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Flaming Lips tune loses state rock song status

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin allowed her predecessor's executive order to lapse, stripping The Flaming Lips' “Do You Realize??” of its official status.
BY GENE TRIPLETT and GEORGE LANG Published: April 13, 2013

A composition by local alternative rock stars The Flaming Lips is no longer the official state rock song, and while one legislator claims Republican Gov. Mary Fallin allowed the related executive order to lapse for political reasons, the band itself believes it was an oversight that will be rectified.

A spokesman for Fallin confirmed Friday the governor didn't renew an executive order proclaiming “Do You Realize??” the official rock song when she took office. Spokesman Alex Weintz said the governor had other priorities, and the order “did not make the cut.”

A new governor has 90 days after taking office to approve executive orders issued by the preceding governor. Fallin's predecessor — Democratic Gov. Brad Henry — signed an executive order proclaiming the tune Oklahoma's official rock song in 2009 after the Republican-controlled House rejected a resolution to do it.

At least one lawmaker had complained that Flaming Lips bassist Michael Ivins wore a T-shirt at the Capitol bearing a hammer and sickle, a symbol of communism.

The song was selected by the public in an online survey, over songs by Elvis Presley, Wanda Jackson, the All-American Rejects, Hoyt Axton, the Call, the Ventures, J.J. Cale, John Moreland and the Black Gold Band and Leon Russell.

“I'm sure it's political — she's playing games,” said Rep. Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs, one of the sponsors of the original 2009 Senate joint resolution supporting the song. “There was a survey, a political survey done last year that was put out by one of the family policy groups, one of the right-wing groups, and one of their questions was, ‘Would you support “Do You Realize??” as the state rock song,' and of course, the answer was negative in their opinion. So I'm sure that's what motivated her to say no to this.”

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