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Matthew Alice:

Someone told me that the song "Don't Worry, Be Happy" actually was written by some Indian guru. Is this true?

-- Rita, San Diego

The mindless ditty, the musical equivalent of a happy-face sticker-- yikes! the Grammy-nominated mindless ditty-- does take as its theme the motto of one Avatar Meher Baba. The Persian-born religious leader was a follower of Sufism, the mystical offshoot of Islam. He took a vow of silence in 1925 but communicated through hand gestures and an alphabet board until his death in 1969. The injunction he was most fond of communicating was the aforementioned song title, a shorthand version of his larger philosophy. If that sums up your larger philosophy, the "don't worry, be happy" headquarters in the U.S. can be found at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Home, also, to Vanna White. Which explains a lot.

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