Single Review: Sister Hazel “Happy”

Album:…somewhere more familiar
Year: 1997

Ken Block has a pleasant attitude but his family expects more from him in the puzzling “Happy.”

Rigid guitars open the single. He likes to people watch. He looks to see if they are actually enjoying life or plodding through it. Someone in his life asks a vague question: if Block would rather have his attitude a certain way. But without any specifics, the question does not have its intended effect. Block protests it. However, his friend is joking and laughing, which is how Block would prefer to live his life. (“I remember watchin’/All the once upon a times/Remember thinkin’/Who’s content and who’s for rent/And you said don’t you want to be like that man!?/
Oh No–No–No!/But then he cracks that smile/And that don’t look so bad to me.”)

In the chorus, he says he’s a peppy person. But there’s people in his life who expect him not to have a bad day at all. (“Happy–I’m Happy/But that ain’t good enough for you/Happy–I’m Happy.”)

People have preconceived notions of how he should act and be. However, he wants to be himself and not what people imagine him to be. The last section of the verse becomes the pre-chorus. But it doesn’t fit into the context of it. Instead, it feels tacked on. (“I remember thinkin’/
How they thought that we should be/Remember feelin’/That might be you but that ain’t me/
And you said don’t you want to be like that man!?/Oh No–No–No!/But then he cracks a smile/And that don’t look so bad to me.”)

The chorus is sung twice.

In the bridge, he lists the things which make him enjoy life. However, he comes across a beauty pageant contestant wishing for world peace. Each one is either calculated, stupid or both.

Let’s the play the Dusk411 “This Bridge Is Weaker Than Michael Jackson’s Face” game. Question 1: He likes the suns that rise in the morning. Answer 1: Stupid. Since when are there two suns which rise in the morning? Question 2: hearing the sigh from a young girl. Answer 1: Stupid. Admitting to eavesdropping an underage girl’s sigh is inappoririate and incredibly creepy. Question 3: the sound of a baby’s cry. Answer: Calculated. He’s trying to be the super sensitive rocker guy. Awww….how insincere. Question 4: He likes seeing the history through an old man’s eyes. Answer: Both. He doesn’t go into detail, which makes it odd behavior. I added the history since it seemed to be what he was aiming for. It’s calculated to convey how much he cares about the senior citizens’ of the world. (“the suns that rise/a young girl’s sighs/a baby cries/an old man eyes/the suns that rise/a young girl’s sighs/a baby cries/an old man eyes.”)

The first verse is sung again. The chorus is repeated twice.

The phony, hypocratical “Happy” says it’s the ideal people must attain. However, when people impose certain ideals on Block he rejects them. The us vs. them mentality regarding exactly what it means to be happy chips away the song’s message. The nonsensical lyrics lack detail and context.


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