Wherever you go, it’s the same song.

Happy birthday to you Happy birthday to you Happy birthday, dear (name) Happy birthday to you!

Today has the possibility to be many things: a day of triumph, a day of mourning, a judgment day, a holiday. But we know with certainty that, for all the things today is, it is also a birthday. Which means that today is an occasion for the Happy Birthday song. You may, and likely will, hear it, today. In a bar after work: the Happy Birthday song. At the zoo: the Birthday Song. At school: Birthday. In prison: Birthday song. In the English-speaking world, we sing “Happy Birthday to You” more than any other song. It has also been translated into Finnish, French, Cantonese, Arabic — “Happy Birthday to You” is an international hit. It may be the modern world’s greatest hit. Maybe the greatest hit ever;… More…

 

Never has a blowjob sounded so sad. But Leonard Cohen is the sort of man who could read Mother Goose aloud and make it sound like Swinburne. The blowjob in question is rumored to have come from the lips of Janis Joplin, an extraordinary thing to ponder in the first place. The song, of course, is “Chelsea Hotel #2.” The lines in question go:

I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel, you were talking so brave and so sweet, giving me head on the unmade bed, while the limousines wait in the street.

Cohen once said, “My voice just happens to be monotonous, I’m somewhat whiney, so they are called sad songs. But you could sing them joyfully too. It’s a completely biological accident that… More…