“LBI Song” — by veteran New Jersey singer-songwriter Chip Mergott, of Stockton — isn’t just a pretty song about a sweet summer memory. It’s about the narrator’s awareness of his increasing distance from that memory, which makes it bittersweet.
He’s on his way down to “LBI” (Long Beach Island, of course) at the start of the song, though, he admits, “I don’t get there much anymore,” only “when I find the time/Often too far out of reach.” The way he describes himself in the next verse (“Sometimes I feel like I’ve blown away/Like dry summer sand in the breeze”) couldn’t be more different from the way he describes the person he remembers, with her “sun-bright mind” and her ability to conquer a wave.
Alas, it’s just a memory, though, “deep as the wound in my heart.” He ends the song as he began it, lamenting the fact that he doesn’t get down to LBI much anymore.
It’s a simple and concise but powerful song. Check it out below.
Mergott included “LBI Song” on his 2010 album, Islands.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.