When a lot of people think about songs mentioning New Jersey, they immediately turn to any Bruce Springsteen song. Believe it or not, there are plenty of other artists who have written about New Jersey. Whether they grew up in the Garden State or just fell in love with the boardwalks and beaches, these musicians are not afraid to sing praises of the shore. Check out this list of songs about New Jersey!
There’s enough room for two great rockers in Jersey! Yes, the band Bon Jovi originated in Sayreville, New Jersey. In fact, their most famous song (as in the one you can only belt out in the car with your closest friends) was inspired by the working class of New Jersey and their ceaseless optimism and refusal to be broken. The song doesn’t specifically mention New Jersey, but mentions locales like docks and diners, two common places by the shore.
This 1960s pop rock tune has been stuck in everyone’s head at some point. Philadelphia native Bobby Rydell dreams of finding summer love in Wildwood, where “every day’s a holiday and every night is a Saturday night.” This timeless tribute to one of the most popular shore points has even become the theme song for Wildwood tourism. Not everyone has a summer fling on their Jersey shore vacation, but everyone can have a wild, wild Wildwood night with all of the fun on the beach, boardwalk, and downtown attractions.
Folk singer John Gorka aims to dispel some misconceptions about the Garden State (which is more like Ohio than Texas) with this song. He claims that not all Jerseyans have an accent and that not all Italians (like himself) belong to the mafia. Most importantly, he sings that the people of New Jersey work harder because people don’t expect much from them. It seems like Gorka and Bon Jovi are on the same page.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons all grew up in Newark, New Jersey, and this hit song about a one-night love affair takes place in NJ. These Jersey boys sure know how to write a catchy tune!
We couldn’t stop at just one Bon Jovi song! This is a special tribute to their home state with lyrics like “been all around the world and as a matter of fact there’s only one place left I want to go” and “you can take the home from the boy, but not the boy from his home.” Just more proof that New Jersey is the best place on earth!
First Lady of Song and Queen of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald, known for her pure tones, precise diction, and excellent phrasing, knew that New Jersey has rhythm. Her song Jersey Bounce commends the music that comes from New Jersey, and judging by this list, rightfully so!
In this thorough love letter to the Garden State, Pizzarelli mentions almost every famous place in New Jersey (and even some more unknown ones), including the Garden State Parkway, Rutgers University, Route 22, the Meadowlands, Hackensack, the Pinelands, the Vinelands, Seaside Heights, Margate, Princeton racetracks, Trenton, Hopewell, Lake Hopatcong, Mantaloking Shores, the Brendan Byrne Arena, Spring Lake Heights, Belmar, Newark, Cherry Hill, Woodbridge, Forked River, Lavalette, Piscataway, Giants Stadium, Manasquan, Jersey City, Homdel, Cape May, and Philipsburg. Pizzarelli claims that he’s “been a lot of places,” even Miami, but that he still “likes Jersey best.” In case you weren’t sure that the shore is the best vacation spot…
Like Wildwood Days, this little rock and roll ditty was written as a tribute to Palisades Amusement Park, which was located across the Hudson River from New York City before it closed following 73 years of operation in 1971. The song, which uses carnival-esque sound effects, actually rose to popularity after a radio deejay in Michigan played it by mistake, since it was a B-side to Cannon’s original single, “June, July and August.” What a wonderful mistake that was!
There are plenty of other fantastic songs that mention New Jersey locations by name or were inspired by living in New Jersey, but this list is a great starting point for your playlist on the way to the shore. Combine it with our list of Bruce Springsteen songs about New Jersey for the ultimate Garden State musical experience!