I'd Rather Be Happy

by Teresa Jennings

No one chooses to be miserable on purpose. Yet, who can say that they are happy all the time? Probably very few of us. But that doesn't mean that happiness is totally elusive or that it's out of our control. On the contrary, the amount of happiness we have in our lives can be mostly connected with our state of mind. People who consciously choose to think happier thoughts are more likely to have happier lives. These notions are covered in the script that leads up to the song, "I'd Rather Be Happy," which is the third song of the revue. They are also part of the lyrics of the song. In fact, the lyrics remind us that a happy perspective starts with how we feel about ourselves: Above all else, I'll love myself.

The tune is set in a pop/rock style that has a bit of a retro flavor, which you will probably recognize. But the tracks on the Performance/Accompaniment recording are decidedly contemporary in their use of synthesized sounds (like the electronic claps) combined with traditional real instruments (like a real drummer playing real drums). We found that using a blend like this is appealing to our own young singers in the recording studio, so we're pretty sure your singers will like it, too.

The song isn't particularly difficult, though it does have four verses to learn. If you find this challenging for your performers, feel free to repeat the first two verses on the D.S. Letting your kids sing along with our kids on the recording is also an option you might favor for a more confident performance.

You'll note that we have marked a number of scoops on the melody. These are optional, but if you use them they help to stylize the piece more appropriately. Our singers give a good example of how easy it should come off.

Despite its place in this revue, you may notice that this song does not necessarily have to be sung in this context. Given its high enjoyability factor, you could certainly pull it out and use it in other venues.

Though you do not need either of these, we have two neat extras that go along with this song. You can find both of them free at our web site MusicK8.com (See details on page 77.)

The first thing is a movement video, put together by our choreographer, Melissa Schott. She demonstrates suggested movement both in pieces and all put together, using some young dancers to help set the example. There is also a downloadable PDF of the instructions for movement. As with all of our resources, you may adapt as needed.

The second extra you will find at our web site is a solo version of the song. One of our studio singers, Grace Morgan, volunteered to share how much fun this could be to do as a solo feature! If you have a singer who excels at pop vocalizing too, by all means invite her to do the same. Keep it all solo, or mix and match, letting some of your other singers join in here and there for back-up.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.