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The Melodies of Tea

Artwork Courtesy of David Borzo
Artwork Courtesy of David Borzo

A nice hot cup of Tea is like a favorite song that you love hearing again and again…it always hits the spot. Combine tea and music together, and you’re really setting the pot to boil. So it’s no surprise that there is a grand history of music celebrating the tea experience. Perhaps the earliest record of the language or melody of tea comes from Lu Yu, the 8th Century Chinese scholar who wrote The Classic of Tea, the first known book on both tea ritual and philosophy. Tea “music” itself dates back hundreds of years, most likely with tea pluckers who often sang to keep their energy and spirits up while doing the same repetitive motions, plucking leaves from the waist-high tea bushes. One famous Japanese song coaches to …pick all you can, young maids, for if you do not, we Japanese will have no tea!…

More recently there are several songs that celebrate tea, like “I’m a Little Teapot”, a childhood staple, and “Tea for Two”, a proposal from a young man to his love declaring they will be happy spending their lives together, sipping tea. One of the most popular bands of the last half century, The Beatles, were of course great tea lovers. In fact, in 1965, the first thing that John, Paul George and Ringo asked for when arriving at London’s Heathrow airport from a U.S. tour was a hot cup of tea. The Fab Four also wrote many songs with lyrics celebrating tea, including “It’s all too much”, and “Lovely Rita”. True to form, 35 years after the Beatles broke up, Paul McCartney included a fantastic tea homage entitled “English Tea” on his 2005 CD, proving that where there is tea, there is always a melody brewing.

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One Response to “The Melodies of Tea”

  1. Diane writes:

    Thank you for the information. I am always looking for tea music.