Bobby McFerrin: Don't Worry Be Happy


"Happiest is he who expects no happiness from others. Love delights and glorifies in giving, not receiving. So learn to love and give, and not to expect anything from others.." ~Meher Baba~

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The Indian mystic and sage Meher Baba (1894–1969) often used the expression "Don't worry, be happy" when cabling his followers in the West.

In the 1960s, the expression was printed up on inspirational cards and posters of the era. In 1988, McFerrin noticed a similar poster in the apartment of the jazz duo Tuck & Patti in San Francisco. Inspired by the expression's charm and simplicity, McFerrin wrote the now famous song, which was included in the soundtrack of the movie Cocktail, and became a hit single the next year. McFerrin said, "Whenever you see a poster of Meher Baba, it usually says 'Don't worry, be happy,' which is a pretty neat philosophy in four words, I think."

The last few lines of the song also bring to mind a Sufi parable in which the lines "This too shall pass" are inscribed on a ring to serve as a reminder to be equanimous through life's journey.
 



Lyrics:

Here's a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don't worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry, be happy)
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry, be happy)

Ain't got no place to lay your head
Somebody came and took your bed
Don't worry, be happy
The land lord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don't worry, be happy
(Look at me I'm happy)

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be Happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Here I give you my phone number
When you worry call me, I make you happy
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh

Ain't got no cash, ain't got no style
Ain't got no gal to make you smile
But don't worry, be happy
'Cause when you worry your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don't worry, be happy
Don't worry, be happy now

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy

Now there, is this song I wrote
I hope you learned it note for note
Like good little children
Don't worry, be happy
Listen to what I say
In your life expect some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don't worry, be happy, be happy now

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy

Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry, don't worry, don't do it, be happy)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
(Put a smile on your face, don't bring everybody down)
Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(Don't worry)
Ooh oo-ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh
(It will soon pass, whatever it is)
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
Don't worry, be happy
Ooh oo-ooh oo-ooh
I'm not worried, I'm happy




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