Like the other versions, this is sung to the tune of '"The Volga Boatmen."  On this page I've
included a number of alternate verses and different versions of verses.  Thus this collection isn't
very singable as written.

It is sometimes called "The SCA Birthday Dirge," "The Viking Birthday Song" or "The Barbarian
Birthday Song."
 But the earliest name may have been "The Mongolian Birthday Song."

Because this version is much longer, I haven't shown the repeats of the refrain of "Happy
Birthday! (UHH!) Happy Birthday! (UHH!)" after each two-line stanza.  But it's repeated as in the
shorter version.  For example:

    Death, destruction and despair/People dying everywhere/Happy Birthday! (UHH!)
    Happy Birthday! (UHH!).

I've collected almost every verse and version I could find--at least until I got tired of looking.  So
pick and choose what you want, or make up your own.  To see a shorter, more singable version,
and to read more about the background of this song and hear and see it on video, click
HERE.  
To see a couple accounts of the original version, click
HERE.
As far as I know, the lyrics are copyrighted by
no one.  The tune is a traditional Russian
song, and also not copyrighted.  The
wallpaper was created by The Loveshade
Family, and is released into the public
domain.
(Sung to the tune of "The Volga Boatmen")
The above is from memory (with a few very slight variations of my own), various
SCAers through the years, and the sites below:

cunnan.sca.org.au/wiki/The_SCA_birthday_song
www.faqs.org/faqs/music/birthday-dirge-faq
www.filk.com/songs/THE_SCA_HAPPY_BIRTHDAY_SONG.htm
www.youtube.com/watch?v=coIv4gwXlIo
Longer, more complete version
Happy Birthday! (UHH!) Happy Birthday! (UHH!)

Death, destruction and despair,
People dying everywhere,

    Death and gloom and black despair
    People dying everywhere
       
    Doom, destruction, and despair
    Grief and sorrow fill the air
       
    Pain destruction and despair
    People dying everywhere

Now that you're the age you are
Your demise cannot be far,

    Now you are the age you are                  
    Your demise cannot be far
   
    When you've reached the age you are
    Your demise cannot be far

For another year has passed,
Don't look now they're gaining fast!

    Now another year has passed
    Don't look now they're gaining fast!

    So another year has passed                   
    Don't look now they're gaining fast!  

    So far Death you have bypassed
    Don't look back, he's gaining fast

Just be glad the friends you've got
Haven't found out you-know-what,

    Doom and gloom and darkness but
    No one's found out YOU KNOW WHAT,

    Fear and gloom and darkness but       
    no one found out YOU KNOW WHAT

    Fear and gloom and darkness but
    No one found out you-know-what
        
One more birthday but don't fear,
You'll be dead this time next year,

    It's your birthday never fear        
    You'll be dead this time next year
                         
May the candles on your cake
Burn like pyres at your wake,

    May the candles on your cake                 
    burn like cities in your wake

    May the cities in your wake
    Burn like candles on your cake,             
                             
Hear the women wail and weep,
Kill them all but SAVE THE SHEEP!

    Burn the Castle and storm the keep           
    Kill the Women but SAVE THE SHEEP!

    Burn the castle and storm the keep
    Kill the women, but save the sheep
   
    Hear the women wail and weep
    Kill them all, but spare the sheep
       
    May the women wail and weep
    kill them all, but save the sheep

    Make the women wail and weep,
    Slay them all but spare the sheep

May your deeds with sheep and yaks           
equal those with sword and axe

Now you've aged another year
Now you know that Death is near

    So you've aged another year
    Now you know that Death is near

    Now you've lived another year        
    Age to you is like stale beer
             
Your servants steal, your wife's untrue      
Your children plot to murder you
     
They stole your gold, your sword, your house
They stole your sheep, but not your spouse  
                                        
So you're 29 again,                          
Don't tell lies to your good friend

Tho you're turning 29
Age to you is like fine wine

You're a period cook, its true,        
Ask the beetles in your stew

    You're a period cook, its true
    Ask the beetles in the stew        
                 
Now your jail-bait days are done      
Let's go out and have some fun!       

You must marry very soon
Baby's due the next full moon   

Were I sitting in your shoes       
I'd go out and sing the blues      

Soon your hair will all turn grey
Then fall out (or so they say)

    Long ago your hair turned grey       
    Now it's falling out, they say

We brought linen, white as cloud
Now we'll sit and sew your shroud!

Black Death has just struck your town
You yourself feel quite run-down

    Pestilence has struck your town
    You yourself feel quite run-down

Birthdays come but once a year
Marking time as Death draws near

Burn, then rape by firelight
Add romance to life tonight

May your deeds with sheep and yaks
Equal those with sword and axe

    May your deeds with sword and axe
    Equal those with sheep and yaks

Children dying far and near
They say that cancer's caused by beer

We love children, yes we do
Baked or broiled or in a stew

May the children in the street
Be your barbecuing meat

Indigestion's what you get
From the enemies you 'et

They stole your sword, your gold, your house
Took your sheep but not your spouse

I'm a leper, can't you see
Have a birthday kiss from me

This one lesson you must learn
First you pillage, then you burn

While you eat your birthday stew
We will loot the town for you

Typhoid, plague and polio
Coffins lined up in a row

See the wrinkles on your face
Like the pattern of fine lace

Were I sitting in your shoes
I'd go out and sing the blues

When you've reached this age you know
That the mind is first to go
The Mongolian Birthday Song
(aka the SCA Birthday Song)

by various authors
See a Shorter,
More Singable
Version and hear
it on video
HERE
See what is
possibly the
Earliest Known
Version and
History
HERE
EldwinHome

Music