31 Best Songs About New Jersey

Best Songs About New Jersey

Are you looking for Jersey-inspired tunes to get you through that long commute or summer beach day? We've compiled a list of the best songs about the Garden State, from Bruce to Bon Jovi and everything in between. Here are the top songs about New Jersey.

1. “Jersey Girl” by Tom Waits

Song Year: 1980

Tom Waits' “Jersey Girl” is a heartwarming love letter to New Jersey. The song's lyrics capture the spirit of the state, as Waits sings about taking his girl across the river to the Jersey side.

The song has a charming old-school vibe. Although the song didn't chart, it is a beloved classic and a staple of Waits' live shows.

2. “Open All Night” by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1982

“Open All Night” celebrates New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen paints a vivid picture of the state’s highways while cruising with his girlfriend, eating chicken, and enjoying the rest areas.

The song's rhythm and blues-inspired melody perfectly capture the excitement of a wild night out in New Jersey, and Springsteen's raw vocals add to the sense of urgency and excitement.

3. “Raise Your Hands” by Bon Jovi

Song Year: 1986

Hailing from Sayreville, Bon Jovi is a Jersey rock legend. “Raise Your Hands” might not have been the band’s biggest hit, but this hard rock anthem is a must-listen for any fan of New Jersey. 

The song's high-energy chorus and driving guitar riffs are suited to a big arena, where fans can raise their hands and sing with the band. “Raise Your Hands” is about having fun whether you’re from Tokyo or New Jersey. In the outro, Bon Jovi screams for Sayreville, New Jersey, to raise their hands.

4. “Jersey Bounce” by Ella Fitzgerald

Song Year: 1961

“Jersey Bounce” is a jazz tune that captures the lively and energetic spirit of New Jersey. The song's upbeat tempo and catchy melody are suited to the state's vibrant music scene. It’s easy to imagine people dancing and having a good time to this song in the clubs and bars of New Jersey.

Originally recorded in 1942 by Benny Goodman, many pilots in World War II used the song title as a nickname for their aircraft.

5. “Atlantic City” by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1982

Bruce Springsteen's “Atlantic City” is a ballad that explores the dark underbelly of the seaside resort town. The song tells the story of a young couple desperate to escape their difficult life and start a new life in Atlantic City. However, the man in the relationship turns to organized crime to make ends meet, leading to a sense of impending danger and tragedy.

The lyrics feature vivid imagery and often reference real-world events. Despite its dark subject, “Atlantic City” is a beautiful and evocative song.

6. “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” by Traveling Wilburys

Song Year: 1988

Written by Bob Dylan, “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” is a playful homage to New Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen. The song tells the story of two anti-heroes trying to escape justice for their involvement in drug dealing.

With references to Springsteen's songs and New Jersey landmarks throughout the lyrics, the song is a love letter to “The Boss,” the state and its musical history.

7. “Hackensack by Fountains of Wayne

Song Year: 2003

“Hackensack” is an alt-rock ballad by Fountains of Wayne. Chris Collingwood sings a song about the love he lost. The narrator longs for his old flame and promises to wait for her as long as he needs to.

The song's reference to Hackensack gives it a sense of place, and the romantic lyrics evoke a wistful nostalgia for lost love.

8. “Jersey” by Queen Latifah

Song Year: 1995

“Jersey” is a hip-hop track featured on the soundtrack to the 1995 film “New Jersey Drive.” The song showcases Queen Latifah's pride in her home as she raps about the “Garden State” and the people who call it home.

The track features a catchy hook, with Latifah repeating “Jersey, Jersey, where I come from” throughout the song.

9. “Jersey Boy” by Eddie Rabbitt

Song Year: 1990

In “Jersey Boy,” Eddie Rabbitt, reflects on his life growing up in New Jersey. He remembers his old scoutmaster teaching him how to play guitar and the smell of burning autumn leaves in his old backyard.

The song mentions specific locations in New Jersey, including East Orange, the Jersey Shore, Lake Hopatcong, and the Hurricane Bar. Despite leaving New Jersey, he is proud to say that he is a “Jersey Boy” and holds onto his fond memories of the state.

10. “Palisades Park” by Freddy Cannon

Song Year: 1962

“Palisades Park” is a tribute song about the Palisades Amusement Park in Bergen County. The park was a popular destination for teens in the 1960s.

Fans of the park can head down nostalgia lane and remember amusements like the water ride and the roller coaster during the song.

11. “Big Casino” by Jimmy Eat World

Song Year: 2007

The song “Big Casino” by Jimmy Eat World features lyrics about being a successful person from New Jersey. The protagonist is described as someone who can escape situations and rise to success.

