A Sleepin' Bee
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"A Sleepin' Bee" is a popular song composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Arlen and Truman Capote. It was introduced in the 1954 musical House of Flowers by Diahann Carroll. The signature line is: "When a bee lies sleeping In the palm of your hand ...".
Barbra Streisand covers
Barbra Streisand had a popular recording of the song and performed it on The Jack Paar Show on her first appearance on American national TV on April 5, 1961. Streisand writes, in liner notes for her Just for the Record... box set, "One of those pieces of sheet music was Harold Arlen's 'A Sleepin' Bee' from the Broadway show House of Flowers. I fell in love with his music the first time I heard the score and this became my favorite song."
In 1963, Streisand recorded the song for her first solo album, The Barbra Streisand Album; the song later appeared on the compilation The Essential Barbra Streisand. In 2000, she performed the song on her Timeless tour and a live recording was included on the Timeless: Live in Concert album and DVD releases.
- Ernestine Anderson - Ernestine Anderson (1958)
- Mel Tormé - Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley (1960)
- June Christy - Off-Beat (1960)
- Nancy Wilson - Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley (1961)
- Julie Andrews - Broadway's Fair Julie (1962)
- Carol Lawrence - Tonight at 8:30 (1962)
- Tony Bennett - Tony Sings for Two (1960), Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall (1962)
- Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson - Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley (1962)
- Bill Evans Trio - Trio 64 (1963)
- Johnny Hartman - I Just Dropped By to Say Hello (1963)
- Barbra Streisand - The Barbra Streisand Album (1963)
- Leontyne Price – Leontyne Price and Andre Previn (1967)
- Billy Taylor Trio – Sleeping Bee (Pausa MPS 1969)
- Tommy Flanagan - Plays the Music of Harold Arlen (1978)
- Ray Brown and Jimmy Rowles - Tasty! (1979)
- Jessye Norman - With a Song in My Heart (1990)
- Alan Barnes and Brian Lemon - Play Harold Arlen: A Sleepin' Bee (1996)
- Audra McDonald - How Glory Goes (2000)
- Bucky Pizzarelli & John Pizzarelli - Generations (2006)
- Karen Akers - If We Only Have Love (2004)
- Bill Henderson - Beautiful Memory: Bill Henderson Live at the Vic (2008)
- The Penguin Guide to Jazz, 7th edition (2004), p. 1580.