It's hard to remember that Pharrell wrote "Happy" for an animated film.
The peppy neo-soul song is not in any way controversial. But something strange began happening to it a little while ago. It became a mega pop sensation and an unexpected global anthem for citizens living under troubled regimes.
The movement started slowly - first it was the soundtrack to a video of people dancing joyfully in Paris. But then the song began cropping up in videos from countries in political turmoil. One came from the Philippines, a country still picking up the pieces from Typhoon Haiyan. Soon, one followed from Tunis, still reeling from the aftershocks of the Arab Spring. And then another from Moscow. While not a "protest" song in its traditional sense, Pharrell's "Happy" has taken on a politically charged meaning as an anthem of international resilience.