Meaning of the song Happy Birthday

The Guinness Book of Records recognized the composition Happy Birthday to You as the most recognizable song in the world – and hardly anyone will argue with that. Most of the inhabitants of the civilized countries of our planet have not only heard, but also sung these four lines, lasting several seconds.

Let’s remember how Happy Birthday was written.

The history of the creation of the song Happy Birthday to You

Although many researchers carefully studied the history of the creation of the composition, they were far from able to find out everything. It is known that Happy Birthday originated from the quatrain Good Morning to All (“Good morning to everyone”). It was written in the second half of the nineteenth century by sisters Patty and Mildred Hill, who worked in the lower grades of a school in Louisville, Kentucky.

It is believed that Patti composed the text Good morning to you, good morning to you, good morning, dear children, good morning to all, to which Mildred wrote the music. They used this simple song to greet them in the morning. Later, a variation appeared A welcome to you, a welcome to you, a welcome, dear children, we’re glad to see you, which the children sang when they met new students.

It is possible that the Hill sisters borrowed the idea and possibly the melody from similar songs written earlier in the nineteenth century. An example is the then popular songs Good Night to You All, Happy Greetings to All or A Happy New Year to All.

How exactly Good Morning to All turned into Happy Birthday to You, history is silent. Most likely, the text was altered by the children to wish their friends a happy birthday.

In 1912, the lyrics and sheet music of the song were published in The Beginners’ Book of Songs, its first appearance in print. The book was published by Cable, a piano manufacturer. In subsequent years, Happy Birthday was repeatedly mentioned in various publications.

Copyright on Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday gradually became more and more in demand, but the popularity of their work did not bring dividends to the Hill sisters. Moreover, in 1935, the Clayton F. Summy Company secured the rights to the song, indicating its authors Preston Ware Orem and R. R. Foreman. Birch Tree Group Limited was created specifically to serve all matters related to the composition. After that, the sisters filed an application with claims for financial contributions, which still go to their foundation and go to charitable purposes.

Happy Birthday is currently owned by Warner/Chappell Music, who bought it in 1988 for twenty-five million dollars. Accordingly, any use of the song must be paid. In the US, the copyright expires in 2030, and in the European Union on December 31, 2016 (seventy years after the death of the author).

Several lawsuits were connected with the song, but it is unlikely that their details will be so interesting to the readers of Blimey.

Happy Birthday artists

It is simply impossible to list all the musicians or just famous people who sang Happy Birthday in public. As well as all references to composition in modern culture.

Undoubtedly, the most striking performer of the song was the unforgettable Marilyn Monroe, who effectively presented her at the birthday party of President John F. Kennedy in May 1962. I suggest listening to this version again.

Interesting Facts

  • In 2008, Warner Music made about $2 million from Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday To You Lyrics

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday darling…
Happy birthday to you

Happy Birthday To You lyrics

Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday to You,
Happy Birthday, dear …
Happy Birthday to You

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