Participation in the FMA Happy Birthday Contest

Along with the wonderful new year 2013, I am releasing a new version of Happy Birthday. With this song I decided to participate in the Happy Birthday Contest organized by the Free Music Archive. Based on the jazz harmonies of my last Happy Birthday version, I composed a new melody and new lyrics for the song in order to render my composition completely Royalty-free (this was one condition for participating in the contest). After some recording and mixing, the final Happy Birthday version for the contest is ready to hit the world’s ears 🙂 . This time, I performed the full recording using Linux with Ardour2 for the audio recording/mixing and Hydrogen for the drums. This is the first recording with my new James Tyler Varix JTV-59 (in combination with my Line6 Pod Xt Live).

Here is some background information on the contest taken from the FMA website:

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are challenging songwriters everywhere to unseat “Happy Birthday to You” from it’s cultural throne by composing possible replacements. The Birthday Song Contest seeks a few new Happy Birthday songs that are simple and catchy, with great earworm potential that can be sung in restaurants, bowling alleys, and even in TV shows and movies – free of charge.

The song “Happy Birthday To You” is the most recognizable song in the English language, but it can cost independent filmmakers an estimated $10,000 to clear the song for their films, and it will remain under copyright protection in the United States until 2030. This is a major stumbling block hindering the creation of new works of art. It’s time to shake (or at least unsettle) “Happy Birthday” from it’s fortified cultural throne, and replace it with a melody that the children can sing without fear of being served.

Update: The contest is over, my song did not make it, but congratulations to the winners 🙂 !


  1. […] (Note: also check out the new and original Happy Birthday version.) […]

  2. poaro says:

    very very beautiful.

  3. Alex says:

    Dear Poaro, thank you very much 🙂 .
    best regards, Alex

  4. Katharina says:

    alex – das schönste geburtstagsständchen, das ich bisher je bekommen habe!! danke – quite well done!!!!!

  5. Zach M says:

    Hi. You said that your samsung nc10 has a screen cable problem.

    While that may be true, if the problem is a white screen, the problem may be that the screen is not grounded. This can actually be solved by stuffing some aluminum foil between the screen and the sheet of metal behind the screen.

    It took me forever to figure that out.

  6. isis says:

    whouuhaaa!! quelle belle chanson d’anniv’!!!

  7. Alex says:

    Hey! Merci beaucoup, Isis! Et, bien sûre, bon anniversaire à toi, aussi 🙂 !

  8. Rafael A. says:

    Alex, Congratulations on your Happy Birthday song. I wish I could use it as background music on a video of a historical photographs composed for a nephew who is about to celebrate its first fifty years, this video is going to be upload in to Facebook to circulate as a nonprofit only among family and friends. Can I get your approval to use your beautiful music, in this video?

  9. Alex says:

    Dear Rafael,
    thanks a lot 🙂 ! Of course, please feel free to use the song!!! I would be happy to have a little credit with a link to this page or
    Best regards

  10. Rafael A. says:

    Alex, again I appreciate your prompt response and your acceptance to use your “Happy Birthday” song on my video, I am sending the imagen to your e-mail, were I gave you credit for the use of such a beautiful piece of music, however, I confess that I feel upset for not including the http link. However, this omission will be corrected as son as I possibly can and I’ll let you know. Best regards.

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January 1, 2013 Music, My Life