Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday is now in the Public Domain.

Published: 01 Oct 2011 Updated: 27 Jan 2020Visits: 906Code: UL510

Topic: Traditional Instruments: ukulele leadsheet Subjects: Beginner • Repertoire

View the Main Song Downloads section below to download the song files for the complete and most up-to-date versions.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to You, also known more simply as Happy Birthday, is a song that is traditionally sung to celebrate the anniversary of a person's birth. According to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records, "Happy Birthday to You" is the most recognized song in the English language, followed by "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" and "Auld Lang Syne".

Performance Notes for Happy Birthday

Here is how I remember the melody of Happy Birthday:

  • Song starts on the 5th of the key of the song. Plays that note twice and then up a perfect 4th (Here Comes the Bride interval) and down 1/2 step
  • repeat, then up a perfect 5th (Do You Hear What I Here interval and a bell like tone), done 1/2 step) then repeat again and up an octave
  • The octave (8) is the fifth of a descending major triad, the I chord, then descending 1/2 step, then to whole step.
  • up a major sixth. This ones sounds a little dissonant in the context of all the constant melody. Then down 1/2 step and to root of key/scale, up M2 and back - DONE

Happy Birthday…

Happy Birthday is WikipediA: NOW in the public domain in the United States and the European Union. Warner Chappell Music had previously claimed copyright on the song in the US and collected licensing fees for its use; in 2015 the copyright claim was declared invalid and Warner Chappell agreed to pay back $14 million in licensing fees.

Open Position Chords

Resources & Links

  • CNBC - Why we can now all sing 'Happy Birthday'
  • USA Today - Judge: 'Happy Birthday To You' in public domain

Main Song Download(s)

The main downloads for this Song.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Happy Birthday - Key of C, Leadsheet

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

Chords and melody lead sheet in the key of C. Standard music notation and TAB for C tuning.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Happy Birthday - Key of C, with TAB

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

Chords and melody lead sheet in the key of F. Standard music notation and TAB for C tuning.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Happy Birthday - Key of F, Melody in Standard Notation and TAB

Updated: 27 Jan 2020

Chords and melody lead sheet in the key of F. Melody in standard music notation and TAB.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Happy Birthday - Key of G, Leadsheet

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

Chords and melody lead sheet in the key of C. Standard music notation and TAB for C tuning.

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Happy Birthday.

UL44

Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor

Updated: 21 Sep 2011

Learn the recognize the key signature for C Major and A Minor. Learn their corresponding Major and Natural Minor scales with basic ukulele chords for each scale. Sometimes called the learning key, the key of C Major is one of the easiest keys to memorize and begin using.

UL06m

Playing by Ear - Melodies

Updated: 15 Nov 2021

Playing Melodies, Licks, Riffs, Motifs, and Single Note Lines by ear is all about getting your ear to recognize intervals and train the fingers to follow your inner ear and play these melodies on demand.

Related Books & Charts

Related Books for Happy Birthday.

BC1GTR

A Guide to Guitar Chords

Updated: 05 Jan 2020

Covers basic guitar chords for beginning to intermediate guitar students. These are the chords that ALL guitar should know - regardless of style.

BC1UKE2

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition

Updated: 10 Jan 2020

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, Second Edition is designed as a guide to ukulele chords. Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. A Guide to Ukulele Chords covers movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and includes an introduction to 4-part, a.k.a jazz chords and more...

Related Songs

Related Songs for Happy Birthday.

UL503

Bingo

Updated: 10 Nov 2022

Bingo, also known as Bingo Was His Name-Oand There Was a Farmer Who Had a Dog, is an English language children's song of obscure origin. In most modern forms, the song involves spelling the name of a dog, and with increasing letters replaced with handclaps on each repetition.

UL533

Oh! Susanna

Updated: 07 Feb 2020

Oh! Susanna is a minstrel song by Stephen Foster (1826-1864). It was published by W. C. Peters & Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1848. The song was introduced by a local quintette at a concert in Andrews' Eagle Ice Cream Saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 11, 1847. Foster was said to have written the song for his men's social club.

UL414

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Updated: 01 Oct 2011

Old MacDonald Had a Farm is a children's song and nursery rhyme about a farmer named MacDonald (or McDonald, Macdonald) and the various animals he keeps on his farm. Each verse of the song changes the name of the animal and its respective noise. In many versions, the song is cumulative, with the noises from all the earlier verses added to each subsequent verse. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 745.

UL516

This Train

Updated: 28 Nov 2017

This Train (is Bound for Glory) by Woody Guthrie.

UL578

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Updated: 26 Jan 2016

The Lion Sleeps Tonight, also known as "Wimoweh", "Wimba Way" or "Awimbawe", is a song written and recorded originally by Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939, under the title "Mbube". Composed in Zulu, it was adapted and covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba and the Kingston Trio.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Happy Birthday.

Playing by Ear

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

Learning to play by ear is the ultimate goal when learning any musical instrument. This series of lessons is designed to get you to that goal. Whether it's melodies or chords, it can be done.

Understanding Intervals

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

An interval is the distance between two notes. An interval has a name and a type. Intervals can be played one note (melodic) or two notes (harmonic) at a time, ascending or descending.

Getting Started Series of `Ukulele Lessons

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

This series of lessons is intended to take a beginning ukulele player, just Getting Started, through the basics. Your goal, as well as mine, is to help you create a solid foundation for future learning and development with this fun, cool instrument - the ukulele. This series of lessons are also a great refresher for all players who've been playing for a while or are in a position to offer assistance or advice to fellow players.

Reading Music on Ukulele - Primer

Updated: 01 Jan 2003

There are a few things in music that students and players avoid. These are things like learning to read and knowing the notes of their own instrument. It is hard on guitar - but not so hard on ukulele. With the right guidance and plan of attack. IT IS EASY.

Related Song Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Happy Birthday.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Happy Birthday - Key of C, with TAB

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

Chords and melody lead sheet in the key of F. Standard music notation and TAB for C tuning.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Happy Birthday - Key of C, Leadsheet

Updated: 31 Dec 2016

Chords and melody lead sheet in the key of C. Standard music notation and TAB for C tuning.

WEB_CONTENT_ONLY

Happy Birthday - Key of F, Melody in Standard Notation and TAB

Updated: 27 Jan 2020

Chords and melody lead sheet in the key of F. Melody in standard music notation and TAB.

Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com

Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get ALL the benefits of a Premium Access Subscription such as Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site, and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.

If you're anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overloaded with everything and everybody on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once, and you're done.

The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee there is more than enough material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That alone is more than the cost of this plan.

Premium Access - This premium gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt

NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Want to drop LearningUkulele.com & Learning Ukulele with Curt a nice comment . We always like to know how we are and you are doing. We'll post any comment, quotes throughout the site and you can help spread the word .

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!

curtieAnim.gif rw.vg.gif

Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II, 35 years ago. Man, does time fly.

“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”

LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, Luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. Curt has been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated daily — so check back often. I really do need to get out more ;-)