Friday, 16 October 2015

50 songs to take to my grave #39: Do You Realize??

My love affair with the Flaming Lips was short-lived, but I still rate Do You Realize?? as a song that just has to accompany me when my time is up. How many other songs about death do you know that are as celebratory and anthemic as this?

I suppose it is a bit of an obvious one. I came to Flaming Lips through 'The Soft Bulletin', but was blown away by Do You Realize?? when I downloaded it around its release in August 2002. It made the album purchase a no-brainer. It remains one of the band's most accessible tracks, though that may in part be because the stuff they've put out over the last few years has been largely unlistenable. Either way, it's a terrific pop song.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was conceived during a dark period. While recording the 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots' album, Steven Drozd was having a tough time kicking heroin. Wayne Coyne had also recently lost his father and the combination of the two inspired him to write a song about how precious and fragile life is. It was also a life-affirming love song to his wife. To me, it's a song about facing death head-on and not being afraid, about how people come and people go and each of us needs to try and get as much out of our short existence as possible.

If three and a half minutes of your life is spent listening to this song, even just the once, it's been worth it.

(I have to be honest - as much as Wayne Coyne irritates me nowadays, the video does make me smile. Quite a lot, actually.)


  1. I'm not a big fan of Flaming Lips but this song is a belter

  2. Spoiler alert - see my Saturday Lucky DIp post tomorrow

  3. Absolutely obvious... and essential. Great pick. I remember reading somewhere that the Spiderbite Song on the Soft Bulletin is also about Steven's H problem. So, must have been a problem for a long while.