It’s Time To Retire The Happy Birthday Song

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How the hell is this still a thing?

As you get older, birthdays are awful enough without having to be concerned about whether or not you might have to sit through a horrid rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” and pretend it isn’t making you increasingly uncomfortable.

It’s honestly the worst 20 seconds of your life. Unless you happen to be the poor girl I lost my virginity to. ZING!

Awful sex jokes aside, no one likes singing the Happy Birthday song and no one likes having the Happy Birthday song sung to them.

Yet we all continue to do it.

What is it about a birthday that turns us all into monotone singing robots who can’t say no to a song and for some reason can’t make eye contact with anyone else around us as we sing it?


Let’s dive into the song itself for a moment:

The first two “Happy birthday to you”s that get sung aren’t all that bad. Usually they’re just majorly unenthusiastic.

That third happy birthday, with the “dear (insert name here)” attached to it, however, was written so no normal everyday person can come even close to hitting the proper notes.

Unless 1973 Steven Tyler happens to be at your mundane birthday in your buddy Jacob’s backyard, everyone is struggling to sing along at this point.

And there’s no way 1973 Steven Tyler would be at your birthday.

On the other hand, modern-day Steven Tyler would probably love to be there.

Someone please invite him.


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But I digress…

NOBODY likes the Happy Birthday song.


It needs to end and I think I have a solution:

If we all agree here and now to stop singing it and instead just replace it with another song, like say…oh, I don’t know, “Kiss from a Rose”, this entire world will be a much better place.

I mean, who doesn’t like “Kiss from a Rose”? It’s impossible to get sick of. I’ve listened to it 48 times this week alone.

Ah, but this is all but a mere dream. The Happy Birthday song will continue to reign supreme even though we all hate it so goddamn much.

Maybe someday, Seal, you will be the best gift any of us receive on our birthdays.

Until that day comes, here is a lyric video of “Kiss from A Rose” set over a stock image of a flower so you can all start practicing for my birthday at least:

Max Miller

Max is the co-creator of RuinMyWeek, and while he doesn't spend as much time on the site as he used to, that's because he's busy hosting @bobscredits — A Bob’s Burgers Podcast.