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Ultimate Happy Birthday Playlist: 54 Popular Songs to Celebrate Your Special Day

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

What's a birthday without a playlist of birthday songs?  We've got a long list of pop, rock, and country songs to help you celebrate another year of awesomeness.

What's a birthday without a playlist of birthday songs? We've got a long list of pop, rock, and country songs to help you celebrate another year of awesomeness.

Happy Birthday! Let's Celebrate YOU

When it comes to birthdays, there are two types of people: those who celebrate the occasion with gusto and those who are so low-key they barely recognize the special event. I hope you're more of the first type. After all, birthdays are the day that YOU entered the world. Your birth instantly transformed this world (or at least a small corner of it). Parents worried more and slept less because of you. They probably still do.

If you have a special friend or loved one with an upcoming birthday, why not mark the occasion with a special gift, a custom playlist that celebrates their existence? Here is a long list of songs to get you started.

Reader Poll

1. "Forever Young" by Rod Stewart

A birthday is the perfect occasion to provide encouragement and express support for someone you love. This 1988 song does just that, as the protagonist offers best wishes for a lifetime that is filled with

  • sunshine and happiness
  • good fortune
  • wisdom
  • unconditional love and
  • a true and dignified presence.

What better wishes could there be?

2. "Birthday" by Katy Perry

In this uptempo, R-rated hit from 2014, Katy Perry promises to dance and party all night with the birthday boy:

We're living the life
We're doing it right
You're never gonna be unsatisfied
If you wanna dance
If you want it all
You know I'm the girl that you should call.

"The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age." - Lucille Ball, American actress

"The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly and lie about your age." - Lucille Ball, American actress

3. "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby" by The Tune Weavers

Even if you were born decades after this song's 1957 release, you've probably heard the tune. A heartbroken young woman phones her ex-boyfriend on his birthday. She tells him that even though he's moved on to a new sweetheart, she recalls the good old days, today and every day. Sounds like somebody's stuck in the past!

4. "Your Song" by Elton John

Although not considered a traditional birthday song, this tender ballad from 1970 is a heartfelt way to say to celebrate the mere existence of someone special: "How wonderful life is while you're in the world."

"Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new." - Sammy Haggar, American rocker

"Every year on your birthday, you get a chance to start new." - Sammy Haggar, American rocker

Fun & Creative Ideas for Commemorating Your Birthday

 

 

 

go skydiving or hot air ballooning

enjoy go karting, bowling, playing paint ball or laser tagging with friends

book a segway tour of your favorite city

pick something off your bucket list

road trip!

celebrate with a "birthday week" instead of one day

have a spa day with friends: massage, manicures, pedicures, relaxation

go to a karaoke bar

buy lottery scratchoff tickets -- a $1 ticket for each year you're celebrating

get your fortune told

give to your favorite charity and tell them why you're donating

treat yourself to an annual physical because it's good for you

rent a sports car or limo

go kayaking or horseback riding with friends

volunteer at the animal shelter

get a formal portrait taken, alone or with friends or family

be a kid again: go to a planetarium, zoo, or amusement park

paint some pottery

have a themed costume party

go to the shooting range for some lessons or practice

go to a museum or tourist spot in your area that you've never been to

thank your parents

try one food you've never eaten but always wondered about

make a list of this past year's achievements, plus your goals for the next year

5. "Sixteen Candles" by Franki Valli and The Four Seasons

This 1958 song features a love stricken young man who wishes his 16-year-old girlfriend, his "teenage queen," a happy birthday. He compliments her bright eyes and her beauty.

6. "Never Grow Up" by Taylor Swift

If only we could freeze time at the best moments. An ode to innocence and the carefree bliss of childhood, this 2010 song captures the bittersweet struggle between wanting to be independent and maintaining the cocoon of childhood. As the protagonist offers advice to a child she loves, reality hits her: "I just realized everything I have is someday gonna be gone."

