Historical Background of the most popular song all over the world

                      Birthday in one word amusing and one of the most expected day for anyone’s life. The party, celebration, amusement or huge gathering whatever you like. The person anyone can wish you long life as well anyhow. When come under verses no way but the famous song has to sing or recite out “Happy Birthday to you”!!!!! . That is the song that we all know it has to be the classical motive indeed. We sing it each year as a common perspective or became a regulation in the celebration of Birthday .Has also been translated to various languages making it a universal song. As student of Archeology and very kin to past research I am feeling interest in searching the historical background of this famous song. I think it at first that this not a matter of a single day or year to emerged it all over the world. It takes time to be more and more popular among the people of different place, race, religion, ideology, thinking and language all over the world. According to the Guinness Book of World Records the “Happy Birthday to You” song is the most popular song ever in the English speaking world. Surprisingly this song   still sung with the English lyrics in non-English speaking countries with a classical entity started  from the very beginning as it has been translated into almost each and every language used all over the world.

When try to find out the historical background of these song have to remember  the names of  two sister – Mildred J. Hill and Patty Smith Hill  with great homage . Mildred J. Hill was born in June 27, 1859 at   Kentucky of  Louisville of USA that is well known as the birth place of the famous boxer Mohammad Ali and died in Chicago, in 1916  buried  in Louisville, Kentucky was the oldest of three sisters, Mildred, Patty, and Jessica.  Patty Smith Hill was born at the same place in 27 March 1868 and died 25 May 1946 in New York.  She is buried with her sister in  cave hill cemetery  in Louisville, Kentucky. Both of them learned music and singing from her father Mr. Calvin Cody. Mildred J. Hill started her career as a kindergarten  and Sunday school teacher , like her younger sister co author of these famous song Patty Smith Hill. She moved into music, teaching, composing, performing, and specializing in the study of  Negro spirituals  amongst with her sister. For these shorts of extra ordinary activity with good teaching Hill and her sister were honored at the Chicago World’s Fair Chicago World’s Fair for their work in the progressive education program at the experimental kindergarten, the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School.
While teaching at the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School, they wrote the song “Good Morning to All”.  Mildred wrote the melody as well as Patty the lyrics. The song was first published in 1893 in Song Stories for the Kindergarten as a greeting song for teachers to sing to their students. From then on the lyrics were changed from its original form to “Good Morning to You” and then to “Happy Birthday to You.” It is still unclear who changed the lyrics that turned it into a birthday song, but it was first published in 1924 on a book edited by Robert H. Coleman. Since then, the song became popular and in 1934. The Hill family was not happy that others were making millions out of their inspiration without any compensation or recognition.
As a result, they brought several claims against alleged perpetrators, and in 1934 Jessica Hill, another Hill sister, won a historic lawsuit for infringement proceeded to also register the “Happy Birthday to You” copyright in 1935.  Jessica, who was working with the publisher Clayton        F. Summy Company copyrighted the song in the version we know today, following an arrangement by Preston Ware Orem. That right is scheduled to expire in 2030. This was the first copyright version of “Happy Birthday to You” according to the lyrics of Good morning written by Hill sisters.  It was still debatable whether the lyrics of “Good Morning to All” and “Happy Birthday to You” were the same — legally speaking. Well, the long and short of it is that they are identical. Later in 1990, another company Warner Chappell bought the company holding the “Happy Birthday to You” copyright for $15 million. “Happy Birthday to You” itself was estimated to cost $6 million. Ever since, Warner has claimed that there can be no public performance of the song anywhere in the world except when they are paid adequate royalties. 
No doubt birthday is a momentous occasion, to be commemorated just as a nation commemorates its birth or as an organization celebrates its founding. Still, it is much more than an occasion to receive gifts. It is a chance to remember the day that a major event occurred, to celebrate and give thanks and to reflect upon how well we are fulfilling aim as the duties for ourselves, others for my country as well as humankind. However for centuries people all over the world celebrate their birthdays with the song “Happy Birthday to You” as they keep in mind it’s author two sisters in mind inspired for new creation for humanity that is good for all is good forever.

                                                        © aurnab arc

 Md.Adnan Arif Salim Aurnab 

Archaeology grad Student,deconstructive Writer,
Blogger and Online Archaeologist.
Jahangirnagar University.

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