• The Hesh

Lyric of the Week: JERUSALEM, NEW JERSEY

Every kid dreams of gettin’ out one day

And I’ve been dreamin’ of stealin’ away

All alone on my own let the four winds blow

Throw my ideology out the window

I wanna break outta here I wanna run wild

I wanna go back to where I was a child

I wanna feel what it’s like on the other side …

Gonna go on down

To the holy city

To Jerusalem

Jerusalem, New Jersey.


This place where I been livin’ is drivin’ me insane

Just wanna pick up my songs and get on that plane

Tune in to the music and follow that beat

Just a runaway rocker on a one-way street

This Promised Land hasn’t been showing any mercy

So I’ll look for my promised land in New Jersey

I know the grass is greener on the other side …

Gonna go on down

To the holy city

To Jerusalem

Jerusalem, New Jersey.


I wanna get a piece of the action

There’s a whole scene goin’ on out there and I’m stuck out here in the black

There’s only one way to get that satisfaction

Walk fast mister and don’t look back

Walk fast mister and don’t look back

Don’t ever look back


I’m in the east and my heart is in the west

Though everyone said stayin’ here would do me best

They thought the army would stop me from being so seditious

But the army just made me more and more vicious

So now I wanna go back to where the streets are paved with gold

I wanna raise the dead with my rock’n’roll

I can’t be what I wanna be on this side …

Gonna go on down

To the holy city

To Jerusalem

Jerusalem, New Jersey.


©2021 The Hesh Inc.


This song goes back to a time, deep in the heart of my military service in Israel, when I was so fed up with what I was doing there (not politically, you understand; just in terms of personal desires and goals) that all I dreamed of doing was getting the hell out of the country and flying back to the place I really wanted to be, the Jersey Shore. "Jerusalem, New Jersey" embodied for me a reverse form of "next year in Jerusalem"; whereas Jews all over the world declare, at the end of Yom Kippur and the Passover Seder, the desire to return to the Holiest City of Cities, I declared my desire to go back to the place I wanted to be before I moved with my family to Israel about eight years earlier. Yes, this is sacrilegious, and it does go against what I believe religiously and politically. But that's how pissed off I was.


Later on, once I actually did make the move, I was struck by the parallels between Jerusalem and Asbury Park: a place, its glorious history behind it, fallen into ruin, with halting efforts to revitalize it and bring people back, yet people still come on pilgrimages from around the world to capture a piece of that past glory. It was from this that the expression "Jerusalem, New Jersey" found its way into my song, "Jersey Shore Baby."


Musically, this song borrows from John Cafferty's "On the Dark Side" (from the Eddie and the Cruisers movie) filtered through the bridge of Foreigner's "Juke Box Hero." Never recorded or performed, although it was jammed on a few times by me and my musical compadre Izzy Kieffer. No real plans to record it at this time.

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All