Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Simple Song: Tea for Two

As I was starting up my computer this morning I thought, "I wonder how much the word tea is mentioned in music?" And what does one do when one wonders today? You google it. So I googled tea in music and found a very detailed blog from the Adagio Teas website about that very topic. The article, which can be read in futher detail here, mentioned quite a few instances throughout history where tea is used in the lyrics. The one that caught my eye however, and should have been the first song that I thought of was "Tea for Two".

I figured, I know this song, and by "I know" I mean I can sing "Tea for two, and two for tea, da da, da dum, da da, da dum..." Obviously I didn't really know this song, and so, I looked it up! Tea for Two is a song that was written for the 1925 Broadway musical "No, No Nanette". The lyrics (below) show that the character Jimmy is postulating what life would be like if he were to have a wife, a family and a future with Nanette, complete with a cup of tea!

A few decades later Doris Day would star in the 1950's movie titled "Tea for Two" which was rewritten as completely different story line from the earlier Broadway musical that it was based on. The entire storyline of the movie can be found here as well as the Tea for Two song, sung by Doris Day.

There would be a 1971 revival of No, No, Nanette and Tea for Two was a song that would be recreated a few more times throughout the 20th century continuing its popularity. The thoughts and dreams surrounding this song might be what many considered "The American Dream" back when it was first sung. And while the ideas of this song may not resonate with many people's lives today, the idea of simple pleasures and finding happiness living a life with the one you love isn't a bad reminder of what we should be striving for everyday, and sure, tack on a cup of tea and you've got a pretty good thing going on!


Picture you upon my knee

Just tea for two

And two for tea

Just me for you

And you for me...alone-



I'm discontented with homes that I've rented

So I have invented my own.

Darling, this place is lovely oasis

Where life's weary taste is unknown

Far from the crowded city

Where flowers pretty caress the stream

Cozy to hide in, to live side by side in,

Don't let it apart in my dream-

Picture you upon my knee

Just tea for two

And two for tea

Just me for you

And you for me alone NANETTE:

Nobody near us to see us or hear us Mm, mm, mm,

No friends or relations Mm, mm, mm,

On weekend vacations Mm, mm, mm.

We won't have it known, dear,

That we own a telephone, dear...


Day will break and I'll wake

And start to bake a sugar cake

For you to take for all the boys to see


We'll raise a family


A boy for you

And a girl for me


Can't you see how happy we would be...

No comments:

Post a Comment