The Secret of Happiness IV

More about the secret of happiness, you ask? Transitioning this series of posts from SpongeBob Smiley’s magic formula for happiness … to happiness as something one must choose and cultivate … to Dr. Viktor Frankl’s view of happiness as a fanciful American phenomenon, one might imagine these three posts cover the spectrum reasonably well … but one might be wrong! Too much data has yet to be considered!

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to oldies but goodies night.

To start, here’s a musical number specifically addressed to the gents. Permit me to introduce Jimmy Soul whose 1963 Billboard Hot 100 chart-topping hit was titled If You Wanna Be Happy. Soul had a relatively short career, the next best thing to a one-hit-wonder − he was a two-hit wonder. Here are the lyrics in case you want to sing along.

For men who’ve already jumped the shark by marrying beautiful women … well, I suppose there might be other perks, but − if Jimmy Soul’s song is to be believed − don’t count on happiness being within reach.

Perhaps those guys may find solace in Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 Song of the Year / Record of the Year / number one pop hit, Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Here are more lyrics for your sing-along pleasure.

McFerrin’s hit song became popular across the globe, clearly due to its catchy, carefree tune, but also because its positive message resonated.

Now, here’s a change of pace (from my oldies theme). This song from the IMPACT Repertory Theater delivers a delightfully upbeat tune as well as being performed by energetic young people who definitely enjoy their music and presentation.

Doesn’t this video make you want to get up and dance?!

Finally, let’s return once more to the oldies. What oldies musical retrospective would be complete without a nod at Del Shannon? This version of Happiness wasn’t a runaway hit (get it? Runaway?) for Shannon, but the song still made it as cut number three on the Little Town Flirt album.

There are numerous other oldies that might have been featured in this post. I passed on The BeatlesHappiness Is A Warm Gun, not so much because of the drug references but primarily because guns and happiness don’t represent an acceptable duo in today’s politically correct culture.

Happiness Loves Company (Red Hot Chili Peppers) is too new. Lee Ann Womack’s song Happiness − a good song, but again, not an oldie. My Happiness by Connie Francis qualifies as an oldie, but I’m not exactly a fan of her music. There were others:  Roberta Flack’s Happiness, the Happiness cut from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and many more. (Visit the iTunes store to gauge the abundance of tunes about happiness.)

Set to music, happiness frequently consorts with love. There’s sufficient justification, in my view, for that coupling. Consider the words of Jesus in John 15:11-13 (ERV):  I have told you these things so that you can have the true happiness that I have. I want you to be completely happy. This is what I command you: Love each other as I have loved you. The greatest love people can show is to die for their friends.”

Being willing to die for one’s friends? That kind of conscious, unconditional love − as Jesus taught in word and deed − is surely the path to true happiness.

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