Banned: Happy Birthday?

Have you ever been at a restaurant when the wait staff assembles and bursts into a loud, boisterous, hand-clapping rendition of a made-up birthday song?  Do you think the person celebrating his or her birthday really wants this?  Do you think the other patrons that are paying their money for overpriced food and beer really want to have their conversations interrupted?

Did you know the reason that restaurants don’t just sing the “Happy Birthday” version we are all familiar with stems from a complicated copyright situation surrounding the song that was originally called “Good Morning to You”?  Here is a VICE article which explains it if you can follow the bouncing ball.  Can you believe that Warner/Chappell Music has been collecting millions in royalties for years for the song whose melody was created by the Hill Sisters more than a hundred years ago?

In any case, I was at Boston Pizza the other night (see Regrets; Restroom) and that loud clapping and shouting were so annoying, I thought, “Do the minimum wage waiters and waitresses actually like singing this?”

According to yet another VICE article, no, they do not.  It’s the most depressing part of their job, by the admission of one waiter.

So let’s keep the cake and candles at home where they belong and ban the annoying practice of yelling at unfortunate victims in public.  Some people are trying to enjoy their meals.



10 thoughts on “Banned: Happy Birthday?

  1. Some people hate being embarrassed by a custom Happy Birthday song, but others like to be the center of attention and enjoy it.

    My favorite one that I ever heard was to the tune of the Army call-and-response chant “I Don’t Know But I’ve Been Told.” Sung by 4 male waiters, it sounded pretty cool. And with call and response, it’s not as important if some people can’t carry a tune.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a really agressive song. We have a restaurant here called Montana’s where they make you wear a moose hat. My friends know if they ever subject me to that I will walk out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree, it’s always an embarrassing moment. The wait staff hate doing it and you can tell.
    On the other hand, we had a friend down south who loved every second of it. She even stood up on her chair for it.
    Kill me now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree it’s a nuisance. As a former waitress I share the oppinion of it being the worst part of the job. I don’t think I have loathed something as much in any other job since.

    Liked by 1 person

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