The Unbirthday Song
Statistics prove, prove that you've one birthday,
one birthday ev'ry year.
But there are three hundred and sixty four
That is why we're gathered here to cheer.
A very merry unbirthday to you, to you.
A very merry unbirthday to you,
It's great to drink to someone and I guess that you will do.
A very merry unbirthday to you 1
A very merry unbirthday
A very merry unbirthday
Let's all congratulate us with another cup of tea
A very merry unbirthday to me
Now blow the candle out, my dear
And make your wish come true
A very merry unbirthday to you2
As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the best songs in Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. I had the long-playing record and the accompanying book as a child, and I just about wore it out, listening and singing along. The original conversation about unbirthdays is between Alice and Humpty Dumpty, in Chapter 6 of Through the Looking Glass:
”I mean, what is an un-birthday present?"
"A present given when it isn't your birthday, of course."
Alice considered a little. "I like birthday presents best," she said at last.
"You don't know what you're talking about!" cried Humpty Dumpty. "How many days are there in a year?"
"Three hundred and sixty-five," said Alice.
"And how many birthdays have you?"
"And if you take one from three hundred and sixty-five, what remains?"
"Three hundred and sixty-four, of course."
Humpty Dumpty looked doubtful. "I'd rather see that done on paper," he said.
Alice couldn't help smiling as she took out her memorandum-book, and worked the sum for him:
Humpty Dumpty took the book, and looked at it carefully. "That seems to be done right -- " he began.
"You're holding it upside down!" Alice interrupted.
"To be sure I was!" Humpty Dumpty said gaily, as he turned it round for him. "I thought it looked a little queer. As I was saying, that seems to be done right -- though I haven't time to look it over thoroughly just now -- and that shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents -- "
"Certainly,"' said Alice.
"And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!" 3
1 (No author listed) http://www.stlyrics.com/lyrics/aliceinwonderland/theunbirthdaysong.htm
2Music: Sammy Fain / Lyrics: Bob Hilliard
3 Lewis Carroll, Through The Looking-Glass (And What Alice Found There), 1872.