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 Jersey mountain.
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 by the mountain she could see from her West Milford home: “Lighting and thunder don’t bother you none/From my front window I watch 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 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.
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