Happy Together (song)

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"Happy Together"
Happy Together (song).jpg
Single by The Turtles
from the album Happy Together
B-side"Like the Seasons"
ReleasedMarch 1967 (March 1967)
Format7-inch single
LabelWhite Whale
Producer(s)Joe Wissert
The Turtles singles chronology
"Can I Get to Know You Better"
"Happy Together"
"She'd Rather Be with Me"

"Happy Together" is a song by American rock band the Turtles from their third studio album Happy Together (1967). The song was written by Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon, former members of the Magicians.[1] The song had been rejected a dozen times before it was offered to the Turtles, and the demo acetate was worn out.[2]

Released as a single in February 1967, the song knocked the Beatles' "Penny Lane" out of the number one slot on the US Billboard Hot 100 and remained atop the chart for three weeks.[1] It was the group's only chart-topper in the United States. "Happy Together" also reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1967 and number 2 on the Canadian Top Singles chart in Canada.


"Happy Together" is written in the key of E minor in common time with a tempo of 120 beats per minute. Kaylan's vocals span from B3 to F#5 in the song.[3][4]

The song was arranged by Chip Douglas. Turtles singer Mark Volman said, “Chip was, besides being a really fine bass player and excellent singer, also a great arranger, who did most of the arrangements on ‘Happy Together.’ He is very instrumental in what would be thought of as the production.”[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Denise Sullivan of Allmusic called the song "serious, Beatles/Beach Boys conceptual pop", with a "sparse, acoustic guitar and handclap arrangement". She felt that the Turtles had combined their "pop, folk, psychedelia, and Zombies-style harmony expertise into one song", and noted the song's contradiction of being a "rock & roll song with a martial beat" but which came very close to "bubblegum" pop (yet "rises above it"). She concluded that the song is "pop perfection" and "a most sublime slice of pop heaven".[6]


  • Howard Kaylan – lead vocals
  • Mark Volman – vocals
  • Al Nichol – lead guitar, piano, backing vocals
  • Jim Tucker – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Chip Douglas – bass guitar, orchestra arrangement, backing vocals
  • John Barbata – drums, percussion

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Andy Cahan – organ
  • Alan Gordon – songwriting
  • Gary Bonner – songwriting

Chart performance[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The Turtles performing "Happy Together" on The Ed Sullivan Show, May 14, 1967.


The song has been featured in many movies, including:

Frank Alamo's French cover of the song was featured in the 2010 movie Get Him to the Greek and the Halloween TV special Scared Shrekless. The original song was featured in one of the trailers for the 2013 film The Great Gatsby and for the 2019 film Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.


The song has been used in episodes of:

The song appeared in the "Bride of Hannibal" promo for the third season of Hannibal, focusing on the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and his psychiatrist Bedelia Du Maurier.

It also appeared in Masters of Sex at the ending of episode (S04E02), with the background of the complications in the relationship between the Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson's characters.

It was also performed on the show American Idol on February 19, 2008, by David Cook, and on February 20, 2008, by Brooke White: both performances were released as live singles on the iTunes Store in 2008. On May 5, 2011, it was sung in a group performance by the top 5 contestants on the show's tenth season. On January 21, 2015, the song was featured on the TV series Stalker arranged and performed by the band SPiN.[18]

It is also the theme song for the 2018 CBS TV series, Happy Together.


The song was used in 1980s Golden Grahams commercials.

A cover of the song was used in an early 1990s commercial for the American telecommunications company US West.

In 1999, the song was used for a Super Smash Bros. video game advert.

In 2005, in markets outside of the United States, Heineken included the song in a beer commercial that starred Jennifer Aniston and Brian Thomas Smith.[19][20]

In New Zealand, Toyota used the song for its promotion of the Toyota RAV4 in 2006.[21]

In 2009, Ford used the song in Brazil for the promotion of Ford Focus. However, the Ford commercial featured its "employees" singing the song while they designed and manufactured the car rather than the original version of the song.

Since the early 2010s, the song has been a feature of Mexican Airline AeroMéxico commercials, both in television and radio advertisements. In 2013, the song was used in the Dead Rising 3 video game commercial.

In 2015, the song was covered in advertisements for the Plenti card. In November 2015, Coca-Cola featured the song from the commercial in the Philippines using their revised version.

In January 2017, the song is played in the background of a Tim Horton's commercial (Canada) .

In 2018, the song was used to advertise co-op in the video game Far Cry 5. In May 2018, the song was also used in Ireland by the Irish Ferries company in one of their promotional advertisements.

The song was featured in the trailer for the upcoming film, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.[22]


"Happy Together" is the official song of football club Melbourne City FC. The song is also played at Belmont University Men's Basketball home games during a 2nd half timeout break.


In Stephen King's novel Gerald's Game, the psychotic burglar, necrophile, and cannibal Raymond Andrew Joubert is described to the protagonist Jessie Burlingame as singing this song in the back of a police cruiser after being apprehended breaking into a mausoleum.[23]

Cover versions[edit]

"Happy Together" has been covered by artists as diverse as Odyssey, Mel Tormé,[17] Captain and Tennille,[17] the Nylons,[17] the Piano Guys, Weezer, Petula Clark, Jason Donovan, Simple Plan, Caterina Valente, the Dollyrots, Blue Meanies, Donny Osmond, T.G. Sheppard (who would take his version into the country Top 10 in early 1979), Tahiti 80, Filter, Flobots, Tally Hall, and Johnny Panic whose version samples the original. Frank Alamo covered the song in 1967 in a French version entitled "Heureux Tous Les Deux (Happy Together)". In 1967 the Quelli covered the song in an Italian version entitled "Per vivere insieme". Spanish flamenco duo Las Grecas made a cover called "Los dos tan felices" (We both so happy) in their album "Tercer Album" (1976)[24] and there is also a Spanish cover, sung by Roberto Jordán, called "Juntos y Felices". In 1999, BMI named "Happy Together", with approximately five million performances on American radio, the 44th most-performed song in the United States of the 20th century,[25] placing it in the same league as "Yesterday" by the Beatles and "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon and Garfunkel. Frank Zappa's performance on Fillmore East – June 1971 included Turtles vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman and bassist Jim Pons.

