Back in the days before Facebook was popular, there was this service called Livejournal. When someone’s birthday came around, you would do a post wishing them “Happy Birthday”. I thought that was too simple, and wanted to sing a birthday song. Now, I absolutely detest “Happy Birthday to You”, preferring instead the song that was song in my childhood in Los Angeles: that is, the “Birthday Cake Polka” (i.e., “put another candle on your birthday cake“) as sung by Sheriff John Rovack, a children’s TV host on Channel 11. That quickly turned into a poll asking people their favorite birthday song, which was first posted in 2005.
Over the years, Livejournal has declined in popularity; it has been eclipsed by Facebook. Yet I still give birthday songs. Without the poll, it has just devolved into singing the Birthday Cake Polka. Recently, I’ve decided to revive the goal of providing a song of your choice. Click here to see the song choices others have made; comment on that page to make your song selection.
What song can you pick. The following are the songs that the Sheriff knows:
- A Very Merry Unbirthday [Sherman/Sherman]
- Another Candle [Jerry Herman-“Parade”]
- Back When We Were Beautiful [Berg Matraca-“Good ‘Ol Girls”]
- Birthday [Beatles]
- Birthday [The Lumineers] †
- Birthday [Sugar Cubes]
- Birthday Bitch!† [Jon Hartmere & Damon Intrabartolo – “bare – A Rock Musical”]
- Birthday Cake [Cibo Matto]
- Birthday Cake Polka [John Rovack, 1952]
- Birthday Cake Polka (Gluten-Free) [John Rovack]
- Birthday Dirge [Trad.]
- Birthday Massacre [Birthday Massacre]
- Birthday Song [Golden Bough]
- Born Never Asked [Laurie Anderson]
- Cut the Cake [Tina Liza Jones]
- Happy Birthday [Altered Images]
- Happy Birthday [Tom Chapin] †
- Happy Birthday [Concrete Blond]
- Happy Birthday [I’m Getting My Act Together…]
- Happy Birthday [Stevie Wonder]
- Happy Birthday [Weird Al Yankovic]
- Happy Birthday [Zorba the Greek]
- Happy Birthday, Erwin [Jay Livingston, Ray Evans – “Let It Ride”]
- Happy Birthday, Ralph [Atom and his Package]
- Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen [Neil Sedaka]
- Happy Birthday To You [Hill/Smith, 1893]
- Happy Clappy Birthday (Gwendolyn)
- Happy Happy Birthday Song [Arrogant Worms]
- Hubappuby Bubirthdubay Tubo Yubou [Zoom]
- I’d Rather Be Dead [Harry Nilsson]
- Joyeux anniversaire
- Las Mañanitas
- Make Your Own Party [Marcy/Zina]
- Modern Maturity [Tom Paxton]
- Older [They Might Be Giants]
- Over The Hill [Fred Sokolow]
- The Pirate Birthday Song [Heather Alexander]
- 15 [Marilyn Manson]
- 30/90 [Jonathan Larsen, from “tick… tick… Boom!”]
- This is your birthday song, it isn’t very long [Unknown Artist]
- Tsu dayn geburtstog (For Your Birthday) [Abraham Goldfaden (1840-1908)]
- Unhappy Birthday [The Smiths]
- Yom Huledet [Batler/Datz]
* (Note: Some additional songs may be found through this page)
† Indicates songs added since January 2023
This is the place to comment if you want a birthday song on Livejournal, Facebook, or Dreamwidth (the indicated service needs to send or provide me with a birthday reminder). Just indicate the song, the service, your username (if the last two are supplied by your signin), and if necessary, the month and day of birth.
Note: You need to be demonstrably active (i.e., making posts that I can see) on the service to get a birthday song. If you are on multiple services, you get one song, in the priority order: Facebook, Livejournal, Dreamwidth.
9 Replies to “Birthday Songs”
(posted on Facebook): David Elliott Bell commented on his Wall post.
David wrote: “Thanks, Daniel. I went with the Beatles.”
Greg Skinner: Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” works for me. Thanks!
I like Yom Huledet and my birthday is in less than 2 weeks (2/11).
I’mma change things up. Let’s go with Older by TMBG.
for next year: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/marilynmanson/15.html