The Flaming Lips Win Official Oklahoma Rock Song : Possibly the Worst Song Ever


A song by the alternative rock band The Flaming Lips has been given a big statewide kiss in Oklahoma.

Their tune “Do You Realize??” was named the state’s official rock song, beating out more famous songs written or recorded by Oklahomans such as “Heartbreak Hotel,” co-written by former Oklahoma school teacher Mae Boren Axton, and recorded by Elvis Presley.

“We have an official state folk song and a state country song. With as many outstanding rock artists as we have in Oklahoma, it was time to recognize this music as well,” said Sen. Mike Schulz, R-Altus.

More than 21,000 voted online from a list of 10 songs selected by a panel of experts. The winner was announced Monday in the Oklahoma Senate.


My reaction to the news:

This is probably the single worst song the panel and public could have picked. Aside from being written by a band that only uses it’s “Oklahoma Roots” as a promotional gimmick when necessary; what other intrinsic value about Oklahomans in specific does it offer. Not to mention, shouldn’t a Official State anything be able to stand the test of time? Or at least mention the Oklahoma that residents in the future will recognize? Who cares if one city is mentioned over another, at least it isn’t some teenage diatribe. “Group Wisdom” strikes again.

How about any Other nominations such as:
“Tulsa Time”;”After Midnight” ;”Take Me Back To Tulsa”;”If You’re Ever in Oklahoma” ;”Red Dirt Boogie, Brother” ;”Home Sweet Oklahoma” ;”Okie From Muskogee”;”Wild Nights in Tulsa”;
Or (non-nominee)
Toby Keith (former Oklahoma Rough-neck) “Love me If you Can”

Most of the time these kinds of things do not bother me. This one does. I grew up in a family that played music. My dad was a musician with local bands for over twenty-years. He played almost every Elk Lodge and Tulsa State Fair there was to be played. I knew all the words to any “Tulsa” themed song, before most kids were in second grade. I simply cannot believe that a song like “Do You Realize?” is going to represent Oklahomans to the world. Is it any wonder that the rest of the country thinks we are the crazy backward uncle in the family? The panel of “experts” has some seriously poor judgment. I know of most of them, and I simply can’t believe this was one of the choices. It does prove one thing for certain. The Oklahoma tradition of creating great rock songs will remain a hidden mystery for the ages. Next time a panel of experts needs to pick something that represents Oklahomans, maybe they should actually go out and talk to some and maybe even ask the people who have been making the market for a decade or two.

Some stats to help put the argument in perspective

Population: 3,579,212 (2006)

Population: 563,299 (2006)

Population: 444,719 (2006)

These two cities make almost 30% of the state, so a good nominee could have their name in the title and still be representative of a significant percentage of the population.

21,000 = .5% of the entire state population

So, yeah, we had less than 1 in 100 people who voted total, and of those 51% chose the Lips.

So basically 10,710 (or half the attendance of a college football game) Oklahomans called the shots for 3,579,212 people.

Wow, what a landslide victory!

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