Florence Henderson performed the song in season 1 of The Muppet Show in 1976. Miley Cyrus covered the song on the Backyard Sessions YouTube series.

Norwegian comedy group Prima Vera recorded a version with altered lyrics titled "Så Lykkelig I Sverige" (So Happy in Sweden) from their album Brakara (1978).[26]

Kaylan and Volman also did a reggae remake of the song for the last Flo & Eddie album Rock Steady with Flo & Eddie (1981).

Hugo Montenegro's cover version was released as a single in 1969 and reached number 29 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.[27][28]

The song has been covered by B. E. Taylor for his album, Love Never Fails (2006).

The song has also been sung by the Red Army Choir and the Leningrad Cowboys.

In 2007 the song was used as a sample on the song "Ooh Ooh Baby" from Britney Spears' album Blackout.

In 2014, Wim Leys, a Belgian Flemish Singer released a Dutch version: Vannacht Zijn We Samen on his Album Peper & Zout (Pepper & Salt).

At a live performance in New Orleans in 2018, American rock band Weezer performed a cover version of the song. The cover was described by Doug MacCash of The Times-Picayune as "fierce yet faithful", taking "that chunk of 50-year-old bubblegum and chew[ing] it into grungy rock n roll glory".[29]

Copyright lawsuit[edit]

Flo & Eddie, legal successors to the Turtles, filed a lawsuit in the New York Court of Appeals against Sirius XM Radio to establish common law copyright on their original recording of "Happy Together." As the song was recorded in 1967, five years before federal sound copyright was established, the group sought to establish that such recordings were covered under common law copyright, a nebulous form of copyright held at the state level, in the hopes of earning royalties from Sirius XM (as they did not write the song, they could only receive performance royalties). The Court of Appeals had previously ruled that such a common law copyright may exist for the sale of recordings in New York in the 2005 ruling Capitol Records, Inc. v. Naxos of America, Inc..

On December 20, 2016, the Court ruled that no such common law copyright exists in New York for public performances of a sound recording, and that Flo & Eddie could not claim royalties.[30]


  1. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of #1 Hits, 5th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 221.
  2. ^ Wayne Wadhams, David Nathan (2001). Inside the Hits. Berklee Press, p. 254. ISBN 0-634-01430-7.
  3. ^ "The Turtles - Happy Together". Songbpm.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  4. ^ "The Turtles "Happy Together" Sheet Music in E Minor". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  5. ^ CD booklet to The Turtles Anthology: Solid Zinc (Rhino, 2002), p. 19.
  6. ^ Sullivan, Denise. "The Turtles - Happy Together - Song Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "RPM Weekly Top Singles - April 8, 1967 (Volume 7, No. 6)". Library and Archives Canada. RPM Weekly (archived). April 8, 1967. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "RPM Weekly Top Singles - April 1, 1967 (Volume 7, No. 5)". Library and Archives Canada. RPM Weekly (archived). April 1, 1967. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  9. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Happy Together". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  10. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Top 100 1967". top-source.info. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  12. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-2002
  13. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles". Cash Box. April 1, 1967. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  14. ^ http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.100151&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=dtlhqtcdftn9t40n27r4hds2h0
  15. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1967/Top 100 Songs of 1967". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  16. ^ "CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1967". Cash Box. December 23, 1967. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Bessman, Jim (April 26, 2003). "Words & Music". Billboard. p. 40. Retrieved March 1, 2017.
  18. ^ "Stalker Music - S1E13: "The News"". TuneFind.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  19. ^ "Lunch Break: "Banned" Jennifer Aniston Heineken ad". June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "Doug's Brush With Fame: Brian Thomas Smith". July 25, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  21. ^ "Toyota Rav4 - Happy Together - (2006) :30 (New Zealand) | Adland ®". Adland.tv. February 23, 2006. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  22. ^ Deschamps, Marc (November 12, 2018). "Pokémon: Detective Pikachu Movie Trailer Debuts «  Nintendojo". www.nintendojo.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "Gerald's Game". StephenKing.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  24. ^ https://www.google.es/#q=tercer+%C3%A1lbum+canciones&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAONgFuLSz9U3qMgxKCpPVkJia4lmJ1vp55YWZybrJ-YkleZaFefnpRcDAJ5XwxUxAAAA
  25. ^ "BMI Announces Top 100 Songs of the Century". BMI. December 13, 1999.
  26. ^ "Prima Vera - Brakara". Allmusic. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  27. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 66.
  28. ^ "Hugh Montenegro, His Orchestra and Chorus - Happy Together". Billboard. July 12, 1969. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  29. ^ MacCash, Doug (June 27, 2018). "Weezer and The Pixies were happy together in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  30. ^ Klepper, David (December 20, 2016). "OWNERS OF 1967 HIT SONG 'HAPPY TOGETHER' LOSE COPYRIGHT CASE". Associated Press. Archived from the original on December 21, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.

External links[edit]