Monday, April 14, 2014


Has there ever been a more stubborn earworm? 

You know what an earworm is, I assume. Trust me, even if you don't, you do. According to Urban Dictionary, it's "a song that sticks in your mind, and will not leave no matter how much you try." It can be anything from a TV spot jingle to a Top 40. Typically, the best remedy for an earworm is to replace it with another, different one.

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Right now, moms all over the world are probably struggling to let go of "Let It Go" from Frozen. For me, I keep hearing a different tune: "Happy." 

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
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

When it comes to Pharrell Williams' utterly infectious song, I was a few months behind the curve (what else is new these days?). One of the art directors I work with sent a link to the video for "Happy," not because he loved the lyrics or the tune, but because it was an interesting example of social media and viral marketing (something our agency does for clients — although we haven't had the opportunity to do anything quite this cool). 

"Happy" is featured in the animated movie Despicable Me 2, so it was already familiar to my teenage daughter and millions of other underage fans. When singer/songwriter/producer/man-about-town/wearer-of-tall-hats Pharrell Williams released it again for his studio album G I R L, the rest of us caught up.

The music video that accompanied "Happy" was celebrated as "the world's first 24 hour music video." It's really worth a look, even though you're likely to develop your own earworm in the process. The four-minute song is played over and over in an endless loop. There is footage of regular (happy) people dancing, (happy) celebrities, and every hour on the hour, (happy) Pharrell himself. It's 24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds of ... happy.

And, that's just the official video. If you Google "Happy Parody," you'll get 53.5 million hits. Everything from little kids and pets (lots of happy puppies, apparently), to senior citizens, office coworkers and sports teams. The song is already in commercials and was featured a few weeks ago on the 100th episode of Glee.

My Zumba class added "Happy" to its routines recently as well. It seems like a very simple song, yes? No. There's a little stutter step in the beat which makes the choreography muchos confusing. Of course, feeling even mildly irritated when the song "Happy" comes on makes me feel like a big mean middle-aged mama. 

It makes me feel ... well ... crappy.

Because I feel crappy
Clap along if you have work deadlines looming soon
Because I feel crappy
Clap along if you wish your daughter'd clean her room
Because I feel crappy
Clap along if your jeans are lookin' awfully tight on you
Because I feel crappy
Clap along if you can't get "Happy" out of your head too

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at   

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