Mad dogs & Englishmen & I

Bloody hell it’s hot here in Cambridge. Sure, I’ve been in heat like this before, in New York City and Spain and the Sinai and the Australian outback, but those places expect the heat, and come air conditioned or wrapped in thick walls and shuttered windows, or are sensibly empty of people.

In the East Village at the height of summer, even the skankiest bars have the air conditioning humming, and in my more bohemian days it was definitely cheaper to pay for coolness in beers at bars than in electrical bills (and beers) at home in a tenement walkup. English pubs — even those with wireless access — have yet to discover that cold interiors attract customers.

All this by way of explaining that it is too hot to blog Google Earth tonight. I was all ready to have a go at documenting the Lebanon-Israel conflict in KML (why are no news organizations taking the lead? This is the first war of the geobrowser era) but, well, I’m just in a whiny mood instead. I might have a go during the weekend.

In the meantime, enjoy this ditty by Noel Coward (.wav). Lyrics below the fold.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen

(Noel Coward)

In tropical climes there are certain times of day

When all the citizens retire,

to tear their clothes off and perspire.

It’s one of those rules that the biggest fools obey,

Because the sun is much too sultry and one must avoid

its ultry-violet ray –

Papalaka-papalaka-papalaka-boo. (Repeat)

Digariga-digariga-digariga-doo. (Repeat)

The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,

Because they’re obviously, absolutely nuts –

Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

The Japanese don’t care to, the Chinese wouldn’t dare to,

Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one,

But Englishmen detest a siesta,

In the Philippines there are lovely screens,

to protect you from the glare,

In the Malay states there are hats like plates,

which the Britishers won’t wear,

At twelve noon the natives swoon, and

no further work is done -

But Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

It’s such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see,

That though the British are effete,

they’re quite impervious to heat,

When the white man rides, every native hides in glee,

Because the simple creatures hope he will

impale his solar topee on a tree.

Bolyboly-bolyboly-bolyboly-baa. (Repeat)

Habaninny-habaninny-habaninny-haa. (Repeat)

It seems such a shame that when the English claim the earth

That they give rise to such hilarity and mirth -

Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

The toughest Burmese bandit can never understand it.

In Rangoon the heat of noon is just what the natives shun.

They put their scotch or rye down, and lie down.

In the jungle town where the sun beats down,

to the rage of man or beast,

The English garb of the English sahib merely gets a bit more creased.

In Bangkok, at twelve o’clock, they foam at the mouth and run,

But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen, go out in the midday sun.

The smallest Malay rabbit deplores this stupid habit.

In Hong Kong, they strike a gong, and fire off a noonday gun.

To reprimand each inmate, who’s in late.

In the mangrove swamps where the python romps

there is peace from twelve till two.

Even caribous lie down and snooze, for there’s nothing else to do.

In Bengal, to move at all, is seldom if ever done,

But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

2 thoughts on “Mad dogs & Englishmen & I”

  1. I saw a CNN TV report explaining the new reach of Hizbullah rockets, and it was a G Earth flight. Credits were visible (“Google Earth video”) but I suspect that the rocket images were added in video-edition as well as the final explosion hitting some hill in Israel.

  2. How about earning some sideline money for those pints … do talk to an online news editor ..

    I was all ready to have a go at documenting the Lebanon-Israel conflict in KML (why are no news organizations taking the lead? This is the first war of the geobrowser era

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