The Sun Has Got His Hat On

Album: Me And My Girl (1937)
  • songfacts ®
  • "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" is also known by its extended title "The Sun Has Got His Hat On (He's Coming Out Today)" - the brackets are optional. This is a happy sounding title and indeed a happy song. Co-written by Noel Gay and Ralph Butler - music and words respectively - it appeared in the second act of the 1937 musical Me And My Girl which is not to be confused with the song "For Me And My Gal" or with the 1932 non-musical film Me And My Gal.
  • This song was written apparently in 1932 because that is when it was first recorded. It seems strange that a song of this nature should have fallen foul of the censor; although it didn't initially.

    The reason it did, in later years, was discussed in the first episode of a short BBC Radio 4 series Taboo Be Doo broadcast in June 2011.

    The first line of the couplet:

    He's been tanning ni--ers out in Timbuktu
    Now he's coming back to do the same to you


    Was altered to:
    He's been canning peanuts
  • In 1971, Jonathan King recorded what might be called a compromise version with "He's been tanning Negroes out in Timbuktu".

    When one considers some of the songs recorded by rap artists, which are peppered liberally with the dreaded N word and far, far worse, this doctoring of a jaunty 1930s air seems mildly amusing. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 3
  • BBC Radio Devon presenter David Lowe played the original 1932 version of the song during his show on April 27, 2014. He didn't realize until he spun it that the recording contained the controversial n-word. The Devon DJ was forced to resign after a single listener complained despite offering to apologize on air, and although he was later offered his job back, he did not return.
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