U2’s Birthday Song for Mandela (A2-B1/v27420)

Introduction

U2’s Bono and The Edge sing Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela for his 90th birthday (July 18th, 2008). Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.

Script

Bono:  Alright everybody in Hyde Park we’d like to suggest that we make this man’s birthday a public holiday. And so we are  going to sing a song with that in mind. What do you think The Edge?

The Edge:  Absolutely.  Hope you like our new direction.

Bono:  You know it doesn’t make much sense.  There ought to be a law against anyone who takes offense at a day in your celebration.  Cause we all know in our minds that there ought to be a time that we could set aside to show just how much we love you.  And I’m sure you will agree, it couldn’t fit more perfectly than to have the world party on the day ya came to be!

Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday!

Well I never understood how a man who fights for good could not have a day that would be set aside for your recognition.  Because it never should be just because some cannot see the dream as clear as he and that they should – and it’s become an illusion.  And yes you left a mark on every heart here in Hyde Park. You are the brightest star – happy birthday Madiba!

Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday!

Why has there never been a holiday where peace is celebrated all through the world?

Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday to ya!  Happy Birthday!

From U2 to you too.

Quiz

1. There ________ to be a law against punishing people for exercising their right to peaceful protest.
2. The third Monday of January has been ________ in the US as a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr..
3. Millions around the world took ________ to the fact that Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years.
4. The notion of freedom under the rule of a small minority is an ________.
5. The life and work of Mahatma Gandhi ________ on all those who value peace and freedom throughout the world.

Discussion

  1. What do you think of the Happy Birthday song?  Do you think it could use some improvement?
  2. Describe some of the most memorable birthday celebrations in your life.  Where were you and what did you do?
  3. Mandela Day, celebrated globally each year on July 18th, was established by the UN in November of 2009. Who are the historical figures who’s birthdays are annually recognized in your country?

Resources