Songs »Mad Dogs and Englishmen

mad dogs and englishmen noel cowardIn the delightful, slightly mocking cabaret classic Mad Dogs and Englishmen, celebrated wit No?l Coward considers the lack of shaded siesta in English society totally insane, which is a sentiment I've come to sympathize with more and more since my recent work trip abroad when I noticed that the rest of the world really seems to appreciate its leisure time in a way that we (who don't even partake in tea) are incapable of. Rapidly consuming a salad or sandwich while hunched over one's desk is a kind of living the songwriter would not tolerate.

Coward is a favorite dandy of mine and he previously appeared as a style icon on this blog. Ever eloquent, he said of writing this song (which became a signature number in his act):

I wrestled in my mind with the complicated rhythms and rhymes of the song until finally it was complete, without even the aid of pencil and paper. I sang it triumphantly and unaccompanied to my traveling companion on the verandah of a small jungle guest house. Not only Jeffrey [Amherst], but the gecko lizards and the tree frogs gave every vocal indication of enthusiasm.

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Posted on February 23, 2009

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