Candidate for Official State Anthem of New Jersey


We can talk about the highways, and gardens of green

We can talk about the byways, and many country scenes

We can talk about inventions, and all the pretty steeples

When we talk about New Jersey let us talk about the people

(c) Copyright 1971 Frank Salvatore De Benedetto


The State of New Jersey remains without an official state anthem in the year 2013. Frank S. De Benedetto, a lifelong resident of New Jersey, is the composer of "Let Us Talk about the People," a candidate for this important musical position. Mr. De Benedetto composed the piece some years ago, and spent a period of time promoting it. Indeed, his promotion over the years and the strength of the song, itself, brought Mr. De Benedetto an appearance on the famed Joe Franklin Show, on television.

The song title reflects the song focus. Indeed, it is Mr. De Benedetto's belief that ultimately it was, and indeed is, the people of New Jersey, whether inventors such as Thomas A. Edison, N.J. farmers and farm families, or the so-called "common" citizen, that have crucially and vitally shaped the state and moved it forward.

Above is only the first verse of the song; below is the entire lyric set.

The strengths of the song (enumerated in full, below), include its charm, and its proper and concrete descriptions of the actual strengths and historical individuals relevant to, and characteristic, of, N.J. There is nothing abstract or trivial in the song. Moreover, the piece, especially as presently arranged and performed, is no "pop" song, nor a musical "number," "tune," or "ditty," but is instead a musical piece, a selection, with a palpable gravitas, rooted partly in its strong and compelling inspirational quality, properly, indeed perfectly, befitting an official state song, especially for the great, powerful, and noted state of New Jersey. Its sober and inspiring character is due in part to its presentation as an a capella piece, a mighty sound produced through the power and drama of the human voice alone, here sung in four-part harmony by a grand and talented vocal chorus.

Let Us Talk About the People stands in distinction from pop tunes or ditties by pop stars, rock stars, or others, as such songs are often ephemeral, trivial, or simply possess no concrete relevance to the Great State of New Jersey. Moreover, the debauched lifestyles sometimes led by such persons are incompatible with the family-values orientation of the Great State of New Jersey.


When We Talk About New Jersey

Let Us Talk About The People


We can talk about the highways, and gardens of green

We can talk about the byways, and many country scenes

We can talk about inventions, and all the pretty steeples

When we talk about New Jersey let us talk about the people

Thomas Edison invented the electric light, so all the world could see

Morse invented the telegraph, so you could write to me

And Washington crossed the Delaware, and gave us Liberty

While the farmer plowed on, from dawn to dusk, to give us prosperity

So when we talk about New Jersey, let us talk about the people

Who plant the corn and build the roads, and pray in God's tall steeple


When we talk about New Jersey

We're talking about people like you, and me

Who work and play

And build and pray

In New Jersey


The song is the perfect musical representation of the State for these twelve reasons, at a minimum:

  1. The composition has a concrete relevance to the state of New Jersey, making specific lyrical mention of its history, people, and achievement. There is nothing abstract to trivialize the piece, and prevent residents from feeling a connection to it.

  2. (When We Talk About New Jersey), Let Us Talk About the People is a musical composition that addresses itself to New Jersey's most important "product": its people!

  3. Through the combination of the musical performance and lyrics, there is a strong and palpable inspirational quality to the piece. This is one of the most desired qualities in a state anthem. A composition that, upon listening, inspires its citizens to do good, be good, and contribute to the State of New Jersey, their state, is highly desirable, precisely what is wanted in a state anthem, and is thus worth its weight in gold.

  4. Let Us Talk About the People is not a "pop" number, but instead a classic musical form that will stand through the ages. Let Us Talk About the People, actually more a composition or musical piece than merely a "song," will stand forever.

  5. The piece has an explicitly spiritual, indeed religious component. Studies and polling show that a large portion of New Jersey residents identify themselves as having a religious or spiritual belief, affiliation, or orientation. Competing candidate songs have ZERO religious or even spiritual inclusion; they contain not a word of mention of God or religious belief.

  6. The piece is highly listenable, which is absolutely critical for a general-purpose piece of music such as a state song, because such a piece of music must appeal to all the residents of New Jersey, not just young people, or a subgroup. New Jersey residents of every age, whether 8 or 80, can enjoy this composition, because A.) no one will be put off by the music; it's appealing to everyone, and B.) everyone can both audibly discern, and understand the meaning of, the lyrics. This is often not the case with rock music, nor commonly even with "pop" music.

    This song, because of its unique combination of qualities, generates an immediate positive connection with its entire listener base.

