Monday, 07 April 2014
Today I am 73 Years Old
That well-known phenomenon of time speeding up as we get older is in full force for me; it feels like yesterday was my 72nd birthday.
Neither one of them – 72 or 73 – is remarkable in any way. Not a big round number with a zero at the end. Not even a half-decade with a five at the end. No big deal today unless you count that I'm still alive.
Worse, I have nothing of note, nothing pithy and certainly nothing profound or even thoughtful to say about this day in my life. So I'll just meander around for a few paragraphs.
When I was a little girl growing up in Portland, Oregon, my mother asked me every year what I wanted for my birthday. My answer was always the same: an outdoor birthday party.
And Mom's answer was always the same: “Certainly. If it doesn't rain.”
It always rained. Every damned year.
Today, there is no rain in sight. The weather service says it will be sunny and the warmest day of the season so far – about 70F. Where's mom when I need her to throw me a party.
Did you know that the traditional song for this day, Happy Birthday to You, is copyrighted and the owner charges a lot of money to license it. That's why you usually hear For He's (She's) a Jolly Good Fellow in movie and TV birthday scenes.
Through all the decades I produced radio and television shows, no one ever used the song on air because the copyright owner was (and apparently still is) zealous in following up to get their money from any use that had not been paid for up front.
It's easy, particularly for young people new to the broadcasting business, to make the mistake. After all, the song has been around since the mid-19th century. Why would it still be under copyright. (If you really care all that much, Wikipedia has it covered.)
But it is and I've known one or two or three producers who have been slapped with a shocking bill for unauthorized use.
Last year on my birthday, TGB reader Cile, who blogs at Cile's Fine Line, left a link to a video of what appears to me to be a trio of Martian Teletubbies singing Happy Birthday.
It is a strange and kind of wonderful performance and in honor of the non-descript, boring birthday number I have this year, I'm going to show it to you today.
Just one thing, however. Although I feel safe since the video, posted by Grey Worldwide advertising, has been on YouTube since November 2005, if Warner-Chappell Music (the owner) comes after me, you all have to chip in to help me pay the licensing fee.
Okay? Is it a deal?
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marc Leavitt: Death Plan is Always Fair