Don't Let's Be Beastly to the Germans

By NOEL COWARD

1st Verse

WE MUST be kind, and with an open mind
We must endeavor to find a way
To let the Germans know that when the war is over
They are not the ones who’ll have to pay.
We must be sweet and tactful and discreet
And when they’ve suffered defeat
We mustn’t let them feel upset
Or ever get the feeling that we’re cross with them or
hate them —
Our future policy must be to reinstate them.

2nd Verse

We must be just and win their love and trust
And in addition we must be wise
And ask the conquered lands to join our hands to
aid them —
That would be a wonderful surprise.
For many years they’ve been in floods of tears
Because the poor little dears
Have been so wronged and only longed
To cheat the world, deplete the world, and beat the
world to blazes.
This is the moment when we ought to sing their
praises.

1st Chorus

Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans
When our victory is ultimately won.
It was just those nasty Nazis who persuaded them
to fight
And their Beethoven and Bach are really far worse
than their bite.
Let’s be meek to them and turn the other cheek to
them
And try to bring out their latent sense of fun.
Let’s give them full air parity and treat the rats
with charity,
But don’t let’s be beastly to the Hun.

2nd Chorus

Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans
When we’ve definitely got them on the run.
Let us treat them very kindly as we would a valued
friend.
We might send them out some bishops as a form of
Lease and Lend.
Let’s be sweet to them and day by day repeat to
them
That “sterlization” simply isn’t done.
Let’s help the dirty swine again to occupy the Rhine
again,
But don’t let’s be beastly to the Hun.

3rd Chorus

Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans
When the age of peace and plenty has begun.
We must send them steel and oil and coal and
everything they need,
For their peaceable intentions can be always guaran-
teed.
Let’s employ with them a sort of “strength through
joy” with them —
They’re better than us at honest manly fun.
Let’s let them feel they’re swell again and bomb us
all to hell again,
But don’t let’s be beastly to the Hun.

4th Chorus

Don’t let’s be beastly to the Germans,
For you can’t deprive a gangster of his gun;
Though they’ve been a little naughty to the Czechs
and Poles and Dutch
But I don’t suppose those countries really minded
very much.
Let’s be free with them and share the BBC with
them —
We mustn’t prevent them basking in the sun.
Let’s soften their defeat again and build their bloody
fleet again,
But don’t let’s be beastly to the Hun.

Ever since this topical song by Mr. Coward appeared last year in England, parts of it have turned up in print and on the radio; we are glad to reproduce the lyric in its entirety. Some of Mr. Coward’s difficulties with reverse English may be inferred from the fact that many of his British audience denounced the song for what they considered its unwarrantably pacifistic purport.

Copyright 1943, by Chappell & Co., Ltd. Reprinted by special permission of Chappell & Co., Inc., Publisher.