you need me

In all of my complaining last night, I left out one very important thing. After we landed, when we were standing outside in the cold, I decided to listen to the messages left on my cell phone. There was only one. It must have come in when we were in flight. There was no speaking, no “hey, Mark… blah, blah, blah,” just music. And, it only took me few seconds to place it. It was a song from episode 48 of Gilligan’s Island, “Don’t Bug the Mosquitoes.” The song was the one performed by Mary Ann, Ginger and Mrs. Howell, as “The Honey Bees.” And, here, in case you don’t know them by heart already, are the words.

ALL: You need us / You need us / Like a clam needs a shell / Like a prisoner needs a cell / Like a ding-dong… needs a bell / You need us.

GINGER: You need me / You need me / Like a picture needs a star / Like a golfer needs a par / Like teenagers…mm mm… need a car / You need me

MARY ANN: You need me / You need me / Like a baby needs a toy / Like Hawaiians need their poi / Like a girly… needs a boy / You need me

MRS HOWELL: You need a me / You need me / Like a diamond needs a ring / Like a harp needs a string / Like a Queen… needs a King / You need me

ALL: You need us / You need us / Like a Bee needs it’s Buzz / Like a Peach needs it’s fuzz / So that’s why… you need… you need us / Bzzzzzzzzzzz

I could have easily checked to see what number the call came from, but I liked the fact that it was anonymous, and I didn’t want to know. Sure, it was probably sent by a stalker (the lyrics would lend themselves to such a use quite easily), but I’d prefer to think that it was sent by someone who shares my opinion that this is one of the best songs ever written for an American sitcom. (It really is good.)

If someone knows where I could find a Quicktime video of the song, let me know. Now that I’ve heard it, I’d really like to see it.

So, last night was not without its bright moments. Hearing this song by “The Honey Bees,” while stomping around in the cold, waiting for the bus, made it almost bearable… It was much appreciated.

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  1. Anonymatt
    Posted January 19, 2005 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    I was browsing through my cable guide and saw that one of the Gilligan episodes on the Hallmark Channel later that morning was the Mosquitos one, so I recorded it on my DVR just so I could play the song over the phone.

    I think I hung up during Mrs. Howell’s part because I was afraid of using up all your voice mail storage (the entire song’s over two minutes).

    I can make a video tape of the episode from my DVR, if you want.

  2. Felix
    Posted January 19, 2005 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ll disagree with you about this being the best song written for an American sitcom. It’s not even the best song written for Gilligan’s Island! The episode in which the castaways put on a musical production of Hamlet, with tunes lifted from Bizet’s Carmen, includes at least two much better, or at least more irritatingly unforgettable, songs: “To Be or Not To Be”, to the tune of the Habanera, and “Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be”, set to the tune of the Toreador Song. To this day, I can’t hear either one without mentally hearing those lyrics. Carmen, as the story of a sultry gypsy girl and her soldier lover, is irretrievably lost to me.

    Oh, and by the way, have you ever heard the lyrics to the theme song of “I Dream of Jeannie”?

    “Jeannie, fresh as a daisy!
    Jeannie, always obeys me….”

  3. Anonymatt
    Posted January 19, 2005 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I would agree with you, Felix, that the songs written for the musical Hamlet are more memorable. But only the lyrics were written for the show. Part of the reason why these songs are so catchy is that the music is so completely familiar.

    “You Need Me” has original lyrics and music, and it works as a pop song. “Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be,” while unforgettable, only has one verse. (Maybe Harold Hecuba had to expand it to make it work on Broadway.)

    Personally, I hadn’t heard the lyrics to the Jeannie theme song before. Thanks.

  4. mark
    Posted January 19, 2005 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Matt, please save it… And thanks for leaving the voice-mail when you did. Like I said in the post, it really saved an otherwise miserable night… As for the words to the I Dream of Jeannie theme, Felix is absolutely right. If you don

  5. Posted January 21, 2005 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Best musical on a sit com:

    “Mr. Plow, that’s my name
    That name, again, is Mr. Plow”

  6. mark
    Posted January 21, 2005 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if that qualifies as a song, Leighton, but you’re right, the Mr. Plow theme is damned good… I wonder if any bands have ever tried to cover it. Do you know of any?

  7. Stanton (in Austin)
    Posted July 3, 2008 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    I’m going to have to disagree with you on this song’s rank in television music. It is far below the Bewitched Songbook: “Blow You A Kiss In The Wind” and “If’n” – just to name a few.

    Why Serena wasn’t signed by Tommy Matolla I’ll never know. It can’t be that she didn’t put out like Mariah. Serena was known for her handy’s.

    Her secret?
    The beginnings of Parkinson’s

  8. JDnHuntsvilleAL
    Posted May 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    I turned on METV last night and there was an old B&W show on, I think it was Perry Mason. The scene playing was in a Playboy style club and in the background an instrumental group was playing. I found myself humming along to the song, and then suddenly realized what the tune was — the band was playing “You Need Us”. You couldn’t hear the melody that well, but the temple, pauses, chord changes, everything matched.

  9. JP
    Posted June 6, 2014 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Perry Mason– The case of the fanciful frail contains the music of “You Need Us” from the honeybees. The show was on in March of 1966 in the ninth season. The honeybees sang in December 1965.

  10. Posted June 8, 2014 at 2:14 am | Permalink


  11. deo
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    the instrumental version is in the 1965 Perry Mason episode, THE CASE OF THE GOLDEN GIRLS. The SAME YEAR as the Gilligan’s Island episode, DON’T BUG THE MOSQUITOES, featuring the castaway women’s vocal version. Mosquitoes vs. bears in court? Your witness, Mr. Mason…

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