OKLAHOMA CITY — A song by the alternative rock band The Flaming Lips has been given a big statewide kiss in Oklahoma.
The group's 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.
"I never gave it that much thought," Wayne Coyne, the lead singer of The Flaming Lips, said of winning the competition in what many considered an upset.
He said it was an honor to have been picked in the Top 10 "and everything else is just extra. We're in this just to have fun and we wind up winning."
Others nominated included "After Midnight," by Oklahoman J.J. Cale, which was rereleased by Eric Clapton, and "Never Been to Spain," written by Hoyt Axon and recorded by Three Dog Night.
The Flaming Lips launched themselves as a band in 1983, one that has attracted a loyal following both in the United States and Europe. The group has won three Grammy Awards.
"Do You Realize??" was composed and written by members Coyne, Steven Drozd, Michael Ivins and Dave Fridmann. It is from their 2002 album, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."
In 2008, the Legislature adopted a resolution outlining the voting process. The Oklahoma Historical Society conducted a competition to select the official state rock song and Oklahomans nominated 454 songs.
An expert panel then narrowed the list to 10, and the people of the state cast their ballots. Out of the 21,061 votes cast, 10,738, or nearly 51 percent, picked "Do You Realize??"
Other finalists were "Let's Have a Party," recorded by Oklahoman Wanda Jackson; "Walk, Don't Run," recorded by the Ventures, which included Oklahoman Nokie Edwards; "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.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.