Often, when I read about the lawsuits where one musical artist accuses another of stealing something from their song, I cannot begin to understand how the original artist concluded that a theft occurred. After all, there are only so many chords and so many words and sooner or later one song is bound to sound similar to another. There are some songs these days that I will hear the intro to that will take me back to my younger days and a song I loved. Alas, after a handful of seconds the song moves on even if I am left in a 70s daydream.
I am been thinking of song theft recently though because of Pharrell Williams new song Happy. The song encourages folks to clap along if they are happy (check it out here). The first time I heard the song it hit me that this song ripped off my old girl scout camp song favorite – If You’re Happy and You Know It (check it out here). I thought right then and there that the lawsuit would be coming any day – a lawsuit that I could finally see the rationale for. Alas, it has not arrived. Pharrell Williams’ song has blown up. I hear it on the radio and on commercials – it is everywhere. And apparently, no one but me has noted that it was a blatant theft of a classic camp song.
I am on to you Pharrell Williams. What’s next? John Jacob Jingleheimer-Schmidt? Little Bunny Foo Foo? Do Your Ears Hang Low? I will be listening…and never you mind if I clap along.
Day one thousand three hundred and ninety-one of the new forty – obla di obla da