ohio
But even more so
Imagine that

I know which exit
And where I'm bound
The tolls on the parkway
They will slow you down

New Jersey people
They will suprise you
Cause they're not expected
To do too much

They will try harder
They may go further
Cause they never think
That they are good enough

I'm from New Jersey
I don't expect too much
If the world ended today
I would adjust
I would adjust
I would adjust

3 comments:

wildsnowflake said...

I personally am a fan of Uncle FLoyd's "Deep in the Heart of Jersey" The lyrics are on the greatly missed Mugsy site http://members.tripod.com/~mugsy11/heyrube.html

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