Ascent 206 – Mad Dogs and Englishmen


We’re enjoying some wonderful sunny weather in the NYC area currently. Some are complaining that it’s too hot, and I’m prompt to remind them what it’s like in winter. I’ll take hot and sunny any day.

Today was simply beautiful. Clear skies and sunshine all day long. It was 70 degrees in the morning when I sat outside with my coffee doing my usual centering.

It proceeded to warm up rapidly from there, getting up to the 90 degree mark. What does any self-respecting gent of English descent do in such temps? Go for a power walk, of course.

After a brief breakfast, I donned shorts and tank top then ventured out into the balmy bliss.

It was simply awesome! I don’t get why there weren’t many other folks out taking advantage of this gift. I noticed the same phenomenon when I lived in Dallas. People walked from their car to their house and vice versa. It was extremely rare to see people out walking. It wasn’t uncommon to see folks walking around town with sweatshirts over their arms as many restaurants would have the air conditioning at chilly levels. Which again made no sense to me.

I don’t want to spend my life cooped up inside and, if the weather outside is a little extreme, there is only one way to get acclimated to it – get out in it and soak it up.

When the sun is shining, I have to get out in it, even if it is for a few moments. There is something magical, healing and energizing about direct sunlight and for me, it’s an essential energy. I definitely feel a low ebb when the sun isn’t shining so getting out in the solar power is crucial for me.

If you’re curious about the origin of the expression “Mad Dogs and Englishmen”, it’s from a song written by Noel Coward in 1931. Enjoy

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.


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