Liberal Arts Blog — Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Bob Marley, “Don’t Worry About A Thing”, Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Liberal Arts Blog — Thursday is the Joy of Music Day
Today’s Post: Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” Bob Marley, “Don’t Worry About A Thing”, Pharrell Williams, “Happy”
Do you have a favorite happy song? Today, three classics. The one with the most Youtube views is by Pharrell Williams — with over a billion. Then comes McFerrin’s masterpiece with over a hundred million. Then Marley’s “Don’t Worry” (aka “Three Little Birds”) with just under nine million. Confession #1: I had not heard of Pharrell Williams until I started research for this post. Confession #2: my favorite is the one with the least Youtube views which probably has something to do with my age. But each is totally awesome!!! Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
BOB MARLEY, “DON’T WORRY ABOUT A THING” (1977) aka “Three Little Birds”
1.“Don’t worry about a thing \\ ’Cause every little thing gonna be alright \\ Singing’ \\ “Don’t worry about a thing \\ ’Cause every little thing gonna be alright!”
2. Rise up this mornin’ \\ Smiled with the risin’ sun \\Three little birds \\
Upon my doorstep \\ Singin’ sweet songs \\ Of melodies pure and true
\\ Saying’, (“This is my message to you”)
3. Singing’ “Don’t worry ‘bout a thing \\’Cause every little thing gonna be alright.” \\ Singing’ \\ “Don’t worry (don’t worry) ‘bout a thing \\’Cause every little thing gonna be alright!”
BOBBY MCFERRIN, “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY” (1988)
1. “Here’s a little song I wrote \\ You might want to sing it note for note
\\ Don’t worry, be happy \\ In every life we have some trouble \\ But when you worry you make it double \\ Don’t worry, be happy
2. Ain’t got no place to lay your head \ \Somebody came and took your bed \\
Don’t worry, be happy \\ The landlord say your rent is late \\ He may have to litigate
3. Ain’t got no cash, ain’t got no style \\ Ain’t got no gal to make you smile \\ Don’t worry, be happy \\ ’Cause when you worry your face will frown \\
And that will bring everybody down \\ So don’t worry, be happy \\ Don’t worry, be happy now
NB: (Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) don’t worry (Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) be happy (Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) don’t worry, be happy….
PHARRELL WILLIAMS, “HAPPY” (2013) — do not miss the video (under any circumstances)
1. It might seem crazy what I am ‘bout to say \\ Sunshine, she’s here, you can take a break \\ I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space \\ With the air, like I don’t care, baby by the way
2. Huh (Because I’m happy) \\ Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof (Because I’m happy) \\ Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth \\ (Because I’m happy) \\ Clap along if you know what happiness is to you (Because I’m happy)
3. Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do\\ Here come bad news talking this and that (Yeah) \\ Well give me all you got, don’t hold back \\ (Yeah) Well I should probably warn you \\I’ll be just fine (Yeah) \\ No offense to you don’t waste your time
NB: Uh, bring me down \\ Can’t nothing, bring me down \\ My level’s too high to bring me down \\ Can’t nothing, bring me down, \\ I said Bring me down, can’t nothing \\ Bring me down \\ My level’s too high to bring me down \\ Can’t nothing, bring me down, I said
FOOTNOTES — random tidbits
1. The Pharrell Williams song was from the soundtrack of the film Despicable Me 2, which apparently has been “the most profitable film in the 101 year history of Universal Pictures.” The song “topped the charts in over 19 countries and is the best-selling song in United Kingdom and United States, with over 1.5 and 6.45 million copies sold in 2014.”
2. “Three Little Birds” peaked at only #17 on UK charts. There is some dispute as to whether the title was originally inspired by three canaries that would hang out at Marley’s home or by three female reggae singers in a group called Threes.
3. “Don’t Worry Be Happy” was the “first a cappella song to reach #1 on the Billboard 100.” It won three Grammy Awards in 1989: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Male Vocal Performance. It was also rated “the worst song of all time” by Village Voice critic Michael Musto.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“The single biggest challenge in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” (William H. Whyte, author of The Organization Man” (1856)
LAST FOUR YEARS OF POSTS ORGANIZED THEMATICALLY
#2 “39 Songs, Prayers, and Poems: the Keys to the Hearts of Seven Billion People” — Adams House Senior Common Room Presentation, 11/17/20
Time to share the coolest thing you learned in the last week related to music. Or the coolest thing you learned in your life related to music. Say your favorite song or songs. Or your favorite tips for breathing, posture, or relaxation. Or some insight into the history of music….Or just something random about music… like a joke about drummers. jazz, rock….or share an episode or chapter in your musical autobiography.
This is your chance to make some one else’s day. And perhaps to cement in your memory something important you would otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters to you.