Category Archives: Bobby McFerrin

Radio XXI, side B, track 11: “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, #45 on The Top 88 of ’88

Radio XXI Don't Worry Be Happy - Bobby McFerrinOh, Bobby McFerrin, let’s be ironic and talk all about worrying.  I know, Bobby McFerrin, you’re telling me I should NOT worry and just be happy.  I get that.  I want to be that guy.  In fact, I’m guessing that people who are only slightly acquainted with me probably maybe even think I AM that guy.  Like I told you awhile ago, I tried really hard to be that guy.  And I would always become extremely depressed when I ultimately wasn’t able to be that guy.  Here’s the thing, Bobby McFerrin, from the time I was a just a tyke, I was a worrier.  I’d worry when my baby brother cried too much, I’d worry about nuclear holocaust, I’d worry about tornadoes, and I’d worry about Jesus showing up before I could get my Christmas presents.  In fact, around the time I recorded this song, I worried so much I made myself sick.

You see, my whole class was invited to ski at Mount Kato for some kind of promotion; an all-day ski adventure, Bobby McFerrin, all expenses paid.  I’d never skied before, so I was a little trepidatious about, especially considering I had no hand-eye coordination, but as the big day approached, I joined in the excitement of my fellow classmates as we planned our adventures on the slopes of Mankato.

The night before the big day, I couldn’t sleep, Bobby McFerrin.  But not because of excitement.  Oh no, Bobby McFerrin.  I spent all night with this recurring vision of me somehow ending up at the top of some giant ski jump like they always showed on “ABC’s Wide World Of Sports” when that skier plummeted to his doom as the announcer said “and the agony of defeat”.  I saw myself tumbling down that gigantic ski jump and then reaching the jump and clinging to the edge of it, dangling high in the air as I waited for my frozen and numb fingers to eventually betray me and drop me thousands of feet to the snowy rocks below.  It was a long, excruciating night, Bobby McFerrin full of fear and doom.

Jump to the next morning, where I now have a fever of 103 and I’m so delirious that I can’t even walk.  Needless to say, I missed the trip to Mount Kato.  All my classmates had a great time.  The point is, Bobby McFerrin, that was probably the most extreme example of my constant fretting, but it wasn’t the last time I missed out on some magical moments because I just worried and wasn’t happy.  It took about 30-some years and a couple therapists before I realized that I wasn’t (completely) crazy but just had a fun little mental problem called generalized anxiety disorder.  So now I take a white pill every night before I go to bed and never have a care in the world. . .

Just kidding, Bobby McFerrin.  I still worry quite a lot, just not as much or as intensely.  Usually.  Unless someone asks me to do something that requires leaving the house and/or not watching TV.  But whatever.  It is what it is, and at least now I KNOW what it is.  And knowing is half the battle.  Which I believe is a lesson learned from “G.I. Joe”.

Anyway, what I’d love is if I could bottle up the amazingness of this song into a pill form and take “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” pills every day.  Maybe call it McFerrex or something.  And the only side effect would be that you could be your own band using just vocal effects.

“Don’t Worry Be Happy”

<happy whistling>

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
But when you worry, you make it double
Don’t worry

Be happy
Don’t worry, be happy now

Ooo-oo-hoo-hoo-oo hoo-hoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry
Woo-oo-woo-oo-woo-oo-ooo
Be happy
Woo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry, be happy

Ooo-oo-hoo-hoo-oo hoo-hoo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry
Woo-oo-woo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Be happy
Woo-oo-woo-oo-ooo
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 landlord say your rent is late
He may have to litigate
Don’t worry
 
(Uh-uh-uh, uh-uh)
Be happy

(Look at me, I’m happy)
Woo-oo-hoo-hoo-oo oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry
Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Be happy
Oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo (Here, I give you my phone number. When you’re worried, call me. I make you happy.)
Woo-oo-hoo-hoo-oo oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry
Woo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Be happy
Woo-oo-oo-oo-ooo

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’re worried, your face will frown
And that will bring everybody down
So don’t worry

Be happy

Don’t worry, be happy now
Ooo-oo-hoo-oo-oo oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry
Oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Be happy
Woo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry, be happy
Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry
Woo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo
Be happy
Woo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry, be happy
Ooo-oo-hoo-oo-oo oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ooo
Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t do it

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