On this, the 20th day of March and on International Happiness day no less, it's time to bury "Happy." It's been eight months and seven days since we heard Pharrell's Motown melodies slip and slide between those handclaps and into our ears. Stop Googling — the song was featured on the Despicable Me soundtrack, and the movie premiered in the U.S. last July.
But age isn't the only reason we should consider retiring the song. Trend killers are. "Happy" is now at a point where old politicians are dancing to it in hopes to inspire viral vidoes — a true sign that the song's lifecycle is over. Here's how we got here:
July 3, 2013
Despicable Me 2 comes out. People like the movie. It makes a lot of money. But no one is like: "Yo, man. I love that song from Despicable Me 2." The lyric video to the song was actually published almost one month before the movie's premiere:
November 10-25, 2013
"Happy" and Pharrell begin to make its first dent in Google's searches.
Pharrell releases his music video for the song on November 21, 2013, and then promotes his 24-hour "Happy" music video:
At this point, "Happy" is still fresh and likable. Watching people dance goofy is great, and not unlike that one Sara Bareilles song that Katy Perry bit off.
The lip dub videos begin:
January 12, 2014
"Happy" enters Billboard's Top 100. Your parents have probably heard of "Happy" at this point.
January 16, 2014
"Happy" gets an Oscar nomination. It sneaks by, because "Let It Go" fans are, at this point, threatening violence if "Let It Go" does not win. The first "acoustic" versions start to appear on YouTube:
February 16, 2014
The NBA All-Star Game uses "Happy" in a montage. Some players dance adorably, like Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors:
And Kevin Love:
Unfortunately, noted trend killer LeBron James (see: the Harlem Shake) participates in the "Happy" dance-along. People have strong feelings about LeBron James:
March 2, 2014
Pharrell takes "Happy" to the Oscars. Lupita Nyong'o, the night's darling, dances along with him adorably:
At this point, the only people have not heard of "Happy" are ones who are recluses.
March 4, 2014
Here come the YouTube "artists":
And the flashmobs:
And a capella groups:
March 18, 2014
Glee releases the Kraken. Nothing is sacred anymore:
March 19, 2014:
Congressman John Lewis adorably dances to some song he just heard:
March 20, 2014
The second International Day of Happiness is celebrated and "Happy" is its theme song. Wills are broken, and the song is now but a dry husk of melody to its truest fans. Google's trends show that "Happy" has lost its Google heat, meaning people aren't as enthusiastic about it anymore. Yet the videos and own renditions keep on coming.
March 20, 2014 (Afternoon)
Clearly, it's time to retire "Happy." It's a lovely song, but it has had a very full life and many blissful moments. Maybe we can kill it before we hate it.
Also, the more attention spent on "Happy" means less attention to some pretty good Pharrell songs not named "Happy." For example: "It Girl" and "Come Get It Bae" aren't getting the love they should. And finally, the more we can't get over "Happy" the more Pharrell deprives us of the Nina Simone tribute album that he should be creating.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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