Hi Angie! Just wanted to contact you about using a couple of your vintage portraits on our church website. We’re doing a promotion for our church directory, trying to encourage folks to get in and get their photos taken and I wanted to do a slide using the couple that could be a wedding photo and the one of the grandma in the garden. While it’s not exactly a “commercial” use, it’s a little more than a “personal” use so I wanted to be sure and have permission before using them! I’m a big fan of your blog and Facebook page and have gained so much inspiration from you! Thanks so much!
The origins of "Happy Birthday to You" date back to at least the late 19th century, when two sisters, Patty and Mildred J. Hill, introduced the song "Good Morning to All" to Patty's kindergarten class in Kentucky. Years later, in 1893, they published the tune in their songbook Song Stories for the Kindergarten. Kembrew McLeod stated that the Hill sisters likely copied the tune and lyrical idea from other popular and similar nineteenth-century songs that predated theirs, including Horace Waters' "Happy Greetings to All", "Good Night to You All" also from 1858, "A Happy New Year to All" from 1875, and "A Happy Greeting to All", published 1885. However, American law professor Robert Brauneis disputes this, noting that these earlier songs had quite different melodies.
In a 1998 episode of the television show Sports Night, "Intellectual Property", character Dan Rydell sings the song to his co-anchor during a telecast, forcing his network to pay royalties, and causing him to ask his colleagues to choose public-domain songs for him to sing for their birthdays. The copyright is also referenced frequently in a Disney A.N.T. Farm episode where characters repeatedly try to sing the song, only to be stopped by others reminding them of the price. The melody of the song is also featured in The Wrong Trousers but was replaced with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" for DVD releases. The use of the song is a problem even if it is sung in a made-up language, as a Klingon-language version was nixed in pre-production from the 7th-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "Parallels", replaced with "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" in Klingon. In the Futurama episode "I Second That Emotion", they poke fun at the song and its copyright by making their own version with the lyrics "What day is today? / It's (birthday person)'s birthday / What a day for a birthday / Let's all have some cake."
It is likely that teachers and students spontaneously adapted the published version of "Good Morning to All" to celebrate birthdays in the classroom, changing the lyrics to "Happy Birthday" in the process. The complete text of "Happy Birthday to You" first appeared in print as the final four lines of Edith Goodyear Alger's poem "Roy's Birthday", published in her book A Primer of Work and Play, copyrighted by D. C. Heath in 1901, with no reference to the words being sung. The first book including "Happy Birthday" lyrics set to the tune of "Good Morning to All" that bears a date of publication is from 1911 in The Elementary Worker and His Work, but earlier references exist to a song called "Happy Birthday to You" including an article from 1901 in the Inland Educator and Indiana School Journal. Children's Praise and Worship, edited by Andrew Byers, Bessie L. Byrum and Anna E. Koglin, published the song in 1918. In 1924, Robert Coleman included "Good Morning to All" in a songbook with the birthday lyrics as a second verse. Coleman also published "Happy Birthday" in The American Hymnal in 1933.
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