This is the second appearance of ‘The Beehive State’ on the blog. The first was by the song’s writer, Randy Newman, and was posted without comment during a week when my family was on vacation in Utah.
Today’s version is from Harry Nilsson’s 1970 album Nilsson Sings Newman, which found the successful singer-songwriter covering songs by a then relatively unknown Randy Newman.
You don’t have to know anything about this song to know, mere seconds into its runtime, that it was written by Randy Newman. Between the piano, the melody, and most of all the lyrics, this song is so quintessentially his.
I wonder how many other songwriters’ stamps could be so easily identified in a cover?
Since you’re the delegate from Kansas
Will you kindly take the floor
And tell us what is Kansas thinkin’
And what is Kansas for?
Well, Kansas is for the farmer
We stand behind the little man
And we need a firehouse in Topeka
So help us if you can
I see the gentleman from Utah
Our friendly Beehive State
How can we help you, Utah?
How can we make you great?
Well, we got to irrigate our desert
And we got to get some things to grow
And we gotta tell this country about Utah
‘Cause nobody seems to know