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Brandy … Is This Really You?

One of Jersey’s Favorite “Favorite Hits” heard on New Jersey 101.5 on weekends is “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) by Looking Glass, a band formed in New Brunswick, NJ while band members were attending Rutgers.

The lyrics of the song are the story of a girl who’s love has gone off to sea, never to return.

“Brandy, you’re a fine girl, What a good wife you would be, But my life, my lover, my lady, Is the sea”

By the way, if you know any 30-something girls named Brandy, there’s a good chance they were named after the song, statistics show the name Brandy became very popular in the early seventies.

There are two stories of where the inspiration for Brandy came from. One is that author and Looking Glass
lead singer Elliot Lurie had a high school sweetheart named Randy, changed to Brandy for the song,  and it’s a story of how his music came first.

The other, more interesting story is this one … Mary Ellis was born in 1750. Legend has it she grew up and fell in love with a sea captain who vowed that he would return and marry her. She never gave up as time passed, and looked for him every day. In 1813, she bought a piece of property overlooking the Raritan River, so she could keep a lookout. He never returned, and she died in 1828 and was buried in a family plot on the property, in New Brunswick.

The grave now sits the middle of the Loew’s Theatre parking lot, formerly the Route 1 Flea Market:

picture by Tom McNally - Mary Ellis Grave
picture by Tom McNally

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