Yes, I know it’s misspelled, and should be “Hasbrouck Heights.”But that’s how Burt Bacharach rendered it when he recorded the song — which he co-wrote with lyricist Hal David — on his self-titled 1971 album. And that’s how the songwriting team’s favorite vocalist, Dionne Warwick, spelled it, too, when she covered it on her 1972 album, Dionne.
The easygoing, low-key charmer, somewhat reminiscent of Bacharach/David-written “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” — a No. 1 hit for B.J. Thomas in 1969 — paints an idyllic portrait of the Bergen County town: “Each day is like a week’s vacation/Come rest up/Bring along your swim suit/That’s how we get dressed up.”
In his 2003 book, “The Ultimate Burt Bacharach Reference for Fans, Serious Record Collectors, and Music Critics,” Serene Dominic theorizes that Bacharach, who lived in Hasbrouck Heights at one point in his life (though not, it seems, for very long), handled most of the lyrics for this song, as they have a casual, unpolished quality that is very unlike David’s work.
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.