Skip

Like A World Without A Roof
April 5, 2014 5:46 AM   Subscribe

Over a thousand people from around the world have made their own videos for Pharrell Williams' song Happy.

The original video for Happy (previously) featured a lot of happy people dancing through Los Angeles, and a tune infectious enough even for people at a fancy awards show to dance to. Soon, though, the video started spawning a few tributes (also previously).

On March 20th, Williams teamed up with the United Nations to promote their International Day of Happiness campaign, encouraging people to upload pictures of videos of things that made them happy. Williams also shared a few clips of the "Happy" tribute videos he'd seen so far. But more kept coming. Clement Durou & Pierre Dupaquier, the video's original creators, created the site "We Are Happy From...." to hold them all. (They are also selling t-shirts to benefit a French charity; however, that appears to be only local at present.)

Some of the cities:

Kuala Lampur, Malaysia
Rome, Italy
Tokyo, Japan
Marrakesh, Morroco
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Kenya (no city specified)
Guyana (no city specified)
Beijing, China
Tahiti
Mexico City, Mexico
London, England

Pick a spot on their map and clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos (57 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ugh. Just two days ago, I saw one made "for" Indianapolis. I really wish I could unwatch it.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:07 AM on April 5


Aw, what's wrong with this, Thorazad?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:17 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Here's Happy in Memphis, from Harding Academy.
posted by woodvine at 6:20 AM on April 5 [4 favorites]


This is awesome, I really enjoyed this. Some excellent breakdancing in Tripoli.
posted by Diablevert at 6:23 AM on April 5


EXCELLANT POST!

My fav is Kenya.

But the little Pharrell in the Memphis one is utterly adorable.

More Happy I say!
posted by Faintdreams at 6:28 AM on April 5


On the site, you can find one of the Florence, Italy ones where they find a way to include a Minion.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 AM on April 5


The Indianapolis one is the best one I saw out of a dozen. I couldn't watch any if them to the end because I can't stand listening to this song, but I heartily endorse worldwide goofiness.

Now I'm off to record my video for the song Misanthrope. It's 2 hours of me drinking Bourbon in a dark room writing comments on an Internet forum.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:53 AM on April 5 [9 favorites]


has one of these been made with a montage of sad-faced clowns doing things like slipping on banana peels? because that would appeal to my demographic of black-hearted cynics
posted by angrycat at 7:08 AM on April 5 [5 favorites]


Thursday night I was part of a group that was taped for the Montpelier (VT) one. It's not out yet, and I'm not sure if it will make me happy or just embarrassed.

...Because I'm cringing, cringing, cringing, cringing
Cringing, cringing, cringing, cringing...
posted by MtDewd at 7:32 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


I am partial to the Tripoli one: http://youtu.be/3dlbd3zZvCg
posted by mulligan at 7:41 AM on April 5


I really like the Tahiti one, though after the winter I've had it's hard not to be all, "well of course you're happy; you live in Tahiti."
posted by TwoStride at 8:08 AM on April 5


I have trouble watching Pharrell sing bc I spend the entire time trying to figure out how a man who looks like he's in his early 20s is 41 years old. It's distracting.
posted by atomicstone at 8:46 AM on April 5 [5 favorites]


Also, I am not a rah rah high school person, but I love that Pharrell chose students from my performing arts high school as background singers and dancers for that Oscars (and Ellen) performance. That must have been really freaking fun for them.
posted by atomicstone at 8:48 AM on April 5


Yay! Here's my town! (The park they're in? I can walk there! Hurrah for walkable urban spaces!)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:53 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Awesome. This is the first number one single I have ever loved in my lifetime.
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:16 AM on April 5


I just want to be that guy who has never heard this song (this is my happy jam), and thinks Pharrell Williams is everything wrong with "popular music" and has a silly hat.

I'm feeling so frustrated, even antiquated.... and I am sure these videos are fun. I just have a higher ground to maintain. And a lawn.
posted by Mezentian at 9:16 AM on April 5


Whoops! I just got a memail from the actual creators of WeAreHappy.com - I got the names wrong. Direct from the site -

"This platform was created by Julie Fersing and Loïc Fontaine, from Nantes, France. Julie daily feeds the site with new videos and Loïc handles the technical aspect."

Loic, come in and say hello!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:23 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Whoops! I just got a memail from the actual creators of WeAreHappy.com

So.... like reading from the Necronomicon, you summoned things from beyond?
posted by Mezentian at 9:24 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]


Whenever I hear this song I key on the female chorus (happy...HAPPY...happy...happy) and in my mind I see them strung out on sleeplessness and amphetamines and adrenaline because they know they will be thrown into a shark tank if their performance is not sufficiently pleasing.
posted by localroger at 9:45 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]


Wow, localroger, and I thought I was pushing it with my what-is-this old-man-ism.

