Did you know that today marks 155th anniversary of the day when this song was first sung? A song we heard thousands of times, in different languages and always on happy occasions!
Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, Dear Happy Birthday Song Happy Birthday to you!
Here are some interesting facts about the song:
The song was published in 1893
The melody of “Happy Birthday to You” comes from the song “Good Morning to All”, which has been attributed to American siblings Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill
According to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language
The combination of melody and lyrics in “Happy Birthday to You” first appeared in print in 1912, and probably existed even earlier
It has been sung in 143 movies, translated into at least 18 languages
Although the authors are believed to have earned very little from the song, reportedly it later generated about $1 million a year for its copyright owner
The Summy Company registered for copyright in 1935. There are still disputes about the copyright expiration dates.
Based on the 1935 copyright registration, Warner (company which owns the copyrights) claims that the United States copyright will not expire until 2030, and that unauthorized public performances of the song are technically illegal unless royalties are paid to Warner
One of the most famous performances of “Happy Birthday to You” was Marilyn Monroe’s rendition to U.S. President John F. Kennedy in May 1962
Another notable use was by comedy pianist Victor Borge, who would play the song in styles of various composers, or begin playing Claire de Lune then transition into Happy Birthday which then transitioned into the Moonlight Sonata and so on.