Urban Legends Reference Pages: Music (Happy Birthday, We’ll Sue)
“Happy Birthday to You” is by far the most well-known song in the English-speaking world, and perhaps the whole world, too. For nearly a century, this simple ditty has been the traditional piece of music sung to millions of birthday celebrants every year — everyone from uncomprehending infants to
U.S. presidents;it has been performed in space; and it has been incorporated into untold millions of music boxes, watches, musical greeting cards, and other tuneful products. It therefore surprises many to discover that this ubiquitous song, a six-note melody composed in the 19th centuryand accompanied by a six-wordset of repetitive lyrics, is still protected by copyright — and will be for decades to come.