30 Days, 30 Songs: Day 9 – Happy is a simple song

Welcome to my new musical series for 2021, “30 Days, 30 Songs.” Follow me this year as I blatantly steal this Instagram challenge all in the name of good music and good fun. Every other week, I’ll cover one or two or more topics from the list (see here for a refresher), allowing them to percolate over musical memories, nostalgia, and whatever else comes to mind in the moment. And now, gimme a beat boys to free my soul, I wanna get lost in this rock and roll!


Day 9: A song that makes you happy

A song that makes me happy is “A Hole in the Bucket.”

“Happiness” is a very confusing construct, especially when applied to something as lasting and ephemeral as music. Case in point, upon first thinking about this seemingly benign topic, only about a million songs came to mind. I pinpointed a few and had a few quick listening sessions on YouTube. Every song fell within the realm of my own personal definition of “happy” in some way. Maybe they conjured up happy memories; or had fun, bouncy, happy beats; or the lyrics were imbued with happy thoughts. But, did any of the songs actually make me feel any happier than I already thought I felt in the moment? Hmmm… I mean, music makes me feel good, just like it makes lots of people feel good, but those feelings don’t necessarily translate into the emotion of happiness.

So, I had to take a different approach, and I landed on, of all songs through space and time, “A Hole in the Bucket,” also called “There’s a Hole in the Bucket, “There’s a Hole in My Bucket,” and any number of other variations. If you grew up on classic Sesame Street like I did, this song and segment may resonate; it was the first time I’d ever heard it, and it became one of my favorite Muppet segments on the show.

But why this song? Because this song actually makes me happy when I’m feeling sad.

I wish there was more to it, but it’s as simple as that. It’s kinda like that song from The King and I, “Whistle a Happy Tune.”

Um, okay. Maybe it’s not quite like that. But The Muppets always make me happy, too, so…maybe that’s the crux of it.

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