Don't worry, be happy songs which are not actually "Don't worry, Be Happy"

Blazer

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It's perhaps the most polarizing song ever made, people are either going to go on a murder spree with it as the soundtrack, or they're going to sing along.

Bobby McFerrin himself couldn't care less about his evergreen, hasn't performed it for 30 years and as this clip shows, he didn't even put in an effort to learn the lyrics.

Why should he? He has since made himself a career in jazz and in classical music, what's a number one hit single compared to all the accolades he got with doing the more serious kind of music.

But that message of "Forget your troubles, let's enjoy life." is universal and there are more songs in that vein, let's list them.

Hakuna Matata is Swahili for “No worries” so that's the obvious one.

Now, the first time I became aware of THIS guy, I couldn't breathe from laughing so hard, but this song about just letting your hair down and dance like crazy does fit this thread.


The first song that came to mind when I got the idea for this thread was this one, but it had to be THIS live version because of it showcasing just what a KILLER live band these guys were.


From one musical family to another, spicy detail, the guy driving the car was Janet Jackson's first husband: James DeBarge.
 

Rowdyman

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Don't know how to spell it, but,, "Zipidee Doo Da"
"All Night Long"
"Walkin' On Sunshine" There are so many,,,,

Cheers, RM
 

charlie chitlin

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It's perhaps the most polarizing song ever made, people are either going to go on a murder spree with it as the soundtrack, or they're going to sing along.
For me, that song came out at the most frightening time of my life.
My uncle, to whom I was very close, and our friends and colleagues in the NYC theater community were dropping like flies from a new disease with no cure.
I remember thinking, "Don't Worry...Be Happy....F#$% YOU."
I've always wanted to write my own version.
How about,
You're feelin' low and you need a fix
Looks like you got to turn some tricks
Don't worry...be happy
 

Flip G

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🤪
1653753979901.jpeg


 

Blazer

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For me, that song came out at the most frightening time of my life.
My uncle, to whom I was very close, and our friends and colleagues in the NYC theater community were dropping like flies from a new disease with no cure.
I remember thinking, "Don't Worry...Be Happy....F#$% YOU."
I've always wanted to write my own version.
How about,
You're feelin' low and you need a fix
Looks like you got to turn some tricks
Don't worry...be happy
McFerrin never talked about it, but it's safe to assume he got so much backlash from that song, that it steered him away from making more easy-to-sing-along-to songs, since he OBVIOUSLY had the talent for it.

What people who gave him that backlash always forget, though, is that he had no malice in writing that song. He came up with a formula that worked, there was no "Let's piss everybody off" intent with that song.

Here's a Dutch cover version by a quite legendary DeeJay Alfred "Big Al" Lagarde. And a translation of the lyrics, which are quite a lot more sarcastic than the original.

Heeey everybody Johnny Camaro's back again
Yeah, I've been a little absent, five or so years give or take
But now I'm back again, and I saved up enough dough to record a new song for you all
It's a track meant to help you forget about your troubles
Even if you cry yourself a river, this song will have you whistling in no time
Just listen and no worries.

This is a song what I just wrote
If you hear it, do please sing along
Don't worry, be happy.
Hey, every person on earth goes through grief
Who cares, save that grief for tomorrow
Dude, you shouldn't worry. Just be happy!
And that's a fact, a closed case!

(The choir begins)
Hold on a minute, you guys, aren't you going to whistle?
I guess not, they refuse to whistle.
Perhaps they've lost their will to whistle?
I guess that must be the case, well forget it then, on to the next verse.
Listen and quiver.

There will be times when you won't have a single dime.
No penny to scratch your butt.
But don't worry, dude! (And what do you say in reply?)
Just go and be happy, you know?
With all those worries, you'll start to develop wrinkles.
Your face will crumple up completely
But don't worry man, Johnny will make it into a joke and poke the dragon with it all.

(The Choir comes back in)
So, are you boys going to whistle again?
Nope, they still refuse to do so.
Yo man, what am I to do with that?
Perhaps I should jab them in their BLEEP, BLEEP?
I don't know, that might help.
But then again, I'll just take it from their saldo
I won't give a rats.
Ooh, there's another verse coming.

Hey girl, don't let anybody screw you over.
There's much better opportunities in this world for you.
Don't worry and just be a happy girl.
Hey, that also goes for all the boys, right, guys?
Is there a parking ticket on your windscreen?
Who cares, that can easily be solved, can't it?
Don't worry man, just be happy, who really cares about that anyway?

(The choir comes back in)
Seriously, why aren't you guys whistling?
I hired these dudes to whistle, but they only whistled in the beginning.
And now they simply refuse to whistle.
What am I going to do here?
I put my entire life savings into this here recording.
I spend a fortune here, and they just screw it all up!
Oh well, I'll just release this without the whistling then.
That Ooh-ing they're doing is pretty funny too, come to think of it

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, my landlord called me this morning.
He went "Your rent is late man!" and I told him
"Ah, thanks for mentioning that, I'll make sure to tell him when he shows up!"
And he was going to evict me.
Oh well, that at least will solve the problems I have with my wife.
I must have been through thousands of tea towels in my marriage
She always told me to repurpose them
As handkerchiefs and such, you know?
 

charlie chitlin

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McFerrin never talked about it, but it's safe to assume he got so much backlash from that song, that it steered him away from making more easy-to-sing-along-to songs, since he OBVIOUSLY had the talent for it.

What people who gave him that backlash always forget, though, is that he had no malice in writing that song. He came up with a formula that worked, there was no "Let's piss everybody off" intent with that song.
Well...using a formula I've often used with my kids...
Maybe he didn't TRY to piss people off, but he didn't try NOT to, either.
 




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