The lyrics also mention the idea of being recognized for one's accomplishments. It’s an ode to achieving success and acknowledges the role of luck in your life.

12. “You Can’t Catch Me” by The Rolling Stones

Song Year: 1965

Originally written and recorded by Chuck Berry in 1956, The Rolling Stones did a memorable cover of “You Can’t Catch Me” in 1965.

The song tells the story of a wild ride on the town and speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike. Mick Jaggers’ rendition captures the sense of adventure and freedom that comes with cruising down a highway late at night.

13. “Rockafella” by Redman

Song Year: 1994

Redman's “Rockafella” is a hip-hop track that pays homage to his hometown of Newark, New Jersey. The song features hard-hitting beats, funky bass lines, and Redman's signature rapid-fire flow. During the track, he shows why he’s one of the best rappers from New Jersey.

In the lyrics, Redman boasts about his skills as an MC and taunts his competition. The song's energy and attitude perfectly capture the spirit of the New Jersey hip-hop scene in the mid-1990s.

14. “Party to Damascus” by Wyclef Jean featuring Missy Elliott

Song Year: 2003

In “Party to Damascus,” Wyclef Jean proudly represents his home state of New Jersey, calling it the “New Jerusalem.”

The song is a vibrant blend of reggae, hip-hop, and Middle Eastern sounds. The lyrics are filled with references to travel and adventure, as Wyclef sings about being on a plane tomorrow and trying new things like belly dancing.

15. “New Jersey Girl” by Nerf Herder

Song Year: 2002

Nerf Herder's “New Jersey Girl” is a catchy punk rock anthem paying homage to a girl from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The song is a fun, irreverent tribute to the titular “New Jersey Girl” with crazy hair and wild makeup.

The track features humorous lyrics, big guitar riffs, and a driving beat. “New Jersey Girl” is a fan favorite and a testament to the band's ability to capture the spirit of their subject matter in their music.

16. “Jersey Yo!” by Redman

Song Year: 1998

As one of New Jersey's most celebrated rappers, Redman proudly reps his home state in “Jersey Yo!” The song is a classic example of Redman's playful and irreverent style, with lyrics that pay homage to the Garden State and its unique culture.

The verses of the song reference living life in Jersey, smoking marijuana, and hitting on girls in town. 

17. “Boomin” by Fetty Wap

“Boomin” by Fetty Wap

Song Year: 2015

Patterson, NJ native, Fetty Wap, dropped a dope rhyme about New Jersey on “Boomin.” The rapper uses his lyrical skills to talk about his rise to success and the lifestyle he now enjoys.

During the track, Fetty Wap mentions Brick City, the nickname for Newark, and shouts out to his Jersey crew, RGF. The song features a dark and brooding trap beat that flows seamlessly under Fetty Wap’s lyrical delivery.

18. “Donna” by The Lumineers

Song Year: 2019

The Lumineers' “Donna” is a folksy, indie-rock tune that pays homage to the Garden State. Lead singer Wesley Schultz croons about a woman named Donna, who the protagonist drives to visit in New Jersey.

The song features a melancholic yet hopeful tone, and the reference to New Jersey and its highways is a nod to the band's roots in nearby Brooklyn. With a blend of acoustic guitar, piano, and percussion, “Donna” is a heartfelt ode to the people and places that shape our lives.

19. “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” by Bruce Springsteen

Song Year: 1973

Bruce Springsteen is a legend in New Jersey, and it’s no surprise he has several songs about his hometown and state.

4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” is a love letter to the Jersey Shore. The song paints a picture of the boardwalk and beach culture that defined the Asbury Park scene in the early '70s. During the track, Springsteen conjures a world of summer romance and youthful exuberance.

20. “Last Call” by Kanye West

Song Year: 2004

Kanye West's “Last Call” is an intimate reflection on his early struggles. The song's final verse references Newark, New Jersey, where West traveled for his first meeting with executives at Roc-A-Fella Records.

The track's introspective tone and confessional lyrics offer a glimpse into the mind of one of the most influential artists of the 21st century. “Last Call” is a poignant and honest tribute to the hustle and grind that defines the American Dream.

21. “Walk Through the Bottomland” by Lyle Lovett

Song Year: 1987

Lyle Lovett's “Walk Through the Bottomland,” tells the story of a New Jersey lady who falls in love with a cowboy she met at a rodeo. The lyrics speak of a woman torn between her love for the cowboy and her desire for a stable life.

With its haunting melody and evocative lyrics, “Walk Through the Bottomland” is a timeless ode to love and loss.

