In 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.