5 Alternatives to the Happy Birthday Song

Turns out the song you've sung at every single birthday party your entire life is actually copyrighted. Jennifer Nelson, president and owner of her own film production company, was making a documentary about the history of the "Happy Birthday" song when she learned that she couldn't use the actual song in her documentary without paying royalties (to the tune of $1,500) to Warner Music, who owns the copyright. Apparently we've all broken the law at some point, merely by singing along at one of the hundreds of birthday parties we've attended in our lives. Nelson is filing a class action lawsuit in hopes of "return[ing the song] to the public."

But honestly, nobody really likes that song all that much anyway. It's slow, there's no good beat, and it has that awkward high note that's always painful to hear. Instead, I vote that we all adopt a new birthday song instead. No, not the 2 Chainz one. Here are some ideas for an alternative to the birthday song:

1. In Da Club - 50 Cent

Let's be honest. Everyone sings this at birthdays anyway, usually right after the actual birthday song. Let's stop making it an afterthought and make it the real deal. 

2. Happy Birthday - Stevie Wonder

This one was originally written for Martin Luther King Jr., so it has the added benefit of being historically significant. 

3. Birthday - Destiny's Child

Only to be attempted by those who are really good at singing, this one would be great with some mood lighting.

4. Happy Birthday - The Click Five

For those that always seem to be forgetting people's birthdays. Instead of finding one of those embarrassing "belated" birthday cards, just sing this instead. 

5. Birthday - The Beatles

Everyone loves the Beatles, so this is a no-brainer. Plus, one person would have to be the guitar in the background, and that's always fun. 

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Medha Chandorkar

As a junior at Georgetown University in Washington DC, I'm studying Government, Women's and Gender Studies, and Justice and Peace Studies. I'm interested in social justice issues, particularly women's rights in the developing world, and politics. Outside of school, I love dancing and reading, and I'm a huge TV / movie buff. In the future, I hope to become a lawyer but right now, I'm just focused on the moment.

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