Happy Birthday - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Until recently, Happy Birthday (or, as it is sometimes called, Happy Birthday to You) was subject to a copyright claim by Warner/Chappell.  However, this claim has now been declared invalid, and so the song is in the public domain.  It was probably written in the late nineteenth century by two American sisters, Patty and Mildred J. Hill, who, with the lyric 'good morning to all' used it in nursery school classes.  Happy Birthday is said to be the most recognised song in the English Language (the second most recognised is 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow'), though how this can be proven is beyond me.  You can find out more about the song here.

Chords

G                              D7
Happy birthday to you,


D7                            G
Happy birthday to you,
       
G                                  C

Happy birthday dear (insert the name here!),

            G              D7   G
Happy birthday  to    you.

Lyrics

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear (insert the name here!)
Happy birthday to you.

 

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs