From the Wu-Tang Killa Bees to indie-pop’s The Bird and the Bee, musicians are irresistibly drawn to bee references. And why not? The bee’s stinger is ideal for violent or naughty metaphors, and romantic songs come to life with a little pollination/honey-making innuendo.
Here are a couple snippets from the Diana Ross and The Supremes song, “Honey Bee (Keep on Stinging Me)”: “You started a fever burnin’ deep inside of me, since you stung me with your sweet love… This taste of honey you’re givin’ me has sweetened all my bitterness.”
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”false” link=”term=diana+ross+and+the+supremes&iid=4401624″ src=”a/a/a/1/The_Supremes_bdec.jpg?adImageId=8287268&imageId=4401624″ width=”380″ height=”291″ /] (Diana Ross and The Supremes know a thing or two about bee metaphors.)
Sean Hayes (the alt-folk singer/songwriter, not the actor from Will & Grace) takes musical bee references in a socially conscious direction with his single, “Honeybees Falling,” released on Dec. 8 from Sean Hayes Music.
Hear the song, which is a folky fusion of rock and reggae: http://hypem.com/search/sean+hayes
Here’s an excerpt of the lyrics:
“Who’s out chasin’ after money? Little mouse in a maze
Clouds above the buildings, pockets full of rain
Mystery surrounds us, mystery all around us….
“Go ask the birds, the birds, the birds
Listen to the wind, the wind, the wind
Go ask the honeybees falling
Listen to the breathing in…”
In a recent e-mail interview with Eleven’s Song Reviews, Hayes explained his reference to falling bees.
“Honeybee populations are dying… It has been happening for years and it’s getting worse. It is a very scary thing with huge consequences… Go ask the honeybees!” he said.
To Hayes’ point, in an August 2009 Time magazine article, “New Clues in the Mass Death of Bees,” author Bryan Walsh reports on colony collapse disorder (CCD), a phenomenon that has resulted in the reduction of nearly one-third of all American honeybees in recent years.
“Asking questions like scientists or mystics. Knowing we do not know. The grind, grind, grind, easy-to-forget money is a made-up magic, but honeybees are real,” says Hayes.
“Honeybees Falling” isn’t Hayes’ first venture into the world of bee imagery.
In the song, “All for Love,” from the album, “Flowering Spade,” Hayes sings, “I’ll gather your honey. I’ll plant your seed. I’ll be your harvest, leave you my sting.”
He also released the song “Pollinating Toes,” on the album, “Big Black Hole and The Little Baby Star.”
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