ELDER MUSIC: Celebrate the Curves
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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


Happy, Happy BirthDay! Celebrate your day.

Happy Birthday Ronni! May tou have a wonderful new year filled with laughter, good friends and contentment !

PS: You will probably never know how many people you have touched and helped with this site. You are an exordinary woman!

Best wishes for a very happy birthday Ronni! Hope you can celebrate in some way.
Thank you for all of the time and effort you put into creating a very interesting blog. I enjoy calling in each day - well it's usually at night, Aus. time.
Hope the year ahead brings good health, good times and good friends!

Happy Birthday Ronni. May you have a year of good health and happiness.

Deal. Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday and what a cute video!

We're close in age and I only had two parties growing up. Next year we should both throw ourselves a party.

Slow down, I'm catching up fast.

Have a great day, Ronni, enjoy.

Big hug from Montreal.

Happy birthday, Ronni. Keep up the good work—your blog is the first thing I go to in the morning (after e-mail and Facebook!)


All the best. I'm one up on you (July is the big '74).

I've also noticed how quickly time passes these days.

Keep up the great work!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are as remarkable today as you were the day you were born!

Happy Birthday, Ronni! Thank you for being here. I check your blog first thing every morning, too.

My birthday is December 24th, so I'm pretty sure I only had one party as a child, but now my family is always home for Christmas. Works for me!!

Between the fact that I want you to enjoy your birthday and because I am in a Devil-May-Care mood today, Here Goes!


Now, Dear Copyright holder, as they say in the movies CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!

Happy Birthday, Ronni. Celebrate this day, enjoy the sunshine and spring flowers that are here for you. And remember, today isn't noted for your age, it's for the day you were born!

My grandson turned 8 on the 4th. I wanted to send him a cute birthday video, so I did a pretty thorough YouTube survey. I saw the one you've shared, but I decided on the epic Happy Birthday song and dance by gazillions of animated penguins.

Yesterday would have been my mother's 105 th. Bless her memory.

I wish you another great year and a very happy birthday, Ronni.

PS Didn't those 3 characters in the video sing the original happy birthday song? One wonders how that gets around the copyright law.

Happy Happy Outdoor birthday - the sun just showed her face in Bellingham. MM

Sounds like you'll have a wonderful day on which to celebrate your birth! So glad you were born and are sharing so much with us...

Happy Birthday Ronni! May your birthday be filled with all the things that make you smile.

Ronni, I'm sure that you know that you share birthdays with Billie Holiday, Ravi Shankar, Daniel Ellsberg, David Frost, and Janis Ian. Enjoy many more!

Wishing you all the best on this 73rd anniversary of your birth! May this be year filled with health, happiness and delightfully serendipitous events!

(And I would gladly chip in if you are billed for the chorus of Happy Birthday.)

All good wishes to you, Ronni, for a very Happy Birthday and a year to come that provides you with all that's dear to your heart.

Many happy returns of the day--which means (I looked it up)may you have many more, very happy birthdays.

Wow! Thanks for showing up even on your birthday (you could have taken a "Mental Health Day"!). I join with all the others in wishing you a very good day and evening and night and awakening ... and good health and good friends today and all year long.

Happy Birthday! You are not very old...at least to someone who is 78! Have a happy, healthy year..

Many happy returns Ronni.

Chipping in - it's a deal.

Happy Birthday!

Wishing you many more to come.

Happy, happy birthday Ronni. I would join you for an outside birthday party today if it were possible. How about a picnic lunch in the park to make up for those rainy days?

A Happy 73rd Birthday Ronnie.

Thanks for caring about it all
and bringing us along with you
through the years.

In celebration and gratitude,
party hat and umbrella at the ready.

The reason why I am no longer married (Well, maybe not THE reason) is because I refused to celebrate my birthdays and it drove my ex, who would throw a party at the drop of a hat, crazy. I just never could see the reason for celebrating something that the alternative to is death. Nevertheless, I do wish you the best of birthdays Ronni and, as much as I would like to lift a glass of something to that effect, they won't let me have any booze here at the asylum.

I echo the wishes of others--hope you can make it a fun day.

I plan to use the teletubby video for my brother turning 65 tomorrow.

Happy Birthday. I'm on my way outside to plant pansies, so I'll think of you and have a quiet little outdoor party.

Happy birthday to you Ronni. I will see you same time next year :-) Enjoy your special day.

Best wishes on your Birthday! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward every day to reading your blog.

Happy birthday & warm wishes for the coming year!

Happy 73rd birthday Ronni, I am so pleased to have you for a contemporary and blogging friend. Your blog starts my day! There's not room to list all the helpful info you've sent our way and it was a joy to meet you although its getting to be awhile since I've seen you. If I make it to Portland this summer I hope to share a coffee or lunch with you. Have a great day friend.

Wishing you a day as special as you are...and may the year ahead be your best yet!

The Pacific Northwest is truly the place for rainy birthdays. Last Saturday I came across a birthday party on a beach by Lake Washington. Perhaps the parents who planned it were expecting sun, but it did look as if the girls (aged 7 or 8) were having a great time.

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday, girl.
I sent your post to my daughter who just celebrated her daughter's 18th birthday and in the frenzy of decorating, her daughter informed her that THIS birthday would be like all others....a disappointment, raining and all! I had to laugh. I told her Gretchen would be 73 someday and longing for a party from her!
Thanks for putting life in perspective.

Happy Birthday Ronni! If you want to see a smiley face go to my blog and have a smile on your face too!

Well, "happy burfday to you" Ronnie. And many more!

Happy Birthday! And many happy returns!
Salud, pesetas, y amor. (Health, money, & love,)

Keep up the good work!

