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March 9, 2021
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Music Sheet for First Happy Birthday Song Found

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By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV, Port Moresby

A library director has found the music sheet for the original “Happy Birthday” song, in a filing cabinet of the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

The manuscript entitled “Good Morning to All”, dates back to the early 1890’s and was originally composed by a Louisville woman named Mildred Hill.

The song, over time, was transformed into one of the world’s most famous tunes and known to all as the Happy Birthday song.

Hill composed the song alongside her sister, Patty Hill, for a collection of literary works for young children.

The collection was called “Song Stories for Kindergarten”.

Library Director of the University of Louisville, James Procell, stumbled across the music sheet in an old file cabinet.

The music manuscript had been donated by a friend of the Hill family, Hattie Bishop Speed, in the 1950’s but had been misplaced and thought lost, over the years.

James Procell discovered the original manuscript of the Happy Birthday song in a file cabinet (Photo: University of Louisville)

The University considers the music piece to be a “significant addition” to their music library and plans are now in place to have the works digitally catalogued.

Procell and the University’s School of Music are planning to organise a performance next year to coincide with the centennial anniversary of Mildred Hill’s death.

Watch the video here.

(Photo: University of Louisville)


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