Saturday, 27 June 2015

Today in the Past: June 27th

Today is the anniversary of the writing of the song 'Happy Birthday'. You may have heard it. How can we say that it was definitely June 27th 1859? Well, Johnny, we can't, but it must have been first written on some day and that date is as good as any. The solstice had passed and a Central plain was cooking in a dry heat, wind dropped. Probably an Arctic discomfort balanced itself on each toe and every nose in the room. Perhaps there had been an argument. The words weren't added till nearly half a century after. Much death would have happened in the meantime. The melody's writer had most probably kicked the bucket by that point. Generations of people since, in a lot of different places, have sung simple words to mark some person's birthday. We all deserve to take our turn in the middle of the circle. Switch from a completely different language, or sing the meaning in your own way. Follow the pattern. People come and go. It may be worth noting. Why not sing in the meantime? Cliffsides, attacked by ever-lapping waves that work tirelessly till eventual collapse, and buzzing meadows, too: all's sunkicked. Charged up and alive for a while. 'Happy birthday x'.

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