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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  • Mikki Voter

    Birthdays are a big deal in the Voter house. Upon waking you get your favorite breakfast, maybe even a trip to the coffee shop (that’s quite a big deal) and typically a friend party and a separate family party where all the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents come over to celebrate with delicious food and birthday cake. There are games and gifts and loads of smiles. It’s a busy but fun day celebrating the birthday boy/girl. We pray our kiddos know that everyday they are special but we make birthdays a special day even with twins!!!

  • Holly Grenoble

    Love learning history of songs

  • Dawn

    All 4 of my kids birthdays are in the same month. We usually do a birthday dinner for each of the kids and one fun family activity during the month, such as bowling and glow-in-the-dark mini golf.

  • Sara

    I didn’t know the history the song. Neat!

  • Erica Amador

    My daughter absolutely loves all of your beautiful videos. She sings along, she remembers so much it is quite amazing. She has been watching your videos for the past year, she just turned 5 and is doing so well. I thank you for your educational and beautiful videos that grab my daughter’s attention.