(I am right about the stupid hat thing....)
posted by Mezentian at 9:52 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


I tried to learn this song on the guitar the other day...something really curious going on in the chorus. Odd diminished jazzy chord on the titular word I think, belying and yet supporting the theme. That's the root of the infection. I wish I knew enough music theory to figure it out.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:30 AM on April 5


My kids both love, I mean LOVE, straight up top 40 pop music. (My three year old prefers what he calls "robot music," which is sometimes electronica and sometimes hip-hop, but they both love pop music.) I am a classical musician and have a long history with snobbery. But watching the kids go absolutely fucko bazoo over "Happy" makes me happy too, and I am finding my snobbery slowly eroding in the face of such unbridled joy. Plus I put the song on so my daughter could show my husband the dance she does during the breakdown (which is awesome), and within four seconds the whole family was dancing like loons. We barely danced at our WEDDING.

It's a good song, is what I'm trying to say.
posted by KathrynT at 10:46 AM on April 5 [21 favorites]


Bookmarking the phrase "fucko bazoo" to use for the rest of my life.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 10:58 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]


I recently read that Pharell has color-sound synesthesia, and he sees the song in all happy yellows and oranges. It just is intrinsically cheerful.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:18 AM on April 5 [6 favorites]


I heard this song at the grocery store the other day, and I was bopping a little, thinking, hope nobody thinks I look too weird. I turn around and there's a woman going all-out in the soda aisle. Waving her arms, toe-touches, the whole nine yards.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:31 AM on April 5 [14 favorites]


It's sappy, you know, but what I like about this is how the casual background behind all the dancers conveys a tremendous sense of particularity, the unique culture of a place, at the same time as the dancers and their moves suggests how far we've come in achieving one world culture. I mean, a project like this if going to attract in some ways a similar youthful demographic, and one familiar enough with the internet and video production and English language media itself to know this song and want to participate in the project --- lot of college students in some of the films, it looked like. But it's still remarkable to me how it seems like you get nearly every shade of humanity in every film, and there doesn't seem to be a city on earth where you can't find at least a passable breakdancer.

Plus the chagrined traffic cop in the Beijing one is priceless.
posted by Diablevert at 11:55 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]




Aw man, the one from my hometown made me really, really homesick. Footy, trams, Mirka Mora, pubs, people cleaning used syringes off the beach... *sniff*

Thanks, I really enjoyed this post.
posted by retrograde at 12:36 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]


Hello,
first sory for my english like EmpressCallipygos sayed I'm french :)
second thank's to EmpressCallipygos for his post :)

I'm glade to see the interrest for this global mouvement... More than fanaticism for a musical title, it is a global craze for the expression of happiness, repressed by society and especially the media (who speak only of crisis and misfortune), and it is a pleasure to participate in the spread of this message :)

Have all a nice day or night and be or stay happy :)
Loïc co-creator of wearehappyfrom.com
posted by loic at 1:01 PM on April 5 [23 favorites]


Welcome and merci, Loic! There are members of this web site all over the world, so do not be surprised if you receive messages back - and some hopefully will be in French!

(Je parle seulement un tres, tres petit peu de Francais, moi...mes professeurs n'etait pas tres bon, malheureusement.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:09 PM on April 5


Ah man. I see my original hometown on here and it just reminds me of the fact that I moved away from there a decade ago to a much cooler town down the road, and then my hometown inexplicably stopped being a dreary Calvinist nightmare and became, like, way cool all of a sudden. Maybe....what if I'm the one whose not cool? I'm conflicted.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:30 PM on April 5 [1 favorite]


don't wory EmpressCallipygos your french is completly understandable :)
my english woul'd be even worth if it was for my own teacher...glade the vost tv shows aren't so easy to find ;)
posted by loic at 1:54 PM on April 5


*hard to find
posted by loic at 2:19 PM on April 5


Wow, localroger, and I thought I was pushing it with my what-is-this old-man-ism.

My lawn, it is not only larger than you comprehend, it is larger than you can comprehend.

So no matter where you are, you're standing on it.

And ditto on the stupid hat thing.
posted by localroger at 2:46 PM on April 5


"well of course you're happy; you live in Tahiti."

It's a magical place.
posted by radwolf76 at 2:49 PM on April 5 [5 favorites]




I was a little disappointed that, while there were multiple videos from Tunis/Tunisia/Tunisie, they didn't include the one from the local Star Wars Fan Club, in costume, around the still-surviving sets and scenes from A New Hope... "Happy (WE ARE FROM TATOOINE)"

Totally my favorite contribution to the meme.

Dance. Dance like you never heard of the sequels.
(And did you notice that Stromtroopers not only can't shoot straight, but also can't moonwalk?)
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:38 PM on April 5 [6 favorites]


If I ever change my username again (or start a band) I am calling dibs on "dreary Calvinist nightmare. "


I generally hate what everybody else likes (I haven't seen Frozen yet-and I haven't heard Let It Go yet either, which is an accomplishment) but this song, I like.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:44 PM on April 5


I tried to learn this song on the guitar the other day...something really curious going on in the chorus. Odd diminished jazzy chord on the titular word I think, belying and yet supporting the theme. That's the root of the infection. I wish I knew enough music theory to figure it out.

