Monday, March 22, 2010

English Tea; Paul McCartney

Now it’s time to post all McCartney’s whistling song. Let’s get start with “English Tea”. “English Tea” was released in McCartney’s 2005 album named “Chaos and Creation in the Backyeard”, which peaked #6 on US Billboard 200 and #10 on UK Albums Chart.

“English Tea” wasn't released as a single, so I thought it was going to be difficult to find things about it. But, luckily, I was wrong and I could find a complete interview about this album on, so I’m posting the part that interests us:

“It’s erm, the lyrics say ‘Very twee, very me’ and I think it is very me that stuff. The Beatles made a sort of English y sort of music, once they got past their American roots, American influences. You know a lot of our early stuff was ‘Some other guy now’ and you know pure soul RnB stuff that we loved (sings Twist and Shout) was directly taken from America. But then we started to sort of work in little things that were more us, and erm that kind of thing, that’s particularly me that kind of English Tea type of thing. Again it was this fascination with sort of how people speak, how some English people speak. But the idea started, I was on holiday, and if you want a cup of tea, you don’t do what you do in England, say ‘A cup of tea please’, They always say ‘What kind of tea?’ You know like in England nobody would ever say ‘What kind of tea?’ Well they actually would these days, but in the old days it was never like ‘What kind of tea?’ It’d be like ‘What do you mean? Cuppa tea.’ So now they say ‘What kind of tea?’ and you have to say ‘English Breakfast tea’ and then they go ‘Oh OK’ and you get it you know you get an ordinary cup of tea. So I just thought that’s amazing that calling it ‘English tea’, but I thought it’s kind of original because we don’t call it that . So I just started playing with that idea, of English tea. And then as I say there’s one particular older English person I’m thinking of who instead of saying ‘Do you want a cup of tea?’ might say ‘Would you care for a cup of tea?’ It's just the way they say it, and I love that. ‘Would you care?’ and in this case ‘Would you care to sit with me, for a cup of English tea?’ And so I really went to town on that whole fruity way of talking, that whole fruity language that I like. It’s I think it’s very endearing, very English, and I even managed to work in the word ‘peradventure’ which I was very proud of. Cos that’s like, cos I read Dickens quite a bit, it came to me from… I thought there is a word ‘peradventure’ and I think as I say I read it in Dickens (you get these old usages of words in there). And I thought ‘I do hope I’m right cos I’ve put it in the song’. ‘Do you know the game croquet… Per adventure we might play’… You know I thought ‘Oh I hope this is right’ I looked it up in the dictionary: ‘peradventure – perhaps, maybe’. ‘Yes!’

“I thought ‘Oh great I’m sure not many people work that into a song’. And then also, ‘Do you know the game croquet, peradventure we might play, Very gay Hip hooray’ you know in the old sense of the word ‘gay’ so it was nice, it was that croquet, very English, lawns, hollyhocks, roses, very Alice in Wonderland, that was also in the back of my mind, which influenced a lot of me and John’s writing. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, that’s Alice to us you know (Sings) Picture yourself…’ The whole idea of ‘picture yourself’ you know in a boat on a river very Alice very Lewis Carroll, it’s just the way I like to write that, so a fruity little song.”

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
Every Sunday morning

Miles of miles of English garden, stretching past the willow tree
Lines of holly, hocks and roses, listen most attentively

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

Miles of miles of English garden, stretching past the willow tree
Lines of holly, hocks 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

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