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." -Dr. Seuss, American children's author

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." -Dr. Seuss, American children's author

7. "Here's To Never Growing Up" by Avril Lavigne

At some point, we've all believed we were invincible and ageless. We celebrated the wild abandon of youth. This 2013 song captures the rebellion of late adolescence and the belief that "we don't ever stop, and we're never gonna change."

8. "Happy Birthday To You" by New Kids On the Block

Talk about a song that will make the birthday person feel valued! This song from 1990 gives the assurance that age is just a number, so you might as well live it up:

This day only comes once every year
Because you're so wonderful
With each and every thing you do.

"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." - Truman Capote, American writer.  Go write your own third act, and make it grand!

"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." - Truman Capote, American writer. Go write your own third act, and make it grand!

9. "Happy Birthday" by Carly Simon

There comes a time in adulthood when you have to give up vices or at least cut back. After all, you're not getting any younger. In this 1990 song, the protagonist rattles off all of the things that growing older have cost her: caffeine, desserts, sunbathing ... .

She laments, "We're too good to be happy, too straight to be sad, so just blow out the candles, Happy Birthday."

10. "Happy Birthday" by The Click Five

Have you ever been a day or more late in wishing someone special a happy birthday? This 2007 song is about belated birthday wishes that come from a friend who is traveling. He phones belated birthday wishes and an apology, all wrapped up in one.

11. "Raise Your Glass" by Pink

Offer up a toast to the special birthday person with this 2010 R-rated song by Pink. She celebrates the loud crowd, the underdogs and urges everyone to "raise your glass" and dance into the morning.

12. "I Ain't As Good As I Once Was" by Toby Keith

Celebrate a milestone birthday or just have a good laugh with a the birthday person using this fun 2005 country song. It recounts that while

I ain't as good as I once was,
(That's just the cold, hard truth ... huh)
I still throw a few back,
Talk a little smack,
When I'm feeling bullet proof ... .

It's a tribute to those who grow old but refuse to grow up.

When the candles cost more than the cake, it is time to realize you are getting old.

When the candles cost more than the cake, it is time to realize you are getting old.

Reader Perspective

13. "It's Your Birthday!" by R. Kelly

In this song from 2004, R. Kelly promises his birthday girl a special night out on the town dancing. He promises that "your gift will be something you will remember for the rest of your days" and says there will be "nothing but VIP."

Don't just count your years, make your years count." - George Meredith, English poet

Don't just count your years, make your years count." - George Meredith, English poet

14."Trip Around the Sun" by Jimmy Buffett and Martina McBride

For those who slept through science class, one trip around the sun is an entire year, and it'll earn you one more candle on that birthday cake. This 2004 song acknowledges that although some years can be challenging, it's important to just appreciate your ride around the sun.

15. "Birthday Morning" by The Association

This song from 1968 is ethereal. It celebrates dawn and everything that is right about the anniversary of your birth.

Got the feel of sunrise in her hair
God unwinds her halo
To the stairway
To the moon
Just for this morning
A birthday morning
God bless the morning.

Celebrate Another Year Of Life

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." - Oprah Winfrey, American television host

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." - Oprah Winfrey, American television host

16. "Birthday" by Destiny's Child

Setting up a special night for her birthday boyfriend, the protagonist in this 1998 song is putting all the moves on her lover. Forget sending out the invitations, because she's planning a party for two, filled with birthday hanky-panky.

17. "Birthday" by The Beatles

Songs don't get too much simpler than this often-played classic from 1968. It's a recognition of a friend's birthday and an invitation to dance and party.

18. "Birthday" by Selena Gomez

In this basic 2013 song, Selena Gomez is looking for a good excuse for letting it all hang out while partying. Sounds like someone had too much party punch:

Tell 'em that it's my birthday
When I party like that
Every night's my birthday
They don't know, so it's okay.

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." - William Shakespeare

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." - William Shakespeare

19. "Happy Birthday, Darlin'" by Conway Twitty

Featured in this 1979 country song is a man who wants to give his wife a gift by taking away the trust issues between them. He wants to replace suspicion, lonely moments and doubt with faith and proclamations of love. In the end, he wants her to be able to tell others that, "He didn’t give me anything but he sure took a lot of things away."

