The Bawdy Manual
Know Your Tunes

Happy Birthday to You

Interesting Stuff Original Lyrics

Everyone Knows This Song

"Happy Birthday to You"
Where did that song come from?

Mildred Hill was a teacher at the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten. She was a well-known expert on spirituals and the organ player for her old Kentucky church. Her sister, Dr. Patty Hill, was principal of the Kindergarten and later became head of the Department of Kindergarten Education at Columbia University's Teacher College.

Together, the sisters wrote a school song, Good Morning to All, which was published in 1893 in Song Stories of the Kindergarten. Thirty-one-years later, Robert H. Coleman published the song - without permission and with a new second verse: "Happy Birthday to You."

Over the next ten years, the song grew in popularity as THE birthday song. Soon the first verse was dropped altogether and the song became known as Happy Birthday to You.

Patty and third sister, Jessica (Mildred died in 1916) went to court to prove that they owned the melody and won the lawsuit. Every time the song is sung for commercial purposes, they are entitled to a royalty.

"I wish I'd though of that!"
Author: Jeff Rovin / Paperback / Published 1998

The Music
Happy Birthday to You
[ 1:54 ] [ 16k ]

The Songs
The songs in this book which are sung to the tune of
"Happy Birthday to You

  1. Birthday Song (Version 1)
  2. Birthday Song (Version 2)

Happy Birthday to You

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday dear [insert name]
Happy birthday to you.,