  7. The State of New Jersey does not want indifference or faint praise for its official state anthem, by residents. The lyrics here, however, pertain to, and describe, classic events in New Jersey history that everyone is acquainted with, understands, and knows to be important. New Jersey residents, therefore, will feel a real and concrete connection to the piece, and thus an esteem and respect for it, and by emotional extension, enhance their love and respect for the state, itself.

  8. The piece is in explicit congruence with the Official Motto of the State of New Jersey. The Motto is:

    Liberty and Prosperity

    Indeed, the proposed anthem and the existing N.J. Motto are not just a pair, but an exact match in idea and language, as Mr. De Benedetto's lyrics are:

    "And Washington crossed the Delaware, and gave us Liberty"

    "While the farmer plowed on, from dawn to dusk, to give us prosperity"

    The composer thus speaks of:

    Liberty and Prosperity

    ...Exactly as expressed and contained in the official N.J. Motto!

  9. The piece is also in congruence with the Official Seal of the State of New Jersey; the song and the seal are a pair, since featured on the Seal is a female figure representing Liberty, "...carrying the liberty cap on her staff. The liberty cap was worn as a symbol of rebellion by patriots in the colonies," and the other female figure is "...Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain is on the right. She holds a cornucopia filled with harvested produce, symbolizing abundance."

    Great Seal of the State of New Jersey

    There may be a slight insignificant shift in language on the Seal. Instead of speaking of Liberty and Prosperity, the Seal speaks of Liberty and Abundance. But it is reasonable to understand Prosperity and Abundance as similar, if not identical, ideas on the Seal--indeed, the official Motto of the State of New Jersey does not read Abundance, but Prosperity.

    Since Mr. De Benedetto's lyric speaks of Prosperity, it is thus reasonable to claim an extremely close match in language, and an exact match in idea!

    Thus, again, arguably:  Liberty, and Prosperity/Abundance--just as on the Great Seal of the State of New Jersey.

  10. At under three minutes in length, the song handily fills an extremely important, though ill-considered requirement for any state song:  brevity. If inspiring and concise, an official state song would likely find itself played before or after official State events of every kind. This would enhance, compliment, and reinforce the appeal, image, and indeed stature of the State. An overly long song would become a drag on the State event as everyone waited for it to conclude, before the event could begin, or in some cases, end. Concision, therefore, in the winning song is a strong and important requirement, a virtue, and Mr. De Benedetto's piece has it.

    The gravitas and inspirational character of the piece, in combination with its intelligent brevity, make it a perfect piece of music to hear in recorded or even live form, before or after official State of New Jersey functions and events, perhaps marking their official Start or Close points.

  11. The composer, his wife, and his two children, are all not merely lifelong residents of New Jersey, but all still reside in the State.

  12. The real name of the composer is Frank S.(Salvatore) De Benedetto. He uses no pseudonym or "show business" moniker.


Frank S. De Benedetto

Brief Bio

Born 1927 in Garfield; lifelong New Jersey resident 85 years; eight brothers and sisters; Married 53 years to the same woman, Jean De Benedetto; owned two businesses in New Jersey; musical composer; poet; pencil sketch artist; profiled in 2002 in Clifton Merchant magazine; appearance on the noted Joe Franklin Show television program.

Full biography pending.


This website is brand new, having gone live on Saturday, March 09, 2013.

More to come, including the sound file so that you may hear Let Us Talk About the People.

Please contact Frank S. De Benedetto at dbfamily [at] fastmail [dot] net.


Samuel Morse

Mr. De Benedetto's musical piece declares:

Morse invented the telegraph, so you could write to me

The hasty researcher may find confusion in that Mr. Morse was born in Massachusetts, and died in New York. However, his work in developing the telegraph did indeed take place in New Jersey, as noted by Wikipedia:

"Morse encountered the problem of getting a telegraphic signal to carry over more than a few hundred yards of wire. His breakthrough came from the insights of Professor Leonard Gale, who taught chemistry at New York University (a personal friend of Joseph Henry). With Gale's help, Morse introduced extra circuits or relays at frequent intervals and was soon able to send a message through ten miles (16 km) of wire. This was the great breakthrough he had been seeking. Morse and Gale were soon joined by an enthusiastic young man, Alfred Vail, who had excellent skills, insights and money. At the Speedwell Ironworks in Morristown, New Jersey on January 11, 1838, Morse and Vail made the first public demonstration of the electric telegraph. Although Morse and Alfred Vail had done most of the research and development in the ironworks facilities, they chose a nearby factory house as the demonstration site."

Thomas Alva Edison

Thomas Alva Edison in his N.J. laboratory, 1901

Thomas Alva Edison in his West Orange, N.J. laboratory, 1901

Great Seal of the State of New Jersey

~ Candidate for Official State Anthem of New Jersey ~