Happy Birthday Guitar Chords – Step by Step Tutorial on how to play the happy birthday song on the guitar. Easy guitar lesson for beginners, tabs included.
Almost everybody knows the happy birthday song regardless of their age. This is the first song you might have heard in a party since birthday parties are the only parties you attended as a child. The first sing-along song you might have learned as a kid is the birthday song. The song brings fond childhood memories and is associated with a happy time.
Going to a birthday party as a child was one of the happiest memories. As it involved spending time playing games with the neighborhood children and you got to eat candy, cake and sweet goodies all day. This was the only time your parents couldn’t restrict you on the amount of sugar you took in a day.
The happy birthday guitar chords are four which makes it easy to play for any beginner. Additionally, since song is among the first songs you learned to sing along as a kid, this makes it even more exciting and fun to play. This is because you don’t have to spend time learning the lyrics and you are familiar with the rhythm and tune of the song.
The happy birthday guitar chords are G, D, D7, and C. The song only has one verse which serves as the stanza and the chorus, but some version has added lines to make it more interesting. This makes it easy to learn to play the rhythm of the song does not change, and the same words are repeated a couple of time. Learning the song is one of the basic steps of playing a guitar or ukulele.
1. Happy birthday song lyrics
Happy birthday (G) to you (D)
Happy birthday (D7) to you (G)
Happy birthday, dear (name of the birthday person) (C)
Happy birthday (G) to (D7) you (G)
Part two: History of the happy birthday song
The song the most popular English songs of all times. The song has been sung and translated in over 20 languages. The owners of the song have been able to charge the royalties for using the song for decades. It is hard to imagine that until 2016 the song was not part of the public domain and someone was making money out of the popular song.
Warner Bros owned the song, and they made quite an amount by holding its copyrights. Since this song is very common, you will be amazed to know that it did not start as a birthday song but as a good morning greeting.
1. The beginning of the song
The song began as a folk song which was sung as a good morning greeting in school. The song was written by sisters from Kentucky Patty and Mildred hill down. The two were teachers and had a love for children; they composed the song as a way to make learning more fun and interesting for children. The song was called good morning to all, and the sisters wrote the song during the 19th century.
According to the other, the song was sung in the melody to get the children ready and excited for the day. When it was one of the children’s birthday, they would switch it up and sing “happy birthday to you” to make the child feel special. With time the song’s popularity increased, and the sister’s filed lawsuits against unlicensed use of the song.
They even filed a lawsuit against Irving Berlin and moss hart who used the song in a Broadway musical. Even with all this struggle, the sisters were never given the copyright of the “happy birthday” song although they had full copyrights of the “good morning to all” song.
2. When happy birthday song became the property of the law
Jessica who was patty and Mildred’s sister got tired of hearing the melody to her sisters’ song being used with no authorization and decided to copyright and have the song published. This awarded the Hill sisters the right to the song is used for any profit until 1991.
She signed copyright with Clayton F. Summy Company. Later on, in the same decade, John F. Sengstack bought the Summy Company, and he renamed it the Birch Tree Ltd. After a few decades later Warner Music bought the Birch Tree Ltd for around $25 million.
This made them have legal access and copyright of the song. This meant that anybody who wanted to use the song had to pay the Warner Bros Company an amount of money. Even Walt Disney had to pay Warner Bros to use the song in a parade around $5000.
3. How the song became part of the public domain
The song was acquired by Warner Bros in 1988 when they bought the Birch tree ltd. Company. The company insisted that they owned the copyright of the song until the year 2030 which entitled them to more decades of enjoying and earning from the song. The song is one of the highest earning songs in history.
A filmmaker by the name Jennifer Nelson when producing a documentary about the “good morning to all” song was asked to pay $1500 to use the happy birthday song. She decided to take Warner Bros to court claiming that the company was falsely claiming the copyright of the song. She went on to win the case and song is now part of the public domain.
The happy birthday song is the most popular songs, and everybody knows the lyrics. The song is simple and has three lines. This makes it even easier to play on a guitar.
George A. Smith received a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Berkeley. George has been teaching music professionally for the past 8 years. George regularly contributes content to several music websites including LoadRecords.com.