22. “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” by Bon Jovi

Song Year: 2005

Bon Jovi's “Who Says You Can't Go Home” is a heartwarming ode to the joys of coming back to one's roots. The song's anthemic chorus and upbeat tempo perfectly capture the sense of nostalgia and pride that comes from returning to the place where it all began.

While the song doesn’t mention New Jersey directly, Bon Jovi is from Sayreville and is one of the most influential bands to ever come out of New Jersey.

 “Who Says You Can't Go Home” is a feel-good classic that celebrates the power of home and community.

23. “Jersey” by Mayday Parade

Song Year: 2007

Mayday Parade's “Jersey” is a pop-punk ballad that explores the pain of a failed relationship. The song's chorus references the coldness of New Jersey and how it mirrors the protagonist's sense of isolation and despair.

The lyrics capture the feeling of betrayal and heartbreak that comes from realizing that someone you loved was not who they seemed to be. With soaring vocals and driving guitars, “Jersey” is an emotionally charged anthem that speaks to the universal experience of heartache and loss.

24. “Night Falls on Hoboken” by Yo La Tengo

Song Year: 2000

Yo La Tengo's “Night Falls on Hoboken” is a dreamy, atmospheric track that evokes the mood of the city. The song features hypnotic guitar tracks bound together with ambient sounds that capture the serene and quiet setting of suburbia.

The song's hazy, impressionistic style offers a unique perspective on the Garden State, one that is less concerned with narrative and more focused on capturing the feeling of a place.

25. “I Like Jersey Best” by John Pizzarelli

Song Year: 1995

John Pizzarelli's “I Like Jersey Best” is a playful and affectionate tribute to the state he calls home. The song's upbeat tempo and jazzy guitar lines perfectly capture the energy and vitality of the Garden State.

The lyrics list the many reasons why Pizzarelli prefers New Jersey to other places, from the quality of its beaches to the warmth of its people. The song also references iconic New Jersey locations like Seaside Heights and Rutgers University. With its catchy melody and clever lyrics, “I Like Jersey Best” is a charming and fun-loving celebration of the state that Pizzarelli loves so much.

26. “I’m From New Jersey” by John Gorka

Song Year: 1991

John Gorka's “I'm From New Jersey” is a funny and affectionate ode to the Garden State. The song features a gentle acoustic guitar and folk-inspired sound.

The song explores the many stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding New Jersey, from its infamous traffic to its perceived lack of culture. Gorka cleverly subverts these stereotypes by highlighting the resilience and ingenuity of Garden State citizens.

27. “Up” by Cole Swindell

Song Year: 2016

Cole Swindell's upbeat and catchy “Up” is an ode to the wild party scene, featuring a girl who is up on everything: high heels, the bar, and even a 3 beer buzz on a tailgate.

The lyrics mention the New Jersey sky, implying that the party is happening in the Garden State, and the reference to a Bahama flight adds to the carefree atmosphere.

28. “Welcome to New Jersey” by X-Cops

Song Year: 1995

X-Cops' “Welcome to New Jersey” is a celebration of the state's seedy underbelly. The song's frenetic punk rock energy perfectly captures the gritty and chaotic vibe of the Garden State.

X-Cops revel in the state's darker side, gleefully name-dropping strip clubs, dive bars, and other denizens of the New Jersey underground. With its catchy hooks and driving beats, “Welcome to New Jersey” is a rowdy and fun-loving tribute to a state that is anything but boring.

29. “Can’t Go Back to Jersey” by G. Love

Song Year: 2006

G. Love's “Can't Go Back to Jersey” is a bluesy and introspective track that explores the singer's conflicted relationship with New Jersey.

The song's laid-back groove and G. Love's smooth vocals give it a relaxed, contemplative feel. The lyrics touch on the difficulties of returning to a place that holds so many memories, both good and bad.

30. “No Woman, No Cry” by Fugees

Song Year: 1996

The Fugees‘ cover of Bob Marley's classic “No Woman, No Cry” features a new verse by rapper Wyclef Jean that references his childhood in a New Jersey project.

Wyclef reminisces about the simple pleasures of those days, like going to the corner store for supplies or watching stolen cars race around the town.

31. “Theme From the Turnpike” by dEUS

Song Year: 1996

dEUS's “Theme From the Turnpike” is a moody and atmospheric track that takes its inspiration from New Jersey's infamous highway. The song's lyrics reference a wet night on the New Jersey Turnpike, where the protagonist finds himself lost and alone.

Top Songs About New Jersey, Final Thoughts

From classic rock anthems to hip hop, New Jersey has inspired some of the greatest songs of all time. Whether you're a native, a transplant, or just a fan of good music, these tracks are sure to get you pumped up and proud of the Garden State.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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