Are Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” words a sign of happier times?

pharrell williams,happy,song,music,Suzan St Maur,,how to write better,wordsSongs and their lyrics – like Pharrell Williams‘ “Happy” – often reflect the mood of a country or now, given our “global village” technology, large chunks of the world. Released in November 2013 and used as a soundtrack for the movie Despicable Me 2, Pharrell Williams‘ song has become an anthem picked up by millions.

Surely this cannot be a surprise…

Here in our cushy western cultures we’ve been kicked out of our comfort zones for a good few years now due to “recession” caused by, well, let’s not go there right now.

But suffice to say few if any of us have been particularly “happy” considering the way our savings have been drying up, our earnings smacked in the teeth, and our governments increasingly throwing their hands up in the air and failing to deliver truly workable solutions.

After nearly 6 years of recession, it’s about time to get “happy”

A few people in my immediate circles spit fur and feathers when I mention Pharrell Williams’ masterpiece. The majority of those are young academics like my beloved son who becomes apoplectic when you suggest that anything other than fiendishly complex economic models could make the world a better place.

Maybe, maybe not. In the meantime we ordinary mortals need to grab hold of whatever optimism, musical or otherwise, we can find. And Pharrell Williams’ jolly track “Happy” does the trick for me.

Not the most literary choice of words…

The verses don’t exactly grab you by the throat, if only because (speaking as a writer, ya see…) I can understand the need for poetic rhythm perhaps at the expense of logic? Here they are…

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care baby by the way

Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time

The “hook” – read “chorus” – that says it all

It’s in the chorus, or “hook,” as we call it these days, that Pharrell Williams seems to have captured the current need for us all to get “happy.” Catchy sounds, words that grab your mood without asking you to think too much, just get dancing, tapping, clicking or whatever you can do.

I take my hat off to Pharrell Williams: he has cheered me up recently when I have felt down. He has cheered up at least one cancer patient I know who is currently going through palliative treatment for metastatic disease … to the point that she blogged about how she had bobbed along to the music and forgot her troubles for a while.

Pharrell has inspired hundreds if not thousands of groups all over the western world to produce videos for good causes, using his “Happy” song as the soundtrack and inspiration.

Have a look at this video, made by a community just 15 miles down the highway from where I live, raising awareness for their museum project…

OK, this is not exactly Beethoven, but…

Who cares. Music is about uniting people who might otherwise not be uniteable. This works. So let’s do it.

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
blog,writing,news,blogging,business,Suzan St Maur,,how to write betterClap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

Do you think it’s time for us to stop worrying so much, and re-learn how to be “happy?”

Please share your thoughts…





  1. I’ll never slam something that tries to spread a good sentiment. Remember Bobby McFarren’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”? Same effect. It doesn’t have to be Shakespeare to invoke just the right upbeat tone and help us take on what the day throws at us.

  2. Absolutely right, Eli. But you’d be amazed at how many people claim to find this innocent, cheerful pop song “irritating.” Why, I’m not sure … pessimism? Or is it just not “cool” to be happy and say so?