Irving Berlin: Lazy

Written by Amy Burton

Soprano

April 6, 2020

This week, I’ll be sharing a new song each day to remind you (and myself) that how we use this time at home is as varied and limitless as our collective imagination.  There’s at least one song, if not hundreds, for everything we’re experiencing in this singular moment, and it wasn’t easy to pick five!  But I hope my choices delight, inspire, move, and comfort you, as they do me. 


Be careful what you wish for.

I’m guessing I’m not the only overworked person who often wished for a little more free time to read, to spend with my significant other, to cook nice meals, take walks, watch movies.  Even though I’m working from home, the pace of life is certainly more tranquil than usual. And maybe because the stakes are so high, time feels more precious than ever.  

Today’s song is from 1924: “Lazy”  by Irving Berlin, arguably the hardest working songwriter in American music. Credited with penning as many as 1,500 songs, Berlin wrote this one while on vacation with his wife in Florida.  Even if laziness wasn’t in Berlin’s nature, he wrote a great song about wondering what it would be like!

Here are the incomparable Joan Morris and William Bolcom performing the song from their 1990 recording, Blue Skies.

“Lazy” by Irving Berlin (1888-1989)
Joan Morris, mezzo-soprano; William Bolcom, pianist

Amy Burton

Amy Burton enjoys an eclectic career of opera, concert, and cabaret. She has sung with major opera companies and orchestras throughout the US and Europe, including the Metropolitan OperaNew York City Opera, Zürich Opera, L’Opéra de Nice, Scottish Opera, among many others. She has also sung at the White House. A lover of French song, Ms. Burton appears frequently with her husband, composer-pianist John Musto in recitals and cabaret. Recent concerts include New York’s Cafe Sabarsky, the National Arts Club, Wave Hill, Barcelona’s Liceu, the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center. Together they have made several recordings, including Songs of John Musto, Souvenir de Printemps, and Got a Little Rhythm for Bridge Records. A sought-after teacher, Ms. Burton is on the voice faculty at The Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, and the CUNY Graduate Center DMA program. She also teaches, coaches and directs at SongFest at Colburn in Los Angeles. Amy Burton has been honored to perform on twenty-one NYFOS concerts, and is a proud member of the NYFOS Artists Council.

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