20. "Having A Party" by Rod Stewart

In 1993, Rod Stewart remade this classic 1962 hit. Although not specifically a birthday song, it really fits the occasion, as it celebrates good clean fun: dancing, popcorn, cokes, and togetherness.

21. "Don't Stop" by Fleetwood Mac

“Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.” This 1977 hit is a hopeful, forward-looking song that urges the audience to forget the past and concentrate on all the promise of the future:

Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow,
Don't stop, it'll soon be here,
It'll be, better than before,
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.

22. "My Wish For You" by Rascal Flatts

If you want to wish the special birthday person all the good things that life has to offer, this 2006 country crossover hit is perfect. It expresses hope that they'll have:

  • big dreams
  • few worries or regrets
  • clear choices
  • a strong character and
  • strength to make it through life's difficult times.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live." - Irish Blessing

"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live." - Irish Blessing

23. "Birthday Song" by Don McLean

This mellow song from 1972 is a birthday love song from someone who isn't used to expressing what he feels. He makes an exception, however, on his sweetheart's birthday:

You see I love the way you love me
Love the way you smile at me,
I love the way we live this life we're in.

24. "Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah)" by Andy Grammer

After going through tough times, the guy in this 2014 hit has finally caught a break. All his dreams are coming true and he's feeling on top of the world. Remind the birthday person that no matter how old he or she is, it's good to be alive. And it sure beats the alternative.

Tim Hamilton via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0, modified by FlourishAnyway

Tim Hamilton via Flickr, CC-BY-SA 2.0, modified by FlourishAnyway

Even More Songs To Celebrate Birthdays

Do you have a suggestion for our Ultimate Happy Birthday playlist? Share it with us in the Comments Section below.

SongArtistYear Released

25. Happy

Pharrell Williams

2014

26. Celebration

Kool & the Gang

1980

27. Happy Birthday

Loretta Lynn

1965

28. It's My Life

Bon Jovi

2000

29. It's Your Birthday

Luke

1994

30. My Next 30 Years

Tim McGraw

1999

31. Happy Birthday

N Sync

2000

32. Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby

Ronnie Milsap

1986

33. Birthday Song

Carole King

2000

34. Happy Birthday

Lenny Kravitz

2014

35. Happy Birthday to Me

Cracker

1992

36. Like It's Her Birthday

Good Charlotte

2010

37. Birthday Sex

Jeremih

2009

38. Birthday

All Time Low

2018

39. Happy Birthday

Stevie Wonder

1981

40. Happy Birthday

Altered Images

1981

41. Happy Birthday Blues

B.B. King

1979

42. Happy Birthday Blues

Kathy Young and The Innocents

1961

43. Happy Birthday

Weird Al Yankovic

1991

44. Good Feeling

Flo Rida

2011

45. In Da Club

50 Cent

2003

46. Older

They Might Be Giants

1999

47. What's My Age Again

Blink-182

1999

48. Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen

Neil Sedaka

1961

49. Birthday

Pixie Lott

2011

50. Happy Birthday

Altered Images

1981

51. Sixteen Candles

The Crests

1959

52. Birthday

Twista

2009

53. I Don't Want to Grow Up

The Ramones

1995

54. Birthday

Anne-Marie

2020

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: Does Fleetwood Mac sing any birthday songs?

Answer: Aside from the remarkable number of "Happy Birthday" tributes on YouTube from one or more Fleetwood Mac band member to another, the only song that I'm familiar with that would possibly fit that category would be "Landslide" (1975). It certainly is a contemplative song that reflects one's thoughts about aging and facing all that life throws at you:

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?

Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Well, I've been afraid of changing

'Cause I've built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I'm getting older too. ...

It seems to be more about aging and growing older. If songs about aging are what you're looking for, you can find some appropriate songs for a birthday on the Songs About Aging and Growing Older playlist: http://hub.me/akHV1 . Some are funny, some poignant, others upbeat. You'll have to select them from the list based on your purpose, but there are many to choose from, including "Landslide".

I hope this helped.

