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AboutNewJersey.com - New Jersey State Song

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Location: Main - Editorials - The New Jersey State Song Editorial - 3/15/04
The New Jersey State Song

There have been numerous attempts to come up with a state song in the last century - in 1940, 1954, 1970 and finally in 1996. Out of the 50 states, New Jersey is the ONLY state which does not have a state song.

In 1996 the New Jersey Arts Council began the task of finding a song worthy to be the New Jersey State Song. They held a competition where roughly 215 entries were received. Out of these, three were recommended by the Arts Council to the New Jersey State Legislature - "New Jersey My Home" by Patrick Finley of Teaneck, "In New Jersey" written by a class of fourth-graders at Van Holten School in Bridgewater and "Be Proud to Be in New Jersey" by Mark and Ellen Winter of Springfield.

Below you can learn about and listen to two of the three finalists, along with "I'm from New Jersey".

"I'm From New Jersey"
Although it did not make the Art Council cut, it is being included here.

As has been stated on the "New Jersey State Symbols and Flag" page - AboutNewJersey.com does NOT support this song at all. The only way I think this song has even been considered all these years is because it is the oldest of the songs and the person has been lobbying for years.

It is a very unimaginative song and can go for any state. As a matter of fact, many websites have many versions of this song with various names inserted in the place of New Jersey. For an example of this, all you have to do is look at the songwriter's official website - NJStateSong.com. Does New Jersey really want a song that can be so easily hijacked? It even contains a "Philly" version.

One thing against the song in my opinion is that the music is so incredibly outdated. New Jersey deserves a song that can withstand the test of time and this is not one of them. My biggest gripe however is that it basically has NOTHING whatsoever to do with New Jersey - other than the name. It doesn't mention ONE SINGLE thing that makes New Jersey - New Jersey. Why would someone listening to this song, think "Let's go to New Jersey"? Why would anyone singing this song really feel a sense of pride of the state?


"I'm from New Jersey"
by Joseph Rocco aka Red Mascara
The song was written in the 60's and many people in the legislature have and still do support this song. It has even somehow made it's way onto the web where some sites actually wrongly state that it is the New Jersey State Song.

In 1972 it almost became the state song by passing both houses of the legislature, but then Governor Brendan T Byrne did not sign it into law.

I know the person put a lot of work into this song and has been working for decades to get it passed as the official song, I just don't think that it meets the requirements that we, New Jerseyans, should be looking for in our state song.

"New Jersey My Home"
The main problem in my opinion with this song is that it sounds like a stuffy old college song. There is nothing wrong with this style for old alma maters, but I feel it does not make for a good state song. It mentions various things throughout New Jersey, but it's not very exciting or uplifting. It is a very slow song with little feeling to it.


"New Jersey My Home"
by Patrick Finley of Teaneck
"In New Jersey"
This is the song that AboutNewJersey.com supports. It gives a mental image of the state. It mentions the Pine Barrens, the mountains, industry, education, the history, as well as Cape May, and the Jersey Shore. I feel that this song represents the state very well.


"In New Jersey"
4th grade students of
Van Holten Elementary School in Bridgewater.



I also feel that this song fulfills several main requirements for a state song. It brings a good self image to the state, it talks about what makes New Jersey - New Jersey, and it's singable, memoriable and upbeat.

In the future I plan on creating a slide show by combining this song with various images around the state to demonstrate how well this song really does work as the Official New Jersey State Song.

For more information on the fight for the state song, I invite you to read the Daily Record article - "State song has yet to make legislative billboard"



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