“We Love You Every Day” — Mr. Rogers

North America’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers, would have celebrated his birthday March 20th. Just seeing his picture again made me smile. Especially this one with the make believe trolley.

The pics made me do a little digging. Now, I didn’t remember this from my own avid watching of the show as a child, but check out the lyrics to his birthday song:

“Happy birthday, happy birthday
Dear friend, we sing to you
Happy birthday, happy birthday
Happy birthday to you

We thought we’d try to tell you how we love you on your birthday
We thought we’d try to sing and dance and play today
We wanted to surprise you on your birthday and say
We love you every day, not just today…”

How lovely is that? We love you every day, not just today. What a fantabulous idea. It’s even better to hear him sing it.

Thanks Mr. Rogers for still teaching me how to be a better person decades after your show went off the air.

Hurting your ears with birthday fervor.

I recently mortified an undergraduate by having the entire class sing her “Happy Birthday.” The reward? They all could leave class early. I didn’t anticipate, however, how horrific we would all sound. The guy with the lowest voice starting us off didn’t help any. Really. It was awful.

It’s pretty hilarious how poor it can sound when a bunch of us try and sing Happy Birthday to one another. The more the merrier at the party, but don’t count on the serenade to sound so hot.

Have you seen, though, the American Cancer Society’s campaign built around the idea of giving people more birthdays? Their tagline right now is, “The Official Sponsor of Birthdays.” There are several videos available with famous folks singing the Happy Birthday song (ranging from Deborah Harry to Justin Bieber or Weezer to Incubus).

Here’s a particularly soulful version from Jennifer Hudson. Yeah, when I sing in someone’s voicemail, I sound just like this!

A Bolton Birthday for You.

American Greetings has announced a new “chart-topping birthday experience” featuring Grammy Award winning crooner Michael Bolton. Yes, you can order a video ecard featuring the singer of such hits as “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You?”

The greeting card company has created a customized birthday song where Bolton sings personalized lyrics drawing “over 1,000 pre-recorded names, including endearments and titles like ‘Honey’ and ‘Buddy,’” plus you select from one of 17 messages.

How are we supposed to live without Bolton making a birthday cake, singing with a helium voice and crooning to a cow and chicken. Bolton is clearly willing to be silly (for quite a pay check one can bet).

The company’s creative director is quoted in the release stating, “we thought ‘what could be bigger and more epic than Michael Bolton singing a song just for you?’”

Uhm, I can think of a few things. Bet you can too.

Do your gifts ward off evil?

 

Gift giving on birthdays dates all the way back to when people believed that good and evil fairies had power over people’s fate. That was about last Thursday, right?

According to Happy Birthdays Round the World, there used to be a belief that the date of someone’s birth was fraught with danger as it was a day of change which would make someone all the more susceptible to fairy misdeeds.

To fend off this threat, people would invite family and friends to come and protect the birthday person. Good fate was further guaranteed by giving gifts. In fact, Johnson (1963) tells us, the earlier the gifts and good tidings were offered the better chances the birthday person had of getting through the day of change safely.

Perhaps this is why, even today in Mexico, the birthday starts out with a rendition of Las Mañanitas.

I’ll tell you one thing — I would not be too thrilled to wake up to a mariachi band. A big part of birthday joy for me is the opportunity to sleep-in. I’ll take the help warding off evil fairies though…gifts welcome!

Image from buddhascrystalot00ozak

Image from buddhascrystalot00ozak