© 2016 FlourishAnyway

Comments

Yves on November 02, 2018:

Thanks! I'm looking forward to tomorrow's festivities!!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 02, 2018:

Yves - November seems to be the month for birthdays! Happy Birthday! Enjoy your special day! May the year ahead be the best year ever for you.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on November 02, 2018:

Tim,

Well, I certainly wish you an early Happy Birthday! May everything you're hoping for come true when you blow out those birthday candles. Thanks for stopping by and for the kind support.

Yves on November 02, 2018:

Hi Flourish! I came across this article/playlist in my feed. How apropos! Tomorrow is my birthday! Woohoo!! I like the idea of celebrating for a week or a month, but in my case, I'm pretty good with a weekend, at this juncture. So, tonight, I'm eating all my favorite snacks and drinking my favorite drink. Later I'll watch Netflix....which I just got. LOL.

Anyhoo, tomorrow I'll be ready for my big day! But let me say that my pick on your playlist is "My Wish" by Rascall Flatts. That's how I see my life, more or less. I'll keep living it that way, but hopefully, even better!

Thanks for the inspiration, Flourish. Your playlists have something for everyone, and I just love that. :)

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on November 02, 2018:

Hi, Flourish,

I stumbled upon your great playlist since I am a Nov. baby. I was wondering what songs I could have at my party. (Well, not a big one unless Meghan comes up with a surprise.) anyway.)

I love the Cool and the Gang song: Celebrate. I skated my feet off to that song in my youth.

This is a great playlist, and many of the songs I didn't know. So thanks for broadening my knowledge of birthday songs.

I have a song for you. This song was originally written for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but it's a great birthday song from Stevy Wonder called Happy Birthday:

"You know it doesn't make much sense

There ought to be a law against

Anyone who takes offense

At a day in your celebration

Cause we all know in our minds

That there ought to be a time

That we can set aside

To show just how much we love you

And I'm sure you would agree

It couldn't fit more perfectly

Than to have a world party on the day you came to be."

It's a great dance number, too.

Love your list, Flourish. Never stop.

You are the HP song bird.

Much respect and admiration,

Tim

Bhagiratsinh on April 27, 2018:

Happy birthday

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 12, 2016:

Larry - Always glad to have you stop by! Have a great weekend!

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on March 12, 2016:

Always enjoy your lists.

Great read!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 08, 2016:

Peggy - Thanks for stopping by. I never quite realized it either until I started researching! Have a great week!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 08, 2016:

I never realized that there were so many songs related to birthdays. Great list you have compiled. My favorite photo was the polar bear with red ball. :)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on March 04, 2016:

ezzly - Glad I could help you celebrate your brother's birthday! Thanks for the compliment!

ezzly on March 03, 2016:

Great ideas , you have such awesome taste in music, especially love Pink. Might have to pinch this playlist for my brothers 40 th ;)

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 27, 2016:

Sha - Happy Birthday! I'm behind in my HP reading, too, but will definitely catch up. I hope you are doing well and have special plans for celebrating your birthday in style.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 25, 2016:

Flourish, I'm almost three weeks behind in my HP reading, but the timing for this one is perfect, as my birthday is a week from today.

No birthday list would be complete without The Beatles "Birthday Song". It's so happy and makes you want to get up and boogie. I would have liked to have seen a video by all of The Beatles, though - not just McCartney. Enjoyed the hell out of it nevertheless.

Rod Stewart's video is very sweet. I wonder if that's his son. There sure seemed to be a lot of love and trust between them.

Loved this hub, as always, Flourish!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 15, 2016:

Faith - So glad you stopped by, and a belated Happy Birthday!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 14, 2016:

What a wonderful Happy Birthday playlist, Flourish, especially being I just celebrated my birthday on January 29 ...how did know LOL There are a lot of new ones here to me. Blessings always

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 14, 2016:

MsDora - Thank you for reading! I hope you've had a wonderful weekend.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 14, 2016:

As usual, many of these are songs I don't know; but I recognize some of the artist and I like their sound so I will listen to their songs today, starting now. Thanks for another list!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 13, 2016:

Frank - Thanks so much, friend. You have a wonderful Valentine's weekend.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on February 13, 2016:

hi Flourish I love when you do the playlist.. some of these songs.. yeah perfect.. your hub... perfect :) awesome.....

