Celebrating a birthday is usually meant to be a festive experience. Regardless of a person’s age, the gift of life is a precious one that deserves to be recognized exactly for what it is. However, a person chooses to celebrate their birthday is entirely up to them. Some folks love to throw on a big birthday bash, especially if it’s at a milestone age such as reaching an age old enough to drive or old enough to retire. Again, this depends on the person. While children usually can’t wait to grow up to become adults, often adults as they get older wish to slow down the clock as a means to fight against the aging process. Whether the birthday celebration is done quietly or grand scale, there are a number of birthday songs that’s suitable for all ages.
The original 1893 “Happy Birthday to You” song remains as the most recognized song in the English language. Out of Louisville, Kentucky, Patty Hill, a kindergarten principal, and her sister, Mildred, are credited as the creators of this song, using “Good Morning to All” as a frame of reference to compose “Happy Birthday to You.” Since then, this lyrical Happy Birthday wish has become a traditional classic that has over eighteen language versions, sung during occasions it’s been designed for. Over the years, it has been used as sample music in songs by a large variety of artists, as well as covered from its original format to dramatically altered versions. While “Happy Birthday to You,” otherwise simply known as “Happy Birthday,” is the all-time classic, sometimes switching it up doesn’t seem like a bad idea. There are a large number of birthday-related songs that suit a variety of themes, including some that are family-friendly.
Happy Birthday Songs
The Classic Happy Birthday Song
If your going to go with the original, than why not have it sung by the King. Who doesn’t love Elvis Presley?
For the kiddies…..
Happy Birthday – N’SYNC
This one may make you cringe a bit, yet the kiddies will probably like it.
For teens and twenty somethings into pop
Never Grow Up
“Never Grow Up” was a beautiful acoustic song performed by Taylor Swift that served as an inspirational piece that works for birthday parties of all ages. An ideal song to dedicate as a Happy Birthday song to children and adults of all ages, “Never Grow Up” is a lyrical work of genius as it focused on staying as spiritually young as possible. While this may not pass as a novelty song a crowd can sing as a Happy Birthday song, it does work as a meaningful birthday wish to someone special enough in one’s life to earn such an honor.
Birthday – Selena Gomez
“Birthday” was a song from the 2013 album, Stars Dance, recorded and released by Selena Gomez. The electronic dance beat, as well as the police sirens, made this song become a dance club favorite. The theme of celebrating an occasion, using “Birthday” as an excuse was risque but as fans of music that bridge electronics with hip-hop, this is a global party favorite. Among music fans that use birthdays as a time to party up and dance, regardless if they happen to be children or adults, nothing packs a catchy punch as “Birthday” from Selena Gomez.
Birthday – Katy Perry
This one is fun for the twenty and thirty somethings who grew up Katy Perry fans and are mature enough to know what this one is all about. Keep this one away from the kiddies. This is one of our favourites.
Birthday – Anne-Marie
This is the revenge, “I don’t need you anymore,” style Birthday song by Anne-Marie. Come on, we had to have at least one of these angry Birthday songs on this list.
Happy Birthday songs for adults featuring rock, country and oldies
Happy Birthday (Jimi Hendrix)
Either used as background music to sing the words to or leave it alone and let Jimi Hendrix do what he does best, this instrumental version to “Happy Birthday” is a funk-rock epic. Without saying a word, this “Happy Birthday” song does exactly as it was designed to do, sending best wishes with one of the best guitarists ever to race a music fan’s ears.
Happy Birthday Baby
“Happy Birthday Baby” was a 1974 hit for Tony Christie as it peaked as high as number ten on the US Billboard Hot 100 when it was first released. In New Zealand, it also became a number seven hit. As an easy listening favorite that’s friendly enough for all ages, “Happy Birthday Baby” remains festive enough to use during this special occasion.
It’s My Party
Although not themed as a lyrical birthday greeting, “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore still earns a place as a great song choice. When it was released in 1963, it topped the US Billboard Hot 100 and the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It also peaked at number one on the official music charts belonging to Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Gore’s performance as a girlfriend learning at her own birthday party that her love interest went missing during the timing of her celebration.
At the same time, she observes another girl at the party sporting his ring, feeling humiliated enough to cry about it. While “It’s My Party” may not be the song of choice to sing as a birthday wish, it is an ideal song for birthday parties that may be retro-themed. With children, the opportunity to use the song as a kid’s game at a birthday party also works. Ever try to play Simon Says to “It’s My Party?”
Happy Birthday We Love You
When Daniel Dancer’s daughter turned eleven years old, instead of performing the traditional “Happy Birthday to You” song he created his own. In 2009, “Happy Birthday We Love You” became that song that became a special feature on Dancer’s “Art for the Sky” residency program. At one point, Dancer invited birthday kids to perform “Happy Birthday We Love You” with him. Family-friendly and easy to follow, “Happy Birthday We Love You” deserves mention as an ideal Happy Birthday song that takes a step out of the norm but not to extremes.
Happy Birthday – Steppenwolf
In 1969, Steppenwolf’s At Your Birthday Party was the band’s third album release that is entirely birthday-themed. “Happy Birthday” was the final track on the album. Slow and methodical as a song, Steppenwolf’s lyrical approach to celebrate a birthday has set a more relaxing mood for the occasion. Sometimes, celebrating a birthday doesn’t have to be a big party full of balloons and hype. Sometimes, an easy-going birthday is the best method to wish someone a Happy Birthday and simply enjoy the event in a mellow state of mind.
My Wish – Rascal Flats
From Rascal Flatts, “My Wish” was a heartfelt country ballad with beautiful piano music and guitar, adding extra soul to what passes as a great birthday song. Released in 2006 from the group’s album, Me and My Gang, “My Wish” became a number one hit on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and the RPM Canadian Country Tracks chart. It peaked at number twenty-eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number thirteen on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
Ideal for all ages, the wish for one’s life to be filled with joy and happiness, is what celebrating birthdays should be about. Regardless of a person’s age, birthdays are opportunities to be thankful to be alive while at the same time hopeful by the time the next birthday comes around it will be an even better experience than the present. This is the point behind birthdays, celebrating the gift of life, family, friends, and perhaps some cherished memories. The lyrics are friendly enough for all ages to enjoy “My Wish,” and the overall playout is easygoing enough to fit most party themes, even it’s for children. What a great song to teach a child as it is a song about best wishes and hope.
Happy Birthday – Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder’s version of “Happy Birthday” was originally designed to honor Martin Luther King Jr. but has since become a standard song used as a musical birthday wish for people celebrating the big day. It was the fourth single from Wonder’s album, Hotter than July, which was released in 1980. Although “Happy Birthday” was not technically released as a US Single in 1981, it managed to peak at number seventy on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In the UK, it was Wonder’s best hit as it charted as high as number two there. In Israel, “Happy Birthday” was a number one hit. In the UK, “Happy Birthday” also became certified silver by its British Phonographic Industry (BPI).
Birthday – The Beatles
The Beatles performed “Birthday’ as one of the tracks from their 1968 White Album. Over time, this song has become a staple favorite that’s almost as popular as the 1893 original “Happy Birthday to You.” On many radio stations that announce birthdays to its listeners, the Beatles’ version of “Birthday” often serves as the starting point, and sometimes remains as the background music.
There are very few music fans that fail to recognize the drum fill at the start of the song before running into a blues progression while John Lennon and Paul McCartney belt the “Birthday” lyrics out. When “Birthday” was released, it became a number twenty-nine hit on the UK Singles Chart and a number thirty-five hit on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. In Italy, “Birthday” was especially popular as it peaked as high as number three on Italy’s Musica e dischi chart.
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