Monday, October 26, 2009

Sobering Truth: "Happy Birthday" is one of the most successful songs in history

"Happy Birthday" is one of the most successful songs in history. How? It became a part of a standard ritual, the ritual of blowing out candles on a birthday cake.

There are other songs that will never be forgotten, not because they're great songs but because they fit perfectly into certain moments of our lives. The DJ plays "Celebration," by Kool & the Gang, at every single wedding and bar mitzvah reception I attend. "We Are Family," by Sister Sledge, is nearly as pervasive.

"Closing Time" is a newer song that's quickly claimed its own niche. Some bars play it every night; when patrons hear it, they know it's time to leave.

None of these songs is particularly eloquent, but each of them expresses a simple idea that fits perfectly with a particular social occasion.

What are some other common occasions that could use a catchy song? Could you write the perfect song for one of those occasions and perhaps claim your place in history?

Every Monday is Sobering Truth day for the Unruly Beast.

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