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 12, 2016:

Audrey - It's such a beautiful, heartfelt song and a simple way to let someone know how you feel. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 12, 2016:

Nell - Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed this list!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 12, 2016:

Martie - I'm glad this is useful. Sometimes the most meaningful gifts are pretty inexpensive.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 12, 2016:

Genna - I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Have a great weekend!

Audrey Howitt from California on February 11, 2016:

Your Song is still one of my favs --it was the first album I bought!

Nell Rose from England on February 11, 2016:

Another great list, history and music! love it!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on February 11, 2016:

Now this is a most useful hub! I always look for songs that suit a specific friend. You presented a great variety. Thanks, Flourish :)

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on February 10, 2016:

Oh, I love this series. My favorites on your list are, once again, Elton John (I love "Your Song"), and Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, Rascal Flatts. Wonderful music!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 10, 2016:

pinto2011 - Thank you for reading!

Subhas from New Delhi, India on February 10, 2016:

Now, I am going to stump many with your compilation.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 09, 2016:

Carb Diva - A belated happy birthday to you! Some of the best songs for birthdays don't even mention the word. Elton John's is one of them.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on February 09, 2016:

Flourish, I never thought of Elton John's song as a birthday tribute, but I LOVE it! This is a great list--and my birthday was just last week, so you are right on time girl. Thanks for a fun hub.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 09, 2016:

Linda - Thank you for your kind words. Have a wonderful week!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 08, 2016:

Thanks for sharing some more songs in this entertaining hub, Flourish. I always discover music that is new to me in your playlist hubs.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 08, 2016:

swalia - As always, thank you for reading. Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 08, 2016:

savvydating - I sure did think about Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." It was so bad of her. Wouldn't you love to know the First Lady's reaction afterwards? Thanks for stopping by.

Yves on February 08, 2016:

Wow! I had no idea so many birthday songs existed! My vote goes to Rascall Flatts. Dare I say it....Thank you for leaving out "Happy Birthday, Mr. President." Something about JFK being fine with the whole sordid affair thing rubs me the wrong way.

Anyhow, I enjoy all of your lists--always...no matter who you choose, it's always good fun!

Shaloo Walia from India on February 08, 2016:

A delightful hub with great collection of songs!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 08, 2016:

Bill - That's one of the only Beatles songs I can stand! It's funny how people can be so different. Thanks for reading!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 08, 2016:

Shyron - Thank you for the addition. That sure is one way to wish someone Happy Birthday, isn't it? Have a great week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 08, 2016:

Ann - I agree that birthdays should be celebrated and recognized. Why not make someone feel special on their day? They have changed many lives just by being in this world. Thank you for the kind sentiments. Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on February 08, 2016:

Devika - Thanks for the kind kudos. Have a great week!

Ann Carr from SW England on February 08, 2016:

I love birthdays, mine and everyone else's! You can't do a thing about the passing time so why not celebrate your own special day and another day spent on this earth? I'm just a big kid really!

Some great songs here, even though I didn't know most of them. Birthdays are special so we need special songs.

Great hub - I love these themed song hubs you do so well.

Ann

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 08, 2016:

Awesome! I like you ideas and great memories from these choices.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on February 07, 2016:

Flourish, I love all the video songs you have here and I have one to add. It is called "Happy Birthday" by Loretta Lynn.

Well, I know where you're going and who's gonna meet you there I know how late you'll be coming home but guess who doesn't care Tonight I'll step out too and since I won't be here Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

My best wishes may be early but I'm not sticking around To bake a cake for your birthday while you're out running around She can help you celebrate, may she bring you lots of cheer Happy birthday, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I love this

Blessings and Hugs dear friend.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 07, 2016:

I absolutely adore the Beatles and I have always hated that song. lol Great list nonetheless.