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 ...".

Mel Tormé's performance of the song in Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley was called "definitive" in The Penguin Guide to Jazz.[1]

Barbra Streisand covers[edit]

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.

Notable recordings[edit]


  1. ^ The Penguin Guide to Jazz, 7th edition (2004), p. 1580.