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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

"Happy Birthday!"


"What would you do if you fail to play your role on day one?" I became a father 28 years ago today and failed in my role as a dad on day one as I did not welcome my boy to this world with any words or songs such as "Happy Birthday!". Having missed the one and only real birthday of someone you love, I suppose people like me sub-consciously make good on the omission by celebrating fake "birthdays" thereafter.

And when they celebrate "birthdays", it has been quite a universal culture to sing the kindergarten "Happy Birthday" song. I believe people would not mind singing and playing the boring song as it would soon be over. "But why wouldn't I create a contemporary version of a "Happy Birthday" song that is more culturally friendly?" I challenged myself.

With the will in mind, I wrote a new "Happy Birthday" song on the "birthday" of my younger daughter and a good friend in 2016. My song has the usual "Happy Birthday" verse in English, and the chorus in Cantonese and its translation in English (as I meant to sustain the Cantonese rhymes and culture). Having recorded the sound track, I inserted my original video clips and publicly published the first edition of the music video on the same day.

To avoid possible dispute over the original authorship and ownership of my "Happy Birthday" song, I have had the music video time-stamped in a blockchain-backed platform for artists and creators called "ascribe" in 2017. I talked about it and even sang the verse of the song live during my presentation at the BIP Asia Forum 2017. The sophistication of my song is no more than:"Make good wishes - dreams you would chase. Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday To You!"

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