It’s time to rethink the Happy Birthday song

Published 2:50 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2024

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It’s been roughly 100 years since the general public was first subjected to the Happy Birthday song and, having recently returned from a birthday party in which the tuneless melody was croaked out, I can’t help but think we can do better.

The original writers, sisters Mildred and Patty Smith Hill are responsible for this global phenomenon. They added the words to a little ditty Patty had penned to welcome students (‘Good Morning to All’) at the kindergarten where she served as principal and Mildred was a teacher. 

While women had few career options in the late 19th century, both sisters were savvy enough to trademark the song in 1893. Being unmarried and childless, they opted for their royalties to be paid to their own Hill Foundation.

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While I respect what the Hill sisters accomplished in their lives, things change. We no longer drive Model Ts to work; we have electricity and space travel and are currently experiencing the beginning of the digital age. Surely, surely someone—anyone—can write a snappy little tune to celebrate our trips around the sun? I mean, no one enjoys singing Happy Birthday; the recipient always appears to grimace, and if their name exceeds two syllables, the whole song goes off the cliff.

We need a song, perhaps a little easier to sing than the Beatles’ rocking attempt, that everyone loves to both sing AND hear. 

For the first time in my life, I enlisted AI to write a new birthday song, and in 3 seconds, it gave me this:

(Verse 1)

Today’s the day we celebrate,

Another year, it’s just fate,

With friends and family gathered near,

Let’s raise a toast and give a cheer!


Happy birthday, happy birthday,

Wishing you the best in every way,

Another year older, another year wiser,

May your day be filled with love and laughter!

(Verse 2)

Blow the candles, make a wish,

Smile and dance, you’re on your dish,

The cake is sweet, the joy is true,

This day is all for celebrating you!


Happy birthday, happy birthday,

Another year to chase your dreams away,

With each year that passes by,

May your spirit soar and your heart be high!

Um, no. And no way could Marilyn Monroe have smoldered that endless nightmare before everyone fell asleep in their cake.

So Aunty Pam to the rescue, boys and girls:

‘It’s your birthday,

And you’re still here!

Time to open

A second beer!’

Happy Birthday!!!