Home > Mix CD-Rs > Any Major Happy Songs Vol. 1

Any Major Happy Songs Vol. 1

Is there a scientific formula to create a song that makes you happy, that lifts your spirits to take you to another place where the sun shines and people always smile? If there is, I suppose Pharrell Williams figured it out when he wrote Happy, his mega hit from a couple of years ago.

I’ve tried to make Happy seem unhappy by singing along to a karaoke track of it with lyrics straight out of the Sad Country Songbook: my wife is a-cheatin’ with my best friend, I’m as broke as a rat in mud, the bossman fired me, them kids be ill etc. It didn’t work: I was still happy. The experiment was, of course imperfect. Not only was I in on the joke but I was also its perpetrator, having rather too much fun with my excruciating rhyme (or distinct lack thereof). I could have tried my experiment on unsuspecting bystanders, but I cannot escape the conclusion that their emotion would have been neither happy nor unhappy but excessively violent.

Still, Happy is self-evidently happy. So is Chuck Mangione’s Feels So Good or Bill Withers’ Lovely Day. They are upbeat and happy songs, and would be understood to have those qualities even if their titles didn’t give us emotional instructions.

Many songs on this mix fit the definition of the “happy song”; the Young Rascals even insert birdsong into their groove of chilled-out joy on this mix. Others suggest the happiness by their lyrics, such as Stoned Cold Picnic. But that can deceive. To me The Delfonics’ Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) has a giddily cheery sound but it is actually a pretty brutal break-up song (of course, it doesn’t feature). Likewise The Five Stairsteps’ O-o-h Child sounds like a happy number but the lyrics make only a promise in a time of darkness that things will get better — which might qualify it for this series, should there be one, anyway.

Some others may express my personal, subjective experience of being uplifted by a piece of music, perhaps even by a happy memory. Saturday In The Park is one such selection.

So, here’s a first batch of my happy songs. What would be yours?

As ever, CD-R length, home-happydanced covers, PW in comments.

1. Bill Withers – Lovely Day (1977)
2. Andy Gibb – I Just Wanna Be Your Everything (1977)
3. Earth, Wind & Fire – In The Stone (1979)
4. Chuck Mangione – Feels So Good (1977)
5. Fatima Rayney – Hey (1997)
6. Corinne Bailey Rae – Put Your Records On (2006)
7. Colbie Caillat – Bubbly (2007)
8. Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Wig in a Box (2001)
9. Lenny Kravitz – It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over (1991)
10. TLC – Diggin’ On You (1994)
11. Gwen Guthrie – (They Long To Be) Close To You (1986)
12. Blow Monkeys – It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way (1986)
13. John Lennon – Instant Karma (1970)
14. Young Rascals – Groovin’ (1967)
15. The 5th Dimension – Stoned Soul Picnic (1968)
16. Stevie Wonder – Uptight (Everything’s Alright) (1965)
17. Four Tops – I Can’t Help Myself (1965)
18. Mood Mosaic – A Touch Of Velvet-A Sting Of Brass (1966)
19. Chicago – Saturday In The Park (1972)
20. Mungo Jerry – Mighty Man (1970)


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  1. halfhearteddude
    March 1st, 2018 at 07:43 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. JensM
    March 2nd, 2018 at 14:12 | #2

    Nice List! Genau das richtige für einen sonnigen (eiskalten) Freitag! Uplifting… and inspiring to rummage around in my mind / record collection for more … how about …

    Jack Johnson, Better together
    or The Turtles, Happy Together

  3. March 5th, 2018 at 16:18 | #3

    just found the site and i am downolading your mixes (and listening at them) like mad. I Love not only your taste on the selections but your informative pieces around htem. you have here a follower! greetings from Chile!

  4. halfhearteddude
    March 5th, 2018 at 21:16 | #4

    Thanks for the kind words, Roberto. I hope you’ll enjoy future mixes as well.

  5. March 10th, 2018 at 12:18 | #5

    halfhearteddude, thanks so much for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  6. halfwit
    March 10th, 2018 at 19:43 | #6

    Browsing through my music I realise most of my faves are pretty glum. I guess I’m mostly… ahem… “Happy When It Rains”… but a collection like this is essential for those of us who battle with the blues now and then. I always play Lovely Day and September when Spring comes around in SA. That last track was a real surprise and really got the serotonin going; it also pairs up really well with Monkberry Moon Delight. A few more suggestions for this series as it hopefully progresses:
    I Call Your Name – Switch; Never Give You Up – Raphael Saadiq; Do It To My Mind – Johnny Bristol; Georgia – Boz Scaggs; Year of the Cat; The Boss – Diana Ross; Going the Distance – Bill Conti (Go Rocky!); The Hustle; Sugar Baby Love; Love Is All Around – Sonny Curtis (Go MTM!); Laughter in the Rain; Candy Man; Time & Love – Laura Nyro; Friends – Amii Stewart; #9 Dream; Ce Matin La – Air; It All Feels Right – Washed Out; Breakout / You on my Mind / Am I the Same Girl – Swing Out Sister… bit of punk: Shot by Both Sides – Magazine, and finally, really socking it to The Man.. Threw it on the Ground – Lonely Island

  7. halfhearteddude
    March 11th, 2018 at 00:40 | #7

    That is one superb mix in its own right, halfwit.

    Mungo Jerry’s “Mighty Man” always makes me laugh, especially when I’m alone and I can do the percussive sounds without anybody locking me up…

  8. halfwit
    March 11th, 2018 at 06:31 | #8

    Lol.. that one literally had me stomping around the room… best youtube comment – “they look like escapees from the Muppet Show”

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