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August 17, 2015 AT 3:00 pm

The twisted history of the Happy Birthday song #MusicMonday

Happybirthday1

Wonderful piece in BoingBoing from Glenn Fleishman on the interesting history of the Happy Birthday song.

Mildred and Patty Hill rank among the most interesting progressive thinkers in the 19th century, and yet they are popularly remembered only for a copyright debate. Why is a song they didn’t precisely write still a corporate moneyspinner, at least 122 years after they published a similar ditty?

The Hills wrote and published “Good Morning To All,” which morphed into a more popular rendition: “Happy Birthday To You.” A lawsuit filed in 2013 by a documentary filmmaker, Jennifer Nelson, who was working on a movie about the song’s history, sought to get a court to determine that the copyright to the song asserted by its current owners, Warner/Chappell, expired in the 1920s, if it ever properly existed.

Read more.


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