In tribal pre-Roman Europe it was feared that evil spirits were particularly attracted to people on the day of their birth and to protect them, they would be visited by friends and family, who would bring good thoughts and wishes.
The Romans enthusiastically celebrated birthdays with hedonistic parties and generous presents. That’s why I love the Romans, they celebrated everything with hedonism and generosity.
Naturally the early Christians rejected the practice as inherently pagan and did not even celebrate Christ’s birth until it became marketable. Jehovah’s Witnesses still don’t as they believe the celebration of a birthdate has connections with magic, superstitions, and Paganism.
The most performed song on the planet is NOT a Beatles song but “Happy Birthday” by Patty and Mildred J. Hill written in 1893. It is not surprising that someone as well attuned as Paul McCartney honed in on this and in the middle of a jam
The song was written recorded at Abbey Road Studios on 18 September 1968. It was the only song on “The White Album” that was co-written by John and Paul. Inspired after watching the 1956 rock’n’roll movie “The Girl Can’t Help It” the lads piled in to Studio 2 and knocked it out with gay abandon. A lot of time was spent during “The White Album” arguing and moping but this is the sound of The Beatles having fun. Patti Harrison and Yoko can be heard on the bridge singing the high “Birthday” (where was Linda?) and there is lots of clattering and bashing and riffing screaming.
The ukulele version is a much more sedate affair.
Recorded on her birthday at her delightful home just outside of New York Elissa Schreiner brings a sophistication that is not present on the original recording. Whereas The Beatles version is beer and ripped jeans her birthday is all Martini’s and elegant dresses.
Happy Birthday everyone.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
A Composer, Jazz Pianist, Teacher, a dynamic force in music education, composing, performing, accompanying, supervising recording sessions and surrounding herself with children and their music for many years.
She has accompanied such notables as (Diahann Carrol) and often performs with a local group called, Three for the Show.
As a composer she’s written musical scores for “Sneaker’s” and “Once Upon a Vine”, two musicals currently being performed in regional theaters throughout the USA (Dramatic Publishing).
Elissa created the concept and music for the Grandma Rocks Holiday series, (Astor Pub.), Wrote two Jazz duet Books for young Pianists plus sheet music and a third piano book entitled. “Playland,” (Carl Fischer Publishing).
Her Children’s Pop Album entitled, “Grandma Rocks”, features thirteen original songs performed by top instrumentalists and vocalists, and produced by her son Gary Schreiner. She just completed a fun activity book as a companion and is working on a children’s book using the lyrics of the song “Grandma and Me” to illustrate the important roll that a Grandma plays in the family.
You might have seen her on A&E Biography, or read an article about her in a magazine or Newspaper. Perhaps you spotted her on Channel 12’s Daytime addition or CBS being interviewed by Toni Aiello.
Emmy Award winning, Elissa Oppenheim Schreiner
a k a Grandma Rocks, is an ageless, fun loving “kid at heart” who is definitely in tune
(oops sorry about that) with the 21st Century.
from The White Album pt 2,
released August 14, 2012
Ukulele Version #173: March 13 2012 (Elissa’s birthday)
Elissa Schreiner: Vocals and Piano
Michael Leslie: Bass
Leslie Michaels: Ukulele