March 27, 2011

A birthday song

Artist: Marcia Berman
Album: Activity songs for kids
Attribution: Marcia Berman

Every so often a child will come to my music class and the parent will tell me that it's his/her birthday that day, or that week, or that it was yesterday. So we all sing the Happy Birthday song to the child in question. Everyone joins in, everyone knows the song. Of course, dear readers, you are all well aware that this song is copyright, at least until the year 2030 [Snopes.com]. So singing the song at home (or singing it at the library, I imagine) would be considered fair use -- but just in case you were thinking of producing your brand-spankin' new version of Happy birthday on a CD or on the internet, make sure you obtain permission from the copyright holder!

This sweet little waltz of a song isn't copyright free either - but I thought it would still be worth learning and sharing, as an alternative to Happy Birthday, which, let's face it, can get a little old...

If you click on the cover to the left, you'll be led to the product page of Marcia Berman's album. There, you can listen to a clip of the song -- it's the very first one in the album -- and download the liner notes to the entire album. I've included song lyrics to the birthday track here, below as well. And I did make some minor changes ("I" to "We," for instance). Enjoy!

Know-how: I can think of a few different ways of sharing this song:
  1. With a parachute: grown-ups holding onto the handles and children doing whatever they feel like doing. We'd sing and move around in a circle. Other standard motions would include stepping into the circle (no trodding on anyone's fingers or toes!), and then out again; changing circle direction from clockwise to counterclockwise; varying the height at which the parachute is lifted.
  2. With scarves: Waving scarves during the verses; throwing them up in the air during the chorus.
  3. If you don't have any of the above: Sing as a simple circle song - as with the parachute, try changing direction, swaying, stepping in and out.
Try it out...and tell me what you think, do.

We'll sing you, we'll sing you
A birthday song, a birthday song
A birthday song
We'll sing you, we'll sing you
A birthday song
We'll sing you a birthday song

La la...

Once you were small and now you are big...
We'll sing you a birthday song.

A red balloon and a blue one too...
We'll sing you a birthday song.

La la...

Your friends will come and they'll play with you...
We'll sing you a birthday song.

La la...

Your Mama and Papa
They love you so, love you so,
Love you so
Your Mama and Papa
They love you so
We'll sing you a birthday song.

La la...

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