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Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday is now in the Public Domain.

PUBLISHED: Oct 1, 2011 • UPDATED: Jan 27, 2020 • LESSON CODE: UL510

Instruments: ukulele leadsheet Subjects: beginnerrepertoire

View the Download 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". The song's base lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages.

Happy Birthday is NOW official in the public domain.

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 is NOW in the public domain.

  • 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.

Happy Birthday - Key of C, Leadsheet
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

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

Happy Birthday - Key of C, with TAB
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

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

Happy Birthday - Key of F, Melody in Standard Notation and TAB
Updated: Jan 27, 2020

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


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Happy Birthday - Key of G, Leadsheet
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

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

Song Road Map

Tips and tricks for remembering a song.

Remembering songs is all about the form and harmonic content and movement with taking in the similarities between songs. And, just like a road map they're landmarks that will trigger memories of how to get through various sections, changes or parts of a song.

This section of a song's page presents some tips on how I try and remember a particular song.

  • 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

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Happy Birthday at this time.

Key Signatures - C Major and A Minor • Updated: Sep 21, 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.

Playing by Ear - Melodies • Updated: Jun 11, 2019

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.

Additional Song Files, Resources and Assets

These are the related song files, resources and assets for Happy Birthday at this time.

Happy Birthday - Key of C, with TAB
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

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

Happy Birthday - Key of C, Leadsheet
Updated: Dec 31, 2016

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

Happy Birthday - Key of F, Melody in Standard Notation and TAB
Updated: Jan 27, 2020

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


Members Only
Log-in to access.

Related Books

Related Books for Happy Birthday at this time.

A Guide to Guitar Chords
Updated: Jan 5, 2020

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

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition
Updated: Jan 10, 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 at this time.

Bingo Updated: Dec 6, 2015

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.

Oh! Susanna Updated: Feb 7, 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.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm Updated: Oct 1, 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.

This Train Updated: Nov 28, 2017

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

The Lion Sleeps Tonight Updated: Jan 26, 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 at this time.

Playing by Ear Updated: Jan 1, 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: Jan 1, 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: Jan 1, 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 awhile or are in a position to offer assistance or advice to fellow players.

Reading Music on Ukulele - Primer Updated: Jan 1, 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.

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