There’s one song that goes straight to my heart, and only one singer who can sing it. Of course I’m talking about Brooooce—Springsteen, to those of you not blessed to be from New Jersey. And the song is his version of Tom Waits’s classic, “Jersey Girl.”
I grew up in New Jersey. And, much to my surprise, returned as an adult and lived there for another two decades before moving on once more. When I was a teenager, Springsteen made it cool to be from New Jersey. That fact alone would earn him my undying loyalty and affection. Add to that the poetry of his lyrics, especially his early, lovingly detailed story-songs, and I was hooked.
The “Jersey” Springsteen commemorates in his work is not the New Jersey I grew up in—I’ve only been to “the Shore” once; never set foot in Asbury Park, or ridden the carnival rides on the boardwalk. But that doesn’t matter. I’ll claim those experiences by proxy, because I claim Brooooce.