In the 350 Jersey Songs series, we’ve had songs, so far, about New Jersey cities, rivers, roads, building and celebrities. But not, until now, a song about a New Jerseymountain.
In “Hello Mountain (Ode to Bearfort Mountain)”— from her 2008 album Sundown Till Dawn, released on her own Bearfort record label — Loretta Hagen sang about how she was inspired bythe mountain she could see from her West Milford home:“Lighting and thunder don’t bother you none/From my front window Iwatch you go on/I draw strength from your wonder and awe/The strength to move mountains.” Check out a performance about it, below.
So why is the mountain called Bearfort? Alas, it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with a bear or a fort, or a comic misspelling of “barefoot.” In “A Dictionary of Place Names in Bergen County, New Jersey and Vicinity,” compiled by Patricia A. Wardell, it is suggested that the name was derived from the Berresford family.
New Jersey celebratedits 350th birthday lastyear. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are markingthe occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.