So, are you feeling happy?
We are blessed if we can answer that with a ‘yes’ and today the focus is on ‘happy’ as it is International Day of Happiness, promoted by the United Nations. It’s encouraging us all – the whole world – to stop and celebrate happiness.
And it happens every year on the March 20. It’s appropriate that this year the date falls on a Friday – the happiest day of the week for most people.
Now I’m not sure how I feel about these designated days for this and that. Sounds a bit too North Korean for my liking – the Supreme Leader will tell you how you’re going to feel at a certain time, date and place and you will feel that way.
And the mind boggles as to how happiness day will play out in the war torn streets of Syria or among the devastated remains of what used to be a family home on the island of Vanuatu to the north east of Australia before cyclone Pam hit it last week.
Happiness, like a lot of things, is subjective. Even so, I like to think that every Friday is a happiness day for me. It’s not that I don’t love my job
or anything, but the minute that clock on the wall tells me work is finished and the weekend is here, I’m out of that building like a whippet out of a trap. I can feel the happiness all right.
It’s that Friday feeling.
Singer songwriter Pharrell Williams has bought in to International Day of Happiness too, after the success of his cheery song Happy. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a song that can’t fail to leave you uplifted. Think of Ken Dodd’s “Happiness” but updated for a 21st century audience. Wait - on second thoughts, don’t. It’s absolutely nothing like it, apart from the title.
But strangely, Pharrell Williams sometimes performs wearing a large, oversized hat, which brings to my mind a fleeting picture from my memory of Ken Dodd and his Diddymen – didn’t they wear those?
Anyway, that’s much too far back in history for my liking.
What Pharrell’s Happy song does sound like though, is Ain’t that Peculiar, an early hit by Marvin Gaye - according to the late singer’s family. They’ve been griping about that song after doing battle in the courts in the United States over another Pharrell composition, Blurred Lines, his collaboration with Robin Thicke.
The court deemed it to be too similar to Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up and now he’s facing a bill for over seven million dollars over copyright infringement. All of which doesn’t make for a happy day at all for Pharrell. Nevertheless, he’s an ambassador for United Nations International Day of Happiness and is one of the musicians creating a playlist of our favourite happy songs with the aim of promoting action on climate change.
Fair enough, but among the songs suggested already are Katrina and the Waves’ Walking on Sunshine which to me is an annoying ear worm that should have been strangled at birth.
Happiness, like our favourite songs, is subjective. And if this evening, someone asks me, “what’s yours?”, my reply will be a gin and tonic please, and I’ll have it while listening to any tune by Aretha Franklin.
Those two things will certainly contribute to my Friday happiness.
Who was the person who said: “I know every day is a gift, but where’s the receipt for Mondays? I want to exchange it for another Friday.”
Happy Happiness Day everybody.