Happy Birthday To “Happy Birthday To You”
On June 27, 1859, the melody probably the most often sung in the world, “Happy Birthday to You”, was composed by Mildred J. Hill, a schoolteacher born in Louisville, KY. Her younger sister, Patty Smith Hill, was the author of the lyrics, which were first published in 1893 as “Good Morning to All”, a classroom greeting published in the book Song Stories for the Sunday School. The lyrics were amended in 1924 to include a stanza beginning “Happy Birthday to You”. Today it is sung somewhere in the world every minute of the day. Although the authors are believed to have earned very little from the song, reportedly it later generated about $1 million a year for its copyright owner. Mildred Hill died in Chicago, IL, June 15, 1916, without knowing that her melody would become the world’s most popular song.