The birthday song “Happy Birthday to You” is the best known song in the English language. The melody was derived from the song “Good Morning to All” written by Mildred and Patty Hill in 1893. The “Happy Birthday to You” lyrics appeared in print in 1912, but historians believe it existed before that time.

Historical Background of the Song

The Hill sisters included the “Good Morning to All” song in their book Song Stories for the Kindergarten in 1893. Several musical compositions bore a resemblance to the arrangement of “Good Morning to All”. These include “Good Night to You All”, “Happy Greetings to All” (both dating from 1858) and “A Happy New Year to All” (dates back to 1875).

The Hills’ song became a hit with the kids. Eventually they started singing it during birthdays, and the original words were soon replaced with lyrics appropriate for birthdays.

Translations

The song has been translated in other languages. In some cases, the melody is also used.

Argentina and Uruguay: “Que los cumplas feliz”

Canada: “Bonne fete a toi”

Arabic countries: “Sana helwa ya gameel”

Brazil: “Parabens pra voce”

Colombia: “Japi verdi tu yu!”

China: “Zhu ni shengri kuaile”

Arab nations: “Sana helwa ya gameel”

Chile: “Cumpleaños feliz”

Finland: “Paljon onnea vaan”

Estonia: “Onne soovime sul!”

Germany: “Zum Geburtstag viel Gluck”

Croatia: “Sretan rodendan ti”

France: “Joyeux anniversaire”

Georgia: “Gilotsav dabadebis dges”

Greece: “Na zisis ke hronia polla”

Italy: “Tanti auguri a te”

Hong Kong: “Sang Yat Go” (the English version is also sung frequently)

India: ”Janam Din Ki Shubh kaamanaye”

Japan: “Otanjobi omedeto”

Portugal: “Parabens a Voce”

Slovenia: “Vse najboljse za te”

Korea: “Saeng-il chukhahamnida”

Malaysia: there are two songs, “Selamat Hari Jadi” and the traditional “Allah selamatkan kamu”

Netherlands: “Een fijne verjaardag voor jou”

Philippines: “Maligayang Batì”

Uruguay: “Que los cumplas feliz”

New Zealand: “Hari huritau ki a koe”

Switzerland – Swiss German: “Zum Geburtstag viel Gluck”

Spain: “Cumpleaños Feliz”

Serbia: “Sre?an ti ro?endan!”

Turkey: “?yi ki dogdun (isim)”

Other Traditional Birthday Songs

India (Hindi): Janam Din Mubarak

Germany: Zum Geburtstag viel Gluck

Indonesia: Selamat Ulang Tahun

Greece: The Polychronion (“God Grant Many Years”)

Cuba: Felicidades

Israel: HaYom Yom Huledet

Latvia: Daudz baltu dieni?u

Iran: Tavallodet Mobaarak

Sweden: Ja, må han leva

Mexico: Las Mañanitas

Poland: Sto lat

Venezuela: Ay, que noche tan preciosa

Spain: Feliz, feliz en tu día

Dominican Republic: El Regalo Mejor (Celebro tu cumpleaños)

Canada (French Canada): Gens du pays

Norway: Gratulerer med dagen and Hurra for deg

Pakistan: Salgirah Mubarak Ho

Non Traditional and Pop Songs about Birthdays

“Happy Birthday” – Altered Images

“Namida Surprise!” – AKB48

“Birthday” – the Beatles

“Happy Birthday” – The Bambi Slam

“Happy Birthday, Mr. Christian” – Apollonia 6

“Happy Birthday” – Stevie Wonder

Many other pop and rock songs use birthdays as a theme, but these are usually not used for birthdays.

The birthday song “Happy Birthday to You” has been translated into numerous languages. Beginning as a simple good morning song for kindergarten children, it has evolved into a song that has become part of people’s lives.

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