Happy Birthday to You

“Happy Birthday to You” is one of the most famous songs in the English language. These four simple words bring great joy to the birthday girl or boy. Keep reading to learn more about how this song became such a hit. Sing along with this festive song, make a card, and learn 25 ways to write “Happy Birthday.”

“Happy Birthday to You” Lyrics

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday, dear [Name],
Happy birthday to you!

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you,

Happy birthday, dear [Name],
Happy birthday to you!

Click on the image to download a beautifully illustrated PDF of “Happy Birthday to You.” Also included in the FREE download is a printable birthday card to decorate.

Free Happy Birthday PDF including birthday card
Graphic of dots in a line

Sing along with our cheerful arrangement of “Happy Birthday to You”
found on our Kids Channel on YouTube.

History of the Song

Would it surprise you to learn that “Happy Birthday to You” was not part of the original lyrics to this familiar song? “Good Morning to All” was originally written by sisters Mildred and Patty Smith Hill, teachers at a kindergarten in Kentucky. The song was then published in 1893 in Song Stories for the Kindergarten, a songbook for schools. Schoolchildren across the country sang it.

Illustrated children at a party, singing Happy Birthday

Sometime before 1924, the lyrics of the second stanza changed to “Happy Birthday to You.” At that time an unauthorized version of the song was published with the lyrics we still sing today. A decade later, the song became known by all as “Happy Birthday to You.”

Mildred died in 1916, long before the song gained fame. Patty continued her work as a kindergarten teacher, sharing her philosophy of play and creativity with her colleagues.

During Patty’s time educating young children, she invented the “Patty Hill Blocks,” large wooden blocks that are still loved by preschoolers and kindergartners even today. Patty lived until 1946 and was able to see “Happy Birthday to You” become an annual birthday tradition.

Father and son playing with Patty Hill Blocks

Friends and families worldwide greet the birthday girl or boy with a celebratory greeting in their own languages. Download the free PDF with the lyrics to “Happy Birthday to You” along with 25 Ways to Write Happy Birthday. Then leave a comment below describing your family’s favorite way to celebrate birthdays.

25 Ways to Write Happy Birthday in other languages

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  • Preshella Photini Marshall

    I love how history and story and education are always intertwined with Good and Beautiful!! I appreciate the Charlotte Mason approach! Thank you!

  • C. Johnson

    Everything about this is beautiful. It’s illustrations, the music and singing, the background information, and the way it includes various cultures around the world. A great resource!

  • Casey

    How interesting to learn the origins of this song. Thank you for all of the fun and different topics you come up with to teach my kids.

  • Mandy

    I love how you teach the history of songs like this!

  • Casandra Winter

    Cool! I did not know the history to the “Happy Birthday,” song!