Birthday Party Play Music
1. My Little Playmate 2. Tisket a Tasket 3. Hokey Pokey 4. Skip to My Lou 5. Bingo 6. A Sailor Went to Sea 7. Jump Rope Medley: Teddy Bear/Cinderella 8. Farmer in the Dell 9. Ring Around the Rosy 10. Miss Mary Mack 11. London Bridge Is Falling Down 12. Old Roger 13. Pick a Bale O'Cotton 14. Itsy Bitsy Spider 15. She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain 16. Ten in the Bed 17. Paw-Paw Patch 18. Wheels on the Bus 19. Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush 20. 1-2 Buckle My Shoe 21. Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes 22. The Ants Go Marching
The Story Behind the Happy Birthday Song and Copyright
The Happy Birthday song is arguably one of the most recognized songs in the English-speaking world. However, its history and the copyright issues surrounding it have been subjects of debate and litigation for many years.
- Origins: The melody of the Happy Birthday song originates from the 19th-century song "Good Morning to All," composed by Patty Hill and her sister Mildred J. Hill. Initially, it was a classroom greeting song, but the lyrics were later adapted to the familiar "Happy Birthday to You" version we know today.
- Copyright Claims: Warner/Chappell Music claimed to hold the copyright for the song, asserting that the song was copyrighted in 1935 and that the copyright wouldn't expire until 2030. As a result, for many years, filmmakers, TV producers, and others had to pay a fee to Warner/Chappell if they wanted to use "Happy Birthday" in a commercial setting.
- Controversies and Lawsuits: The legitimacy of Warner/Chappell's copyright claim was challenged multiple times. The main argument against the claim was that the song should have been in the public domain since both the melody and the lyrics had been in existence for an extended period before the claimed 1935 copyright registration.
- Landmark Ruling: In 2016, U.S. District Judge George H. King ruled that Warner/Chappell's claim to the lyrics' copyright was not valid. He stated that while the company might have had rights to specific piano arrangements of the song, they did not have rights to the song's lyrics. This judgment effectively placed the "Happy Birthday" lyrics into the public domain in the U.S.
- Global Implications: While the U.S. ruling was significant, it's essential to note that copyright laws vary by country. In some places outside the U.S., the song might still be under copyright protection, depending on local copyright durations.
The "Happy Birthday" song's journey from a simple classroom melody to the center of a significant copyright battle underscores the complexities of intellectual property rights. Today, thanks to the landmark ruling, many artists and creators in the U.S. can freely use "Happy Birthday" without the fear of copyright infringement.