|illustration by Greg Harrison|
WFMU and the Free Music Archive are challenging songwriters everywhere to unseat “Happy Birthday to You” from it’s cultural throne by composing possible replacements. The Birthday Song Contest seeks a few new Happy Birthday songs that are simple and catchy, with great earworm potential that can be sung in restaurants, bowling alleys, and even in TV shows and movies – free of charge.
The song "Happy Birthday To You" is the most recognizable song in the English language, but it can cost independent filmmakers an estimated $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and it will remain under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. This is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. It's time to shake (or at least unsettle) “Happy Birthday” from it’s fortified cultural throne, and replace it with a melody that the children can sing without fear of being served.
Intro by Ken Freedman | About | Judges | Official Rules | Prize Submit Your Song | Video: Birthday Song Alternatives
Can We Replace the “Happy Birthday” Song? (Slate)
The Quest for a Copyright-Free Happy Birthday (Laughing Squid)
Write the Next ‘Happy Birthday!’ WFMU’s Free Music Archive’s Challenge to Songwriters (Sonic Scoop)
It's Time For A New, Copyright-Free Happy Birthday Song, So Help Write One (TechDirt)
Happy Birthday Alternatives in Film & Television (World's Best Ever)
Jan 13: Submissions Deadline at 11:59pm ET
Jan 29: The judge's will announce their first, second and third prize winners.