‘Jersey Dinosaurs,’ Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam

Jersey Jason and Hoppin' Holly perform "Jersey Dinosaurs" in Haddonfield.

Jason Didner performs “Jersey Dinosaurs” in Haddonfield.

New Jersey does not have an official state song. But it does have an official state dinosaur, Hadrosaurus foulkii, and there is a song about that creature: “Jersey Dinosaurs,” by Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam.

Didner, who lives in Montclair, is already on the 350 Jersey Songs list for his “You Can’t Get There From Here in Jersey.” Jason Didner and the Jungle Gym Jam is the name he uses for his children’s shows. He is assisted in the clip below — filmed in front of the Haddy the Hadrosaurus statue in Haddonfield — by his daughter, “Hoppin’ Holly,” on percussion and backing vocals.

A skeleton of Hadrosaurus foulkii — Hadrosaurus is derived from the Greek words for “thick” and “lizard” — was discovered by lawyer, reformer and geologist William Parker Foulke in Haddonfield (Camden County) in 1858. It was the first full skeleton of a dinosaur found in North America, and is displayed at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Didner sings, in his whimsical, Springsteen-influenced song, about the dinosaurs who lived in New Jersey “before the Turnpike came to be/Down off Exit 4 off that famous road, in the swamps of old South Jersey/Dinosaurs as big as buses, they didn’t have to pay tolls/They could turn left wherever they wanted, that’s how these huge lizards rolled.”

“Jersey Dinosaurs” will be included on the next Jungle Gym Jam album — the Jersey Shore-themed Lollipop Motel, due out in the spring. For information, visit junglegymjam.com.

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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