And when I say armpit, I mean it in the best possible sense. New Jersey's other nickname, "The Garden State" is apparently derived from an 1876 quote in which Abraham Browning attempted to stir the pride of his fellow Jersey-ites by comparing the state to a giant barrel open at both ends, with Philadelphia picking at one end, and New York rifling through the other.
Great. A giant barrel. For most of this and the previous century, the word "barrel" has more of a connotation of toxic waste than of fresh produce. So maybe being an armpit isn't so bad after all.
With this in mind, here are 22 songs celebrating the great state that I never in a million years would've believed I'd be spending my whole life in. Many (but not all) are musically misguided as befits a state that is alternately compared to an armpit or a barrel with the bottom removed. These come from former WFMU DJ KBC's compilation A Garden State of Mind.
Photo by Bob Jagendorf.
(All links are MP3s - right-click to download)