Happy Days Are Here Again

Music by Milton Ager; lyrics by Jack Yellen
Written in 1929

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared


Marc De Bruyn (emdebe@village.uunet.be), August 23, 2003

"Happy Days Are Here Again" was composed by Milton Ager (1893-1979) & Jack Yellen (1892-1991) in 1929, and introduced in October, just prior to the stock market crash which heralded the start of the Great Depression. It became a song that was extraordinarily popular in the first half of the twentieth century. Like "Ain't She Sweet" (1927), it became a Tin Pan Alley standard. "Happy Days are Here Again" would also become the theme song for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's 1932 inauguration—and was synonymous (with its upbeat tempo and cheerful lyrics) with the promised emergence from the Depression and Roosevelt's New Deal—and has remained the theme song for the Democratic Party ever since. Barbra Streisand recorded a highly individual, ironic and anti-political slow version of the song on her first album in 1963. Both Ager and Yellen were elected to membership in the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

"So long sad times, go long bad times, we are rid of you at last. Howdy gay times, cloudy gray times, you are now a thing of the past. Happy days are here again, the skies above are clear again, so let's sing a song of cheer again, happy days are here again. Altogether shout it now, there's no one who can doubt it now, so let's tell the world about it now, happy days are here again. Your cares and troubles are gone, there'll be no more from now on, from now on... Happy days are here again. The skies above are clear again, so, Let's sing a song of cheer again. Happy times, happy nights, happy days... are here again!".

The tune featured in the movie "Chasing Rainbows" (MGM, 1930). "Happy Days Are Here Again" would remain a popular refrain throughout the decade as the theme of radio shows sponsored by Lucy Strike cigarettes, and it had a second cinematic life in the film "Thanks A Million" (Twentieth Century Fox, 1935).


Conceptual Continuity

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