Jersey Girl

Rodney Warner, Esq
Rodney Warner, Esq

Yesterday I heard “Jersey Girl” on the radio….

I got no time for the corner boys,
Down in the street making all that noise,
Or the girls out on the avenue,
‘Cause tonight I wanna be with you.
Tonight I’m gonna take that ride,
Across the river to the Jersey side,
Take my baby to the carnival,
And I’ll take her on all the rides.

‘Cause down the shore everything’s all right,
You and your baby on a Saturday night,
You know all my dreams come true,
When I’m walking down the street with you.

Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la I’m in love with a Jersey girl

You know she thrills me with all her charms,
When I’m wrapped up in my baby’s arms,
My little girl gives me everything,
I know that some day she’ll wear my ring.
So don’t bother me, man, I ain’t got no time,
I’m on my way to see that girl of mine,
‘Cause nothing matters in this whole wide world,
When you’re in love with a Jersey girl.

Sha la la la…

I see you on the street and you look so tired,
I know that job you got leaves you so uninspired.
When I come by to take you out to eat,
You’re lyin’ all dressed up on the bed baby fast asleep.
Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on,
We’re gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom’s.
I know a place where the dancing’s free.
Now baby won’t you come with me,
‘Cause down the shore everything’s all right.
You and your baby on a Saturday night,
Nothing matters in this whole wide world,
When you’re in love with a Jersey girl.

It was first written and performed by Tom Waits, made popular by Bruce Springstein.

It brought back memories of my brother’s wedding, 23 years ago. This was Bart and Beth’s song. Beth was raised in New Jersey (and Massachusetts). I was in my second year in college in Syracuse, New York. I flew from there to Boston (I think it was the first time I flew anywhere by myself). While in college, the major modes of transportation were bus and rented car. A short trip in a plane, instead of hours on the road, was such a treat.

I was an usher. It was a big wedding party, maybe 10-12 of us in all. The wedding was in Charlestown, Massachusetts, where they lived. I think it was held in the state’s oldest Catholic church, a beautiful old stain glassed building. Beth’s father didn’t spare the expenses. The wedding party, minus Bart and Beth, rode around in a huge limo. The new husband and wife rode in the back of a beautiful, vintage, white Rolls Royce. My black tux, one of the most comfortable I’ve ever wore, had tails.

The reception was at a mansion, turned meeting space/caterer, on Boston’s north shore. The mansion’s original owner made his millions in plumbing supplies, and created a home worthy of royalty. The lawn stretched out forever. You could stand on the back patio, and past the rolling back lawn, was the ocean.

Bart was married to his Jersey Girl for 20 years before he died of cancer (multiple myeloma). Their three sons are getting by without a father. I think Bart and Beth had a wonderful marriage, and she really did stick with him through sickness and health, until death did them part.

At Bart’s funeral, I spoke to one of Bart’s childhood friends, Jamie. They’d gotten together after Bart’s diagnosis, at the shore on Cape Cod. They hung out and talked while their kids played in the sand. Jamie said that time together was like a gift. Bart was a gift to all he knew, and Beth was a gift to him.