LOUISVILLE, KY - All the single ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the Queen. It's Beyoncé's birthday! And this special occasion calls for a special song. But forget about playing the happy birthday song just like that. Why? Because Warner Music owns the rights to it.
It's a long story filled with many legal battles. Although things might take an unexpected turn that could launch the melody straight to the universe of public domain. A librarian at University of Louisville in Kentucky says he's found the original manuscript of the song, written in the 1890s.
"Obviously, it was very exciting to open up a folder full of materials that were just sort of hidden away in a file in a cabinet that no one ever looks at," said James Procell, Director of Univeristy of Louisville Music Library.
Amazing! Here's the deal. Kindergarten teachers Patty and Mildred Hill created a tuned called "Good morning to all." The song became very popular back in the day, evolved until a Broadway show used it for a scene, with different lyrics. That's how lawyers and publishing companies got involved.
This discovery will surely trigger new lawsuits. But in the meantime, we still can't play the song on TV. However, with or without the song, don't forget the most important element of a great birthday party… the cake!