'If You Wanna Be Happy' By Jimmy Soul: The Offensive & Joyful Classic Song's Lyrics

By Jacob Shelton
Jimmy Soul Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. Single sleeve source: discogs.com

The lyrics of Jimmy Soul’s “If You Wanna Be Happy” make it one of the more offensive, yet somehow totally fun songs from the 1960s. In the song Soul tosses comedic, albeit chauvinistic lyrics giving advice to the listener. Marry an “ugly girl” he says, because she’ll do everything she can to make you happy. She’ll cook well and be faithful just because you gave her the lifetime of happiness all for the kindness of putting a ring on her finger.

There’s no way that this song would fly today, and it definitely wouldn’t be a number one hit, but in 1963 it was easier for this kind of tasteless track to hit the charts. Even so, the song was banned on multiple radio stations. Jimmy Soul never matched the success of this single and if you’re a fan of kitschy culture it’s well worth checking out.

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