Lazy John

Key: G*

Form: Reel/Song*


T:Lazy John
N:From a 1990 concert recording at Berea College of fiddler
N:Clyde Davenport, b. 1921, Monticello, Wayne County, south-central Ky. 
Q:"Moderately Quick"
Z:Transcribed by Andrew Kuntz
[G,2D2]-|[G,D]EG2+slide+[A3A3]A|(A/B/A) G2[GA]-[G2B2]G|D-EG2 [A2A2]A(A/B/|A)GEG [GA]-[G3B3]|
DEG2+slide+[A3A3]A|(B<A) G2[GA]-[G2B2]G|D-EG2 [A2A2]A(A/B/|A)GEG [GA]-[G3B3]||
|:A-Bd2 d-e2d|edB2 +slide+[A4A4]|(DE)GG A2AB|A-GE-G  [GA]-[G3B3]:|]

MP3: (played by Larry Becker)

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Sheet Music: Click image to enlarge. To download, right-click in enlarged image and "Save as...". 

Sheet Music in PDF: Lazy John

YouTube: (Click here for banjo tab, courtesy of Clawhammer Banjo .net.)

Source: Trad? Fiddler Clyde Davenport told interviewer Dr. Jeff Titon that he learned the tune from the radio, possibly, notes Titon, from the western swing band version by Texas musician Johnny Lee Wills, who recorded a song called Lazy John on the Decca label in the 1940’s. Wills was the brother of fiddler Bob Wills, and was one of the original Texas Playboys.

Other Tunes in Set:

Region: USA, Appalachia, Kentucky?

*Notes: The mandolin video above is played in A major.

Bluegrass Lyrics:

Work all week in the noon day sun
Fifteen cents when Saturday comes
Goin to a dance to have some fun
Why don’t you get away lazy John

Lazy John lazy John
Why don’t you get your day’s work all done
You’re in the shade and I’m in the sun
Why don’t you get away lazy John

My gal lives at the end of the road
Her eyes are crossed and her legs are bowed
But We sure have a lot of fun
Why don’t you get away lazy John

Goin to a dance Saturday night
Ain’t coming home til the bald daylight
Then I’ll take my girl back home
Why don’t you get away lazy John