Dr. Patty Smith Hill (1868-1946)
Many probably don’t recognize the name.
But it would be difficult to find someone who did not know a certain song she wrote.
Yes, today is the birthday of the woman who co-wrote the lyrics to one of the most famous songs in the English language.
Happy Birthday to You.
The four-line piece was writtten by Patty and her sister, Mildred J. Hill. Both worked in Louisville, Kentucky as teachers.
In 1893, they wrote the piece (originally titled: Good Morning to All) as a greeting for Patty’s kindergarten class. Following its popularity, they published the work in their Song Stories for the Kindergarten.
The young pupils enjoyed the ditty so much they began singing it at parties, and the lyrics were changed to, “Happy Birthday”.
In 1996, a Forbes article stated the song brought in roughly two million dollars annually in revenue.
And for the record, I’ve heard more than once, different neighbors around me belting out the tune in their thick, German accents. Now that’s a aural delight not to miss! 😉