The chords for the chorus are DbMaj7 - Cmin7 - Cmin7 - FMaj. The DbMaj7 is a chord "borrowed" from F minor - and the Cmin7 chord is kind of a modal dominant for F minor. The combination of these two "F minor" chords resolving to the unambiguous F Major gives the song either a bluesy or a melancholy touch, which contrasts really nicely with the lyrics and prevents the song from feeling overly saccharine, to my ears at least.

The best part of the song IMO is that each section has a really strong character and are musically interesting in their own right - the verse with the bluesy riff, the chorus with the bittersweet chords, and the breakdown with the funky handclapping and rhythms. And each section is both simple and deceptively complex - even the first four chords, which I have to force myself to accept are just F, the tonic chord, when they sound like they should be funkier.
posted by ianhattwick at 4:56 PM on April 5 [6 favorites]


Bet Keith Richards isn't one of them.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:46 PM on April 5


It's a magical place.

Nah. It sucks.
posted by Mezentian at 6:28 PM on April 5 [3 favorites]


My friend and I are obsessed with the ones from really small towns and elementary schools. Kids and grandmas are the best dancers. I think this is my favourite so far.
Baltimore, Ireland, pop 377.

I was a little disappointed that, while there were multiple videos from Tunis/Tunisia/Tunisie, they didn't include the one from the local Star Wars Fan Club, in costume, around the still-surviving sets and scenes from A New Hope...

That is so meta I can't even... amazing. Now I want to move to Tunisia and be best friends with these people.
posted by fshgrl at 7:26 PM on April 5 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I take issue with the Indianapolis one too. They were on the Butler campus but couldn't drive the 1.5 minutes over to IMA to get footage of the freaking Love sculpture by Robert Indiana, really? According to this video 50% of the businesses in Indianapolis are micro breweries...which yes, we have quite a few of but not really the story. They show Mass Ave, Broad Ripple, and Fountain Square and again kind of downplay the role of arts in those districts. And also, what in the holy fuck is up with the gymnastics place?
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 9:41 PM on April 5


Upping the ante: "Happy (We Are OLD)"
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:36 PM on April 5 [2 favorites]


hello oneswellfoop,
we didnt' publish the Tataouine (real city name) one because there is weapons (I know they are fake but steel weapons...) on it... even if i'm personaly a fan of the Star Wars univers... it's not the message we want to share with this website :)
posted by loic at 1:40 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


Il y a un autre clip que tu peux ajouter pour Nice !
Happy (We Are From Nice)
trois étudiants de la fac de Nice - Sophia Antipolis. J'aime bien, on voit plein de sites différents.

Merci pour le site web, j'ai des amis super fans de Pharrell, ça va leur plaire :)
posted by fraula at 10:51 AM on April 6


Cette vidéo de Nice y est déjà :)
posted by loic at 11:14 AM on April 6


I keep having a similar reaction to each of these videos: "Wow, there are a lot of beautiful people in Kuala Lumpur… Romans are gorgeous… People in Tokyo seem radiant… I think I'm in love with everybody in Marrakesh… Ah, Ho Chi Minh folks, you're wonderful!"

Happiness is beautiful. Thank you for this project! Merci, merci, merci!
posted by Lexica at 11:58 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


we are glade to bring smiles and happiness in all corners of the world :) thank's for all your support :) it take's a lot of time and energy but it's worth :)
posted by loic at 2:37 PM on April 6 [1 favorite]


Sweet! But why is Taiwan labelled "Taiwan -- China" ... Taiwan is not China.
posted by bwonder2 at 3:13 AM on April 7


I'd now be impressed, Internet, if there was some sort of involvement of Danse Society's We're So Happy.
posted by Mezentian at 5:16 AM on April 7


But why is Taiwan labelled "Taiwan -- China" ... Taiwan is not China.

Geopolitics. The same reason Western Sahara would be labeled Morocco.

Sorry to harsh your buzz there.
posted by Mezentian at 5:18 AM on April 7


@bwonder2
It's been solved :)
posted by loic at 10:51 AM on April 7


@bwonder2 & @Mezentian
taïwan is now "Taïwan -- Taïwan" we have a discution with Julie (the other part of wearehappyfrom team) and as in france we did "France DOM" or "Antilles Française" we are more close to goelocation then geopolitics :)

@Mezentian
"Western Sahara would be labeled Morocco" how could we label it ??
posted by loic at 10:56 AM on April 7


Thank you so much! There is a movement in Taiwan right now to make sure that Taiwan remains Taiwan and not China.
posted by bwonder2 at 2:06 AM on April 8


"Western Sahara would be labeled Morocco" how could we label it ??

It depends. Conquered territories are a mixed bag. Worry about it if you get an entry from the region once known as Western Sahara. Which, if it happens, would surprise me.

My own way of dealing with this, most recently Myanmar, is to write Myanmar (previously Burma) in the first instance. But, it is complicated.
posted by Mezentian at 3:19 AM on April 8


You'r right it's complicated and very "dangerous" when we deal with geopolitics... you can hurt people feelings no matter the choise you make...
posted by loic at 5:04 AM on April 8


« Older Lovely retro future.   |   Portraits of Reconciliation Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post