Happy Birthday Song Factoids
The melody for the famous song was first penned by two sisters, Mildred and Patty Hill
The song was originally called Good Morning to All and was used to greet schoolchildren in the morning.
Another Hill sister (Jessica) published and copyrighted the song in 1935.
‘Happy Birthday’ became the first song to be performed in outer space when it was performed by the astronauts on Apollo IX in 1969.
Time Warner reportedly paid $25 million for the rights to the song in 1988.
The copyright is currently owned by TimeWarner and licensed and enforced by ASCAP
In its long history, only two lawsuits have been brought for illegal singing of the song.
Annual royalties of the song are estimated at around $2 million.
The copyright will not expire until at least 2030
There is much debate and controversy about the validity of this copyright for such a simple and old song.
This copyright is the main reason you never hear waiters singing the song to patrons in restaurants. They usually sing some alternate, corporate-approved birthday song.
Miscellaneous Birthday Factoids
The average person receives eight birthday cards and three birthday gifts.
The month with the most birthdays is August and February is the month with the least. Do the math! It’s cold in the winter!
The day of the week in which the most babies are born is Tuesday while Sunday is the lowest day.
It is thought that birthday celebrations originated in the Roman Empire. And they were largely due to the prominent religion at the time, Mithraism, which was later supplanted by Christianity.
Another tradition enjoyed by girls that was popularized in the 1950s and 60s, is that of receiving a special corsage (or several) that was decorated with candy or another inexpensive item that corresponded to your age. The items were priced within reach of one’s peer group and all light enough so they could fasten easily to curly ribbon and be worn throughout the school day without problem.
10th birthday – lollipops
11th birthday – gum drops
12th birthday – tootsie rolls
13th birthday – bubble gum
14th birthday – dog biscuits
15th birthday – life savers
16th birthday – sugar cubes
17th birthday – lemon drops
18th birthday – cigarettes
Children who are on the leap day of February 29th often celebrate their birthdays on March 1st.
One’s golden birthday, also called a champagne birthday, is the day when the age one turns and the date of birth coincide (e.g. someone turning 20 on September 20th celebrates his golden birthday).
The ‘Birthday Paradox’ states that if there are 23 people or more in a room then there is more than a 50% chance at least 2 of them have the same birthday. For 60 or more people, the probability is greater than 99%.
In 1912, the Jewelers of America adopted an official birthstone calendar that is widely used today as the standard.