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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tea and The Fab Four


 
"English Tea" by Paul McCartney


Paul McCartney said he was thinking of Noel Coward when he wrote this song. Here's what else he had to say about the inspiration behind "English Tea":
"In England if we say ‘Do you want a cup of tea?’ There’s one kind of tea that everyone will give you, and we don’t know what it is. We don’t know if it’s dodgy, it’s just a cup of tea. But when you go abroad, they say ‘What kind of tea do you want? Do you want Earl Grey tea? English Breakfast tea? Darjeeling tea? Lemon tea? Honey tea? Chamomile tea?’ You go ‘Gosh… stop! I just want a cup of tea!’"
"I was playing with this idea, which is kind of amusing for someone British, that there is such a thing as English tea, and it just made me think of English country gardens and people I know who are sort of upper class and who have a completely different vocabulary. Instead of saying ‘Do you want a cup of tea?’ they’d say ‘Would you care to take a cup of tea?’ It’s a parody of upper class speech. Instead of saying ‘Usually the church bells chime,’ I’d use a phrase like ‘As a rule the church bells chime.’"
"And that’s got to be the only song that anyone has ever worked in the word ‘paraventure.’ Nobody knows what that word means. I do because I’ve read a lot of Charles Dickens. I still read a lot of Dickens, actually. His language is very old-fashioned. ‘Paraventure’ means ‘perhaps.’ But it’s a really fruity word that is not in usage any more. So I was sort of proud of myself for working that one in. There’s got to be a Guinness book record in that. The award for the man with the most unknown word. Ever."

The Beatles at a press conference in 1964
 

Oh, go on then - here's the lyrics so you can sing along!

Would you care to sit with me
For a cup of English tea
Very twee, very me
Any sunny morning

What a pleasure it would be
Chatting so delightfully
Nanny bakes fairy cakes
On a Sunday morning

Miles and miles of English garden
Stretching past the willow tree
Lines of hollyhocks and roses
Listen most attentively

Do you know the game croquet
Paraventure we might play
Very gay, hip hooray
Any sunny morning

(whistle solo)

Miles and miles of English garden
Stretching past the willow tree
Lines of hollyhocks and roses
Listen most attentively

As a rule the church bells chime
When it's almost supper time
Nanny bakes fairy cakes
On a Sunday morning.

3 comments:

Linda said...

The Beatles and tea -- what a great combination!

Steph said...

Very cool!

Benoy said...

interesting! beatles is one of my fav.. "love love love me do.."

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