Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My ears are bleeding... and not in a good way...

Having just had a birthday and having attended several birthday parties lately. I feel it's time to get something off my chest. It's time to announce once and for all that I hate the "Happy Birthday" song. I hate when it's sung to me. I hate singing it. I think it is quite possibly the most poorly written, lackluster sentiment ever set to music.

In my experience, no one likes the "Happy Birthday" song. We all sit there with a room full of people fixated on us, mini-fires set atop delicious confections, faking smiles, looking uncomfortable, waiting for that GOD AWFUL song to end before we can blow out our candles and eat. No one knows what to do when that song is being sung. No one knows where to look, or what face to make. Every video camera on the planet has documented an array of awkward birthday boys and girls counting the notes until the final "happy birthday to you".

And if the song itself wasn't bad enough, NO ONE sounds good singing it... I have an MP3 of Frank Sinatra, one of the world's foremost vocal talents, singing the "Happy Birthday" song, and even he sounds like shit. Now, I don't know about you, but the jokers that show up to my birthday parties aren't Frank Sinatra. They're not even fit to sing Frank Sinatra karaoke at the backwoods dive bar down the street. The song was not designed to be sung, especially by the majority of the tone deaf and dumb population. The song was designed to be buried and forgotten in 1893 upon it's conception.

Then you ALWAYS have the jack ass that likes to tack on the footnotes... the "and many mores" or the sustained final note... Why do these people exist? THE SONG SUCKS. It takes too long to get through anyway, why must we prolong the discomfort? Stop, just stop!

I decided to research the history of said monstrosity and Wikipedia was kind enough to disclose who is responsible for this abomination...

**The melody of "Happy Birthday to You" comes from the song "Good Morning to All", which was written and composed by American sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill in 1893. They were both kindergarten school teachers in Louisville, Kentucky. The Hill sisters' students enjoyed their teachers' version of "Good Morning to All" so much that they began spontaneously singing it at birthday parties, changing the lyrics to "Happy Birthday". In 1924, Robert Coleman included "Good Morning to All" in a songbook with the birthday lyrics as a second verse.**

Don't believe it? Read for yourself...

So to you, Patty and Mildred Hill, I say thank you. Thank you for writing the music and lyrics that will forever strike anxiety and horror across the faces of anyone celebrating the anniversary of their birth. Thank you for forcing friends and family of birthday boys and girls across the world to sing, whether they be fit or not, lest they be portrayed as "party poopers". And thank you, for making me sound like the world's most misanthropic scrooge each and every year as I BEG those who love me not to sing your stupid song!


  1. You know....when you lay it all out right there like that...I have to agree. It IS uncomfortable...I DON'T know where to look...should my face be covered with gratitude?? Should I act bashful in a "oh you GUYS! You shouldn't have!?!" kind of way??

    The best part of all this is that I went through my videos the other day and there is a specific moment where I say, "should we sing happy birthday!?!" and you gave me the most disgusted look...I have to upload it now, it would go perfect in this post!

  2. I also hate those crazy "other" birhtday songs that are sung by the wait staff at various resturants that will remain nameless.

    Hope that dispite the embarrassing song being sung to you that your birthday was enjoyable.

    Happy Birthday (to you)!