«Happy Birthday» is a 1981 single writtenproduced, and performed by Stevie Wonder for the Motown label. Wonder, a social activist, was one of the main figures in the campaign to have the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. become a national holiday, and created this single to make the cause known. Besides being released as a single, the song also appears on Wonder’s album Hotter Than July.

The song, one of many of Wonder’s songs to feature the use of a keyboard synthesizer, features Wonder lamenting the fact that anyone would oppose the idea of a Dr. King holiday, where «peace is celebrated throughout the world» and singing to King in the chorus, «Happy birthday to you». The holiday, he proposes, would facilitate the realization of Dr. King’s dreams of integration and «love and unity for all of God‘s children».

Advertisements