The Pharrell Williams hit ‘Happy’ has inspired plenty of people looking to draw attention to their home city…
The American singer-songwriter Pharrell Williams is perhaps an unusual source of inspiration for tourism. But his song ‘Happy’, accompanied by a video showing scores of people dancing all over Los Angeles, has caught the public imagination in a big way. Dig a little on YouTube and you will find countless spin-offs and covers from creative types keen to show how happy everyone is on their own patch too. Here, we take a virtual tour around the globe, and deliver our verdict on the different versions.
Number of plays: 138,963*
Highlight: The young family who somehow make it look fun to be walking through an underpass (2mins 45). Kudos.
Verdict: Success! Or at least if online YouTube commenter ‘Tikiboo11’ is to be trusted: “The first time I ever heard of Dunkerque was in seeing this video. Looks like a lovely place to visit one day (from Oklahoma). Great video!” Allons nous à Dunkerque alors.
The French, it has to be said, have gone for the ‘Happy’ reprises in a big way. The capital city was first off the mark…
Number of plays: 431, 173
Highlight: A toss up between the breakdancer in front of the Louvre or the newly-weds under the railway arches. (Around 3 minutes 05 seconds).
Verdict: Slick, well produced – and my, doesn’t Paris and its residents look fantastic? As ever, there are words of wisdom from the commentators below. According to ‘koolmaaan’: “Beautiful video! All of you in the video are so beautiful and so fashionable!” – and we’re inclined to agree.
Number of plays: 522,242
Highlight: The woman on stilts rocking out in what seems to be the city’s Natural History Museum. Don’t try this at home, kids.
Verdict: Slightly later to the party, the city of Angers in the Loire Valley has leap-frogged the capital in terms of the number of plays. Très cool, as they occasionally say over there.
Number of plays: 148,516
Highlight: Early on (to save you having to watch the whole ten plus minutes). Have you ever seen such rubbery legs?
Verdict: Long, and not particularly showing off Berlin’s best side, given the setting in a shopping centre and the metro.
Number of plays so far: 504, 799
Highlight: Are they really dancing monks? (1m 55)
Verdict: Good use of ordinary Krakovians – and even in the grey wintry light the Polish city looks good.
Number of plays so far: 95,742
Highlight: At 47 minutes and 30 seconds long, this was too big an ask.
Verdict: Hmm. One or two of the participants look like they have spent a little too long in one of their city’s coffee shops.
Number of plays so far: 46,995
Highlight: The gymnastics at 1m 23.
Verdict: Some pretty good shapes thrown. And the steep, cobbled streets of Madagascar’s hill-side don’t look bad either.
Number of plays so far: 115,846
Highlight: Good effort from the men in suits down at the dockyards (1min 19).
Verdict: As a commenter points out, Belfast was rated one of Britain’s happiest cities. And so it seems on this evidence…
Number of plays so far: 179,985
Highlight: Suppose it has to be the inevitable leprechaun at 35 seconds.
Verdict: Not to be outdone by Belfast, Dublin has turned in a fun performance of its own.
Number of plays so far: 36,615
Highlight: Smiling backing singers emerging from behind the piano (52 seconds in)
Verdict: Perhaps the most original of the non-originals, put together by Gillian Cosgriff (winner of Best Cabaret, Melbourne Fringe 2013, apparently).
And let’s not forget….
Number of plays so far: 49million and counting
Verdict: The original and – and let’s face it – still probably the best.