As the editor, writer, poet and former director of photography for LIFE, David Friend, once noted, this picture is Eisenstaedt’s “ode to joy.”
“It was early in the morning,” Eisenstaedt himself recalled of the fall day in 1950 when he took the photo. On assignment for LIFE, covering the University of Michigan’s nationally famous marching band, he spotted the school’s drum major practicing his craft. Then, Eisenstaedt said, “I saw a little boy running after him, and all the faculty children on the playing field ran after the boy. And I ran after them. This is a completely spontaneous, unstaged picture.”
Speaking of happy. “Happy” the song makes Pharrell cry.