by Shawn Clayton
on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 10:38am.
After going decades without a state song, New Jersey could soon have no less than 5 state songs.
After some 50 years of bickering, lobbying and backroom dealing, New Jersey lawmakers have come up with a unique bipartisan deal they hope will solve the long-standing State Song issue. To that end, a proposed new bill (S2438) would create five songs New Jerseyians can call their own.
Sadly none of the songs are by Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston or even Frank Sinatra. Instead the list includes:
"I'm From New Jersey" by Red Mascara would be called the "state song"
"New Jersey My Home" by Patrick Finley would be the "state anthem"
"In New Jersey" has lyrics inspired by a 4th grade class would be the "state children's song"
"New Jersey, U.S.A." by Nelson Trout would be the "state ballad".
"Be Proud to be in New Jersey" by Mark and Ellen Winter would be known as the "state popular song"
Most sentiment seems to be alongside Mascara's song, which has been around for some 50 years. He has the support of several lawmakers including Richard Codey (D-Essex), who helped create the proposed bill for 5 state songs. Delran High School students are rallying behind Mascara, and filmmaker Daniel Goodman is working on a documentary Mascara's struggle.
Mascara is 92 and lives in Phillipsburg. He has unsuccessfully lobbied the statehouse to make "I'm from New Jersey" the State Song since the early 1960s. It looks like legislation to make his song official has passed the Assembly no less than six times, and the Senate three times. It only made it to the governor's desk once and was vetoed.
What song do you think should be New Jersey's State Song? Should there be five state songs?