Monday, November 25, 2019

Happy Birthday To You

There is one thing and one thing only that announces to everyone it is time for cake, and it is my birthday. The words are simple and everyone who can speak English knows the words, from a toddler to someone who is 100 years old.

Comprised of 4 bars, 16 words each the tune is simple and the meaning is deep.

In fact, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Happy Birthday is the most popular song in the English Language.

And although it has been translated into many different languages, it is usually sung in English, even in countries that don’t speak English as their primary language.

The Hill sisters composed the tune, "Happy Birthday To You", in 1893. Originally the schoolteachers wrote the tune to a song entitles -Good Morning To You- and was sung to the classroom every morning.

But the version we know was copyrighted in 1935 and the copyright is scheduled to expire in 2030. In fact, technically it is illegal to publicly perform "Happy Birthday To You" unless royalties are paid to the Summy Company and its owner Warner Chappell who bought the company in 1990.

The value of the song itself is estimated at $5 million. It is still unclear who wrote the words to the song though.

Because of some strict copyright issues, filmmakers rarely show the full content of the song being performed in any movies. This is why sometimes you will see the public-domain song "For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow" performed instead, or the song being removed entirely.