Big news in my home state today: The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” is no longer the Official State Rock Song of Oklahoma:
The song earned the title back in 2009, when the Oklahoma Historical Society gave the state’s citizens a chance to vote, and they chose “Do You Realize??” over songs by Elvis Presley, the All-American Rejects, and Wanda Jackson. A Senate joint resolution followed, but failed in the House… because Lips bassist Michael Ivins wore a t-shirt baring the hammer and sickle symbol of communism to a photo-op at the Capitol. Then-Governor Henry ended up stepping in with an executive order, making “Do You Realize??” the official rock song of Oklahoma.
As eCapitol points out, a new governor has 90 days of taking office to approve executive orders issued by the proceeding governor. When Fallin took office in 2011, she didn’t approve the official rock song, so it expired.
Governor Fallin’s Media Director Alex Weintz told eCapitol, “that in Fallin’s first three months her administration was trying to focus on their priorities, and the state rock song simply wasn’t one of them.”
But Representative Joe Dorman, one of the sponsors of the original 2009 Senate joint resolution, told eCapitol that he thinks it was a political move, a response to Ivins’ t-shirt. ”This is one of those issues where the will of the people was carried by Gov. Brad Henry, and Fallin has apparently decided to go against the will of the people,” he said.