...y tiempo para gozarlos! (and time to enjoy them). Happy Birthday Ronnie!

Have a wonderful birthday and many more happy and healthy years. I feel like I have become friends with you, and hope we can continue that for many more years.

I can't find a way to send you an animated e-card, so I'm crowding in here behind all your other friends (standing room only) raising a glass of cold, refreshing orange juice ~~ saluting you for creating a blog that makes our every day a good one. Smile and enjoy your Very Special Day. Happy, happy ........ !!!

"A birthday is not a measure of how old we've become, but a celebration of where we are in the magical circle of life." Best wishes for a Happy Birthday, a wonderful new year, and many more returns! Love, Sandy in Hawaii, a fan since the Fotolog days.

Happy birthday, dear Ronni. Wish I could throw you an outdoor birthday party.

In 6 days I will have my 68th.

Happy Birthday and thanks for all the wonderful writing you send our way every day. While you and I may not always agree about the plus side of getting old, as "they" say, it sure beats the alternative. That's still true for me at 77 and my husband at 84. It'll be interesting to see if we still feel that way 10-15 years from now--should we make it that far.

Wishing you a terrific birthday with lots of smiles and good memories.

Happy Birthday! Thanks for all of the wonderful information you share. Best wishes for a lovely day.

Happy Anniversary of your 21st Birthday!!

You, and most other people I know, should consider yourself lucky. My birthday is December 30th ... and I can only recall 2 birthday parties in my early life, one when I was 3 (but we held it outside in the sunshine in the summer) and my 16th birthday party. Plus, I always got one gift from family members under the tree at Christmas and every one of the gift cards always said, "Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday" !!!
('nuff said .... sighhh)

Happy Birthday Ronni. You share the same birthday as my brother Tom (April 7, 1941).

Ready to chip in. From all those above, it looks like you're having quite a birthday party. Just carry your computer outside, get yourself a tasty treat that doesn't break the diet rules too much, and sing Happy Birthday at the top of your lungs. They can't ding you for that. Wishing you a wonderful year!

Wishing you a Happy 73rd Birthday, Ronni. :)

Happy 73rd! Thanks for all your efforts on this blog. Always you and always professional!

Happy Birthday, Ronni!
Wishing you a fantastic day today, and many healthy and happy birthdays ahead!

Happy birthday!

Hah! You're an Aries! I should have known! Happy birthday, from a fellow Ram.

"Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone." ~Jim Fiebig


Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday!! Celebrate by taking a glass of wine out on the patio and drinking a toast to your mother and to yourself. You will finally be giving yourself what she couldn't.

Happy 73rd Birthday Wishes
to Ronni, Glorious Lady of Spring!

Happy Birthday, Ronni! And may the sun keep shining every minute of the day for you. (And tomorrow too, for my 71st.)

I add my voice to the chorus: Happiest of birthdays, Ronni. It's good to have you to turn to every day.

Happy Birthday from a Texas devotee.

Here's another Happy Birthday wish from Texas!

Bon anniversaire!
I was 56 last week. You are Aries as I am, the sign of the spring, of the new vegetation, of the real beginning of the year. We are the bests!!
Bises (kisses) as we say in French. Colette

Happy Birthday, Ronni. Many more filled with good health and happiness be YOURS!

Happy Birthday Ronni! Dee from OH

72 is interesting in that it's 2^3 times 3^2
73 is a prime and therefore interesting in itself
Oh, and happy birthday (again).

I had no idea that song was still copyrighted. But that aside, many happy returns and you are a jolly good fella.

Here's lookin' at you, kid. From my 79 years, you're still wet behind the ears. What a difference 6 years makes. I'm a little grumpy because I just had a cataract removed after tolerating it for a few years and, to my horror, my mirror revealed that I had become shockingly old practically overnight. Still trying to absorb that blow, but glad to wish you a happy 73rd. You're still beautiful.

A Most Happy Birthday to an essential senior in my life.

Happy birthday! Long may ye wave!

Happy Birthday dear Ronni, thank you for being there for all of us!

Happy Birthday from Melbourne, Australia - Ronnie your work is inspirational and much appreciated. Enjoy our day. Cheers and thanks


Another happy birthday to you. (and I believe that the copyright is no longer valid but I haven't seen that in writing).

Certainly have not original birthday thoughts - except be glad that you are having this day. And of course the lovely weather there in Oregon.

Happy Happy Birthday! A special greeting from Tallahassee where we had heavy rain today. Hope your day was sunny!

And from me too ... happy Birthday!

Aries is forever youthful, you know. And what a party you're having!

No wonder you have so many friends. You give us so much...interesting stuff every day. Plus a feast on Saturday and a concert on Sunday.

Happy B-day, girl!

Happy Birthday from the land of Oz and I hope the day proves better than you expected. It always rains on my birthday too.

Sending warm wishes your way with a grateful spirit for all you post. I am blessed by your sharing. Happy Birthday and may the year ahead - each and every day be filled with joy, laughter and love.

Late to the party, but Happy Birthday indeed! We too are having glorious warm sunny weather south of you.

Better late than never, I hope! Happy, Happy Birthday, Ronni!!

Happy Birthday, Ronni. I always believe Snopes over other sources, because they do so much research for their answers. http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp

And Brenda, stop using it in your lounge act--I don't want to have to bail you out.

I hope you have a fabulous day, for a fabulous lady!!

Helena x

Thanks for the tutorial on comments, and Happy Birthday, Ronni.

tomorrow i turn 73 so i composed myself a birthday song on my afternoon bike ride. its kinda catchy so feel free to sing along....


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