Mercer’s “The Phony King of England” on new Disney soundtrack
Walt Disney Records just released “The Legacy Collection: Robin Hood” soundtrack. This release includes three different versions of Johnny Mercer’s “The Phony King of England” – the original by Phil Harris, a version recorded for a story album by Louis Prima and the Disney Children’s Chorus, and a country version. The initial concept of the film had it taking place in the Sierra Nevada mountains, thus several songs in the film were given a country-western treatment early on.
Mercer had worked with the Walt Disney Company previously in the mid-1940s on the Capitol Records releases “Tales of Uncle Remus” (from the film Song of the South), and “Mickey and the Bean Stalk” (from the film Fun and Fancy Free). For the 1973 Robin Hood, Mercer penned the lyrics to a traditional melody to produce “The Phony King of England,” which in early drafts was titled “The Blasted King of England.” Click on the image to the right to see a draft of the first incarnation of the song.