Though "London Pride
" was unquestionably Coward's finest wartime song, "Don't Let's Be Beastly To The Germans" was his most controversial.
Written in the Spring of 1943 and recorded on July 2 that year, it was a personal favorite of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, so much so that according to Coward's biographer Sheridan Morley, when Coward sang it at a private party on the stage at Haymarket, Churchill liked it enough to demand three reprises. Coward himself said Churchill made him play it no less than seven times in one evening.
After the War, Coward himself explained that he had written it "as a satire directed against a small minority of excessive humanitarians, who, in my opinion, were taking a rather too tolerant view of our enemies." Unfortunately, some people - who were obviously none too bright - didn't realize that at the time, and thought it was pro-German; he received a sackful of abusive letters, and the BBC and His Master's Voice flew into a panic. The latter suppressed it for three months, the former banned it from airplay, although it was played once, and Coward became the first person to use the word "bloody" over the air.