Happy Days Are Here Again

  • The Song
  • Back Stories
composition date
1929
genre
Film
songwriter(s)
Jack Yellen
Milton Ager

The making of the song

Jack Yellen described the writing of this classic to David Ewen: “In the last week of production, the producer of Chasing Rainbows phoned me and said he wanted a song for a scene in which a group of World War I soldiers receive news of the armistice. I relayed the message to Ager, whom I hadn’t seen in weeks. He said he would stop in at my house next morning, on his way to the golf course. He came in, sat down at the piano, and lighted a cigar. ‘Got a title?’ he asked finally. I didn’t have any, but blurted out ‘happy days are here again.’ The first tune he played was good enough. He kept playing the melody and I scribbled off the first words that came to me and handed him the corny lyrics. His only comment was that he didn’t think the lyric should start with the title. I said I thought it should, and the conversation ended.”

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