Date
20 August 2017
Pro-democracy protesters sing as pro-government groups prepare to march through Admiralty district. Photo: AFP
Pro-democracy protesters sing as pro-government groups prepare to march through Admiralty district. Photo: AFP

Why this song is trending up the protest charts

Birthdays and protests — what’s one got to do with the other?

A lot, apparently, thanks to an accidental playing of a birthday song by a street occupier in Mong Kok.

It might have been someone’s birthday but that’s not the reason the world’s most popular song is the biggest hit in a tiny street corner in Hong Kong — it has kept away would-be detractors, perhaps even trouble makers.

It began to trend up the protest charts after violent attacks by pro-Beijing mobs on demonstrators on Friday.

Every time anyone stepped up to the protesters to challenge them, they would sing Happy Birthday To You, followed by hearty clapping. It has since become the biggest deterrent against potential confrontations.

Too bad for a certain Leticia Lee, a leader of the so-called Blue Ribbon group opposed to the protesters. When Lee tried to crash the protest in Admiralty, she was stopped in her tracks as the students broke into song.  

On Tuesday night, the students changed their tune — okay, their song — and began using the Disney anthem Its A Small World.

No word whether a new hit classic has been born but the song appears to be working as intended.

Birthdays and Disney — what’s not to love about them?

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EL/AC/RA

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