Even Haydn made a contribution to the lazy, hazy days of summer
To the Esterhazy family, composer Joseph Haydn was something like the chief cook: someone ready and willing to produce something memorable whenever the occasion demanded it (in case you didn't know, he wore livery, just like the other servants).
Nothing could be further from our notions of the artist as a tortured soul in need of special treatment and deference -- a view we owe to the Romantics.
So, when Prince wants light entertainment, he gets exactly that. How about setting an ode to laziness to music? Perhaps it was for this time of year, when we all seriously switch off for the summer.
Here is the poem, Lob der Faulheit (In Praise of Laziness), by Haydn contemporary Gotthold Lessing, as translated by Emily Ezust:
Laziness - I must finally write for you
also a little paean!
Oh! ...how ... annoying ... it will be for me
[to think of how] to celebrate your worth!
But I will do my best,
for after hard work, rest is good.
Highest good - whoever possesses you
will have an undisturbed life...
alas! I'm yawning... I'm ... growing dull.
Now you must forgive me
if I cannot sing about you:
you are hindering me yourself!
Now for Haydn's musically clever setting, as sung by Hermann Prey, with pianist Leonard Hokanson, on a 1974 recording: