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Asbury Park Guide
Was Born to Run Almost the Official New Jersey State Song?

COPYRIGHT 2005, GET NJ

One of the many Springsteens truisms (right up there with his being "discovered" in Asbury Park) is that Born to Run just missed becoming the Official New Jersey State song. Like most things concerning Springsteen, New Jersey and life in general, the truth is a little more complicated than that.

As can be seen in the actual resolution, the original proposal was to bestow the title of "New Jersey Pop Music Ambassador to America" on Springsteen" and to declare "Born to Run, as the unofficial theme of our State's youth." To my simple Jersey City mind, it seems a bit of a contradiction in terms and wasted verbiage for the New Jersey State Legislature to officially declare a song as an unofficial theme, but that's what they were going to do. The honorific rubric "New Jersey Pop Music Ambassador to America" that appears in the original text was to be struck from the final draft.

It must be kept in mind that resolutions (and their Executive Branch cousin, the proclamation) are often made up of formal language of a laudatory and exhortative nature: what's called puff in advertising. That's basically what we've got here. The real intent of the Legislature -- and a worthy one at that -- seems to have been to heap praise on Springsteen as an artist not just hailing from the state and popular here, but who also reflected on New Jersey for subject matter.

Alas, these lyrics:
. . .
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
. . .
sorta turned the State Senate sour on the idea; ACR No. 121 was never released for a vote.

But, as many a Springsteen song suggests, remembering the past should free the future, not put it in shackles.

Tell Your Representatives:
Springsteen DESERVES Official Recognition!

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