Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”

by janetkarrowp

Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” &

Janet Karro’s “Lady Ocean”

Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”

One of the most iconic figures in recent history is actress, singer and model Marilyn Monroe. Starring in a number of films from the 1950s to the early 1960s, she is the ultimate sex symbol who is still being imitated by Hollywood starts up to now. One of the most memorable performances that she has is singing the Happy Birthday song to President John F. Kennedy during his 45th birthday celebration.

After the typical lyrics of the “Happy Birthday” song, Marilyn herself inserted the following lines:

Thanks, Mr. President

For all the things you’ve done

The battles that you’ve won

The way you deal with U.S. Steel

And our problems by the ton

We thank you so much…

In a dazzling, tight gown, the performance is as memorable as the song – and even the circumstances surrounding it. Monroe was said to have an affair with President Kennedy, whose wife was glaringly missing during the event. Also, the sultry way by which she performed the song was definitely in keeping with her image as a major sex symbol during those times. Her version of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” was accompanied by jazz pianist Hank Jones – and has been re-enacted numerous times in Hollywood films and television shows.

As far as the lyrics are concerned, they’re pretty straightforward. The additional lines which come after the greeting are simply a recognition of the work that the president did during those times – along with the battles he won and the way that he dealt with the nation’s problems.

Janet Karro’s “Lady Ocean” 


Spoken word performer Janet Karro has a track off her “Lady Ocean” album which is a poem of the same name. A few lines of the poem include:

She says, water is love and love is you

Water’s dripping from all over you

Ripples make circles as if they were courting you

My heart, filled with water, is blessed by you…

Much like the other tracks off the album, the background music of Lady Ocean is quite soothing and relaxing. You will hear the sounds of the ocean’s waves as Karro meaningfully recites the lines of the poem. The track describes a Lady Ocean who equates water with love, and as one who pushes shadows away. Lady Ocean ends with the phrase ‘symphony lost’.

If Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” boasts of Kennedy’s accomplishment or at least serves as a recognition of them; Janet Karro’s Lady Ocean is a recognition of sorts of the subject’s abilities. Having that comparison of water with love is similar to how a simple birthday greeting can turn into one with love-ridden overtones – based on the person who is singing it.

For the poem Lady Ocean and the song Happy Birthday, Mr. President, the goal is to recognize the worth of the subject by delivering lines which come from the heart – no matter how simple they may appear on the surface.