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.