Needle in the Hay

Needle in the Hay
"Needle in the Hay"
Single by Elliott Smith
from the album Elliott Smith
Released July 21, 1995
Recorded September 1994
Genre Indie
Length 4:16
Label Kill Rock Stars
Writer(s) Elliott Smith
Producer Elliott Smith

"Needle in the Hay" is a song written by Elliott Smith first released as the opening track on his self-titled second release, Elliott Smith, then released on 7" vinyl. It later appeared in Wes Anderson's 2001 film, The Royal Tenenbaums, and can be found on the movie's soundtrack.

Trumpet and harmonica were recorded for the song but were omitted from the final mix. A mix featuring the extra instrumentation has not been released in any form.

During later shows with a full band, the song was given more of a "rock" arrangement and would feature drums and bass, with Smith also singing the vocals an octave higher.

During some live performances Smith would alter the lyrics "...head down to toes a reaction to you..." to "...everyone knows he's a reaction to you..."

The song has also been covered by punk band Bad Astronaut for their 2001 album Acrophobe, Nadja in their covers album "When I See the Sun Always Shines on T.V." and by Muppet parody Sad Kermit. This song was also covered by Mélissa Laveaux.

Pitchfork Media's included the song at number 27 on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s.[1]

Track listing

  1. "Needle in the Hay" (4:17)
  2. "Alphabet Town" (4:12)
  3. "Some Song" [Extended Intro][A] (2:21)


  1. ^ Also appears, without the extended intro, on the "Ballad of Big Nothing" & "Baby Britain" singles, and the Kill Rock Stars' "Some Songs" compilation. That version is available to download from the Kill Rock Stars website.


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