‘Deep in the Heart of Jersey,’ ‘Uncle’ Floyd Vivino

Uncle Floyd

“Uncle” Floyd Vivino, in a vintage publicity photo.

New Jersey still doesn’t have a state song. And while it’s not likely to ever attain that honor, “Uncle” Floyd Vivino’s anthem “Deep in the Heart of Jersey” — a parody of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” — captures what real New Jerseyans feel about their state far better than the more serious songs that are actually being considered could.

“The dumps in June ain’t like perfume/Deep in the heart of Jersey/But it’s my state, I think it’s great/Deep in the heart of Jersey,” sings the proud Garden Stater in the clip below (filmed live at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, in 1981), with his piano pumping and his voice soaring on the last syllable.

Vivino — whom David Bowie sings about in his song “Slip Away” (already chosen for 350 Jersey Songs honors), and who is also mentioned in the Ramones song “It’s Not My Place” — has been a mainstay of the Jersey comedy scene since the 1970s, though he was probably at the peak of his popularity around the time of the clip, when his low-budget, wildly offbeat television series, “The Uncle Floyd Show,” earned him a cult following throughout the New Jersey/New York area.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday from Sept. 2014 to Sept. 2015. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the 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. The complete list is here.

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