Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
Because I’m happy
Somewhere, between 2013 and 2014, Pharrell Williams’ relevance rating went from a 2.0 on the Richter scale all the way up to a 10. Now, there’s no such thing as a relevance rating, and the Richter scale actually measures earthquake magnitudes, but you get the point.
Followers of hip hop, or popular music in general, know that Pharrell has been around for a long, long time, particularly as a member of the band N.E.R.D. My earliest memory of him is from 2004 when he collaborated with Snoop Dogg on his hit single, “Drop it Like it’s Hot.” (Yup, that was 10 years ago.)
Pharrell is more of a behind-the scenes-guy, as a successful producer as opposed to a performer, and his meteoric rise in popularity over the last 15 months can be directly attributed to three songs: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which he produced, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which he co-wrote and sings, and “Happy,” his own song that is dominating the airwaves, and has topped not only the American charts, but the charts in nineteen other countries.
He also became the spokesman for Daft Punk at the Grammys — considering that they don’t talk — he performed “Happy” at the Academy Awards (it’s on the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2), and received a lot of attention for wearing his Elmer Fudd-like hat to both ceremonies, which was later auctioned to Arby’s for more than $40,000.
Also, his music video for “Happy” became the first 24-hour music video ever made.
In other words, dude’s killing it.
It’s easy to see why people like the song. it’s a — for lack of a better word — happy song. Too often songs are written about topics that do not match its overall tone and mood. But “Happy” is an almost impossible song to listen to and not want to snap your fingers to and fro while swaying from side to side. I’m doing it right now, and that’s just because I’m thinking about the song. I’m also on drugs.
(I’m not on drugs.)
It also doesn’t hurt when a group of adorable schoolchildren perform your already happy song, only to somehow make it even happier:
So there’s that.
In fact, two songs that were performed at this year’s Academy Awards are presently in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, with the other being Frozen’s “Let it Go,” sung by Idina Menzel, also known as Adele Nazeem.
But I think Pharrell is actually pretty brilliant. People like upbeat songs. They like to listen to them while walking down the street on a sunny day, imagining that they’re being surrounded by a chorus of happy people and forest animals. Think “You Make my Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oates in the movie 500 Days of Summer.
So Pharrell was like, “How about I make a very cheerful, happy song about … being happy?”
And he did. And now he’s laughing his ass off all the way to the top of the Billboard charts.
Yeah, I’d be happy too.