The people have spoken. "Do You Realize??" by Oklahoma City alternative rock band, the Flaming Lips, has been named the official Oklahoma State Rock and Roll Song. The winning song was certified Monday in the State Senate with the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 24 by Sen. Mike Schulz and Rep. Joe Dorman.
"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 Schulz, R-Altus. "What's really special is that the people of this great state selected it."
In a career that spans three decades of musical achievement, including three Grammy wins, the Flaming Lips is one of Oklahoma's most successful groups, all the while remaining based in Oklahoma City. “Do You Realize??” was composed and written by members Wayne Coyne, Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins and Dave Fridmann.
The Flaming Lips were given a standing ovation by the full Senate after the resolution was formally adopted. The band was very excited about the honor.
“It’s phenomenal, it really is. People will remark sometimes how much the Flaming Lips have done for Oklahoma, but I really think it’s the other way around," Coyne said. “I don’t know if we would be perceived the same if we hadn’t been from Oklahoma. What would the Flaming Lips be if they didn’t come from Oklahoma? It’s like Santa Clause coming from the North Pole.”
In 2008, the State Legislature adopted House Joint Resolution 1047, specifying the voting process. The Oklahoma Historical Society conducted a competition to select the official Oklahoma State Rock and Roll Song, with Oklahomans nominating 454 songs. An expert panel then narrowed the list to 10, and the people of the state voted for the top song. Out of the 21,061 votes cast, 10,738, or nearly 51 percent, picked "Do you Realize??" by the Flaming Lips from their 2002 album, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.
Dorman, D-Rush Springs, said the number of nominations and the success of the finalists were evidence of the tremendous musical talent that comes from Oklahoma.
"When you look at the list of artists and the hit songs they produce, it really is amazing how much great rock music has come from our state," Dorman said. "We’ve gotten international attention about our online vote to choose the official rock song. I think this is great for Oklahoma."
The other finalists included “Heartbreak Hotel,” co-written by Oklahoma school teacher Mae Boren Axton and recorded by Elvis Presley; “Let’s Have a Party,” recorded by Oklahoman Wanda Jackson; “Walk, Don’t Run,” recorded by the Ventures, which included Oklahoman Nokie Edwards; “After Midnight,” written and recorded by Oklahoman J.J. Cale and re-released by Eric Clapton; “Never Been to Spain,” by Oklahoman Hoyt Axton and made famous by Three Dog Night; “Home Sweet Oklahoma,” written and recorded by Oklahoman Leon Russell; “Oklahoma,” by the Call, which included Oklahomans Michael Been and Scott Musick; “Move Along,” by Oklahoma band the All-American Rejects; and “Endless Oklahoma Sky,” by John Moreland and the Black Gold Band, also from Oklahoma.
The new official rock and roll song will be celebrated as part of an exhibit at the Oklahoma History Center entitled "Another Hot Oklahoma Night." The official public opening will be May 2, 2009, and will continue for approximately two years.