Apr 152010

I enjoy hearing rock ‘n roll songs mentioning specific blends of tea. Such references always bring a smile to my face, in part for reminding me of The Rutles and in part for reminding me of a Rutles-inspired band in which I once played. We got a lot of mileage out of tea references, probably too much – and for that reason I’ll refrain from suggesting any songs I was involved in writing and performing with this long-forgotten side project.

Driving to work this morning I turned up the volume on a favorite late-’60s anthem, of sorts, only to hear a specific blend of tea reference that I’d never noticed before. I wqn’t tell you what song it was now, and I’ll only play that card if no one else lists it and I see a chance to win this whole ball of wax. Who among us will be the last man (or woman, it goes without saying) standing to list a rock ‘n roll song mentioning a specific blend of tea? Remember, it’s got to be a rock ‘n roll (or closely related) song (ie, no pre-rock ‘n roll Noel Coward number) and it’s got to cite a specific blend of tea. For instance, this legendary tea anthem, The Kinks‘ “Have a Cuppa Tea,” does NOT qualify because it does not cite a specific blend of tea. I checked to see whether “Rosie Lea” was a blend, but it turns out it’s Cockney rhyming slang for “tea.”

Because there may be so few options in this Last Man Standing competition, I’ll leave it to you to kick off the opening salvo!


  31 Responses to “Last Man Standing: Rock ‘n Roll Songs Mentioning Specific Blends of Tea”

  1. Penny Royal Tea perhaps?

  2. Mr. Moderator

    Well played! Can anyone top ramone666?

  3. mockcarr

    Supergrass- Whisky and Green Tea

  4. Mr. Moderator

    Excellent, mockcarr. This LMS may go on longer than I’d expected!

    In case anyone’s wondering, the specific tea blend citation does not need to be in the title of the song – it can be in the lyrics. Please quote the lyric, if that’s what you’re submitting. Thanks.

  5. bostonhistorian

    I’m trying to figure out if the band Pinhead Gunpowder references itself in a song…

  6. bostonhistorian

    But, until that point, I’m going with Vampire Weekend:

    “Occident out on the weekend
    That’s the way that we relax
    English Breakfast tastes like Darjeeling
    But she’s too cute to even ask” from One

  7. bostonhistorian

    Also, The Rolling Stones’ “Let It Bleed”

    “I was dreaming of a steel guitar engagement/
    When you drank my health in scented Jasmine Tea”

  8. Mr. Moderator

    bostonhistorian has nailed the somewhat anthemic song I heard this morning that led to this LMS!

  9. Nirvana has a song called Pennyroyal Tea. I assume that’s a brand.

  10. Mr. Moderator

    Already taken, chick. That was our first entry.

    This is shaping up to be a tough one. I’m sitting on one answer. I don’t know about the rest of you.

  11. misterioso

    I can’t believe no one else has thought of “All Oolong the Watchtower.” You guys are stupid.

  12. hrrundivbakshi

    Does “Afternoon Tea” qualify as a specific blend?

  13. bostonhistorian

    I’m sitting on one as well, probably the same as yours Mr. Mod.

  14. “A little Sleepy Time tea
    Spiked with a little heartache.”

    One Wink At A Time – the Replacements

  15. Mr. Moderator

    It wasn’t that Replacements song you were sitting on, was it, bostonhistorian?

  16. bostonhistorian

    No sir.

  17. misterioso

    And of course the anthemic Peter Gabriel classic, ‘Pekoe.’

  18. bostonhistorian

    Fleetwood Mac’s “Earl Grey”

  19. bostonhistorian

    Does “texas tea” in the Beverly Hillbillies Theme count?

  20. mikeydread

    Great song by the Kinks! Leonard Cohen – “she feeds me tea and oranges that come all the way from China…”

    And not forgtting Morrissey, Everyday is Like Sunday: “Shared some greased tea with me”.


  21. Mr. Moderator

    The judges – who are HUGE Beverly Hillbillies fans, it should be mentioned – will accept “Texas Tea!”

    OK, so mikeydread comes up with a good one, assuming that “greased tea” is a specific blend. (The “Suzanne” reference, on the other hand, lacked specificity – sorry.)

    mikeydread WAS Last Man Standing…until now:

    The Move’s “Chinatown”: “Maybe I’ll drink your jasmine tea then I’ll hurry home.”


  22. It’s a good thing you threw in that Move song, Mod, because it saves me the time of calling bullshit on the Beverly Hillbillies theme song.

  23. bostonhistorian

    Hey, I used a real song, then followed it up with a technical question

    Still, I offer Ike and Tina Turner’s “Black Coffee”,

    Well you hear that some black tea
    Well it can’t compare with me
    Black tea can’t compare with me…

  24. Paul Simon, “Spirit Voice”

    “My hands are numb
    My feet were lead
    I drank a cup of herbal brew”

  25. BigSteve

    Paul McCartney, English Tea

  26. Sly Stone – Don’t Call Me Nigger, White Tea.

  27. mikeydread

    Tea for the Tillerman, Cat Stevens.


  28. Speaking of Have A Cuppa Tea, I noted this upcoming show on the schedule of the Iron Horse in Northampton MA: “Nearly 40 years on, The Kinks’ Muswell Hillbillies is still regarded by many as songwriter Ray Davies’ finest work and one of the most enduring of all cult classics. Faithfully executing the likes of “20th Century Man,” “Holiday,” and “Skin and Bone”—as well as an “extras” list of additional Kinks cuts—is this all-ages “kollective” that includes guitarists Dave Simons and Bill Howard, journalist/drummer David Sokol, pianist Dave Skelly (Pop Party Opera), and bassist Jack Simons, along with a five-piece horn section featuring members of Hopkins Academy’s jazz ensemble. Performing the entire album, as well as such Kinks nuggets as “Victoria” and “Waterloo Sunset,” the band debuts in April as part of the Independent Film Festival Boston premiere of Do It Again, a documentary about one man’s effort to reunite the Kinks, created by Boston Globe writer Geoff Edgers.”

    As I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve been a Kinks fan since I bought Arthur (at the time of its release) and the first rock & roll show I saw was The Kinks at the Spectrum in 1971.

    So what does it day about me and/or Raymond Douglas that this show holds more interest for me than Ray Davies who played in Hartford 10 minutes from me last month and I never gave any consideration to going to it?

  29. “Beautiful World” by Colin Hay mentions two kinds of tea – Irish Tea and Lapsang Souchong.


    And with that, I think I’m out…

  30. Impossible Years guy Todd Shuster had a song called “Chamomile Tea” on his fab solo disc My Report Card.

  31. Mr. Moderator

    Excellent, noonetwisting! I’ve got that album – it was pretty good! The Impossible Years’ drummer, Seth, was one of my Philly scene big brothers, showing me the ropes way back when.

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