Lazybones or "Lazy Bones" is a Tin Pan Alley song written in 1933, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and music by Hoagy Carmichael. Major hit records at the time of introduction included Ted Lewis and Mildred Bailey. Jonathan King's 1971 revival was a Top 20 hit in the UK and was played on US soft rock stations, earning a position on Billboard's Easy Listening chart, reached #34. King's version sold over a million copies around the world.
According to Carmichael, in an interview, Mercer came into Carmichael’s apartment in New York one day and saw Hoagy “snoozin’” on his couch. Mercer said, “Hoag, I’m gonna write a song called ‘Lazy Bones’.” Carmichael said, “Well, let’s get at it.” They went over to Hoagy’s piano, Johnny said the first line and Hoagy started playing a melody. The song was done in twenty minutes. Both men have agreed on the time in separate interviews.
Mercer was a southern boy from Savannah, Georgia, and resented the Tin Pan Alley attitude of rejecting southern regional vernacular in favor of artificial southern songs written by people who had never been to the South. Alex Wilder attributes much of the popularity of this song to Mercer's perfect regional lyric.
He wrote the lyrics to "Lazybones" as a protest against those artificial "Dixies", announcing the song's authenticity at the start with "Long as there is chicken gravy on your rice".
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