The Birthday Song

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed from all my years working in offices – the birthday song is usually one of the most cringe inducing activities the company participates in. I’ve always wondered why, and it turns out there’s a number of factors nobody gets it right.

Usually, there’s no accompanying music, so everybody sings the song in whatever key is in their head. Even if there was accompanying music, not everybody sings in key.

Because we have no music and director, everybody sings it at a different speed. Some go fast, some slow. Again, everybody is singing it like how they hear it in their own heads.

Once in a while, all the voices somehow meet in the middle and compensate – in both tempo and key. But then, along comes the octave jump at the end and everybody is caught off guard again.

Oh, let’s not forget messing up the names of the people we sing for. Sometimes people use nicknames, sometimes we get the names which are on the cake, sometimes it’s their full name – I don’t think I’ve ever sang a birthday song where everybody was 100% on the ball.

So what’s a problem without a solution? I propose that before we start singing, we pass to the singers cards with the following details:

Name to sing:
Key (a pitch pipe would also suffice for those who don’t know their notes):
Tempo:
Language:

That should solve all birthday song related problems.


Also, I’d like to wish my mother and my best friend Happy Birthday – thanks for being two very wonderful people in my life. I love you guys <3.

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