Words: Irving Caesar; Music: Vincent Youmans (1925)

Lyrics

Picture you upon my knee,
Just tea for two
And two for tea,
Me for you
And you for me alone.

Nobody near us
To see us or hear us,
No friends or relations
On week-end vacations.
We won’t have it known, dear,
That we own a telephone, dear.

Day will break,
And you’ll awake
And start to bake
A sugar cake
For me to take
For all the boys to see.

We will raise a family –
A boy for you
And a girl for me –
Can’t you see
How happy we would be?

Background

“Tea for Two” is a song from the 1925 musical No, No, Nanette – a duet sung by Nanette and Tom in Act II as they imagine their future. The story may be untrue, but Irving Caesar once indicated that the lyrics were intended to be temporary.

Performances

Here is a performance by Doris Day from the film adaptation of No, No, Nanette (which was actually called Tea for Two, probably due to the popularity of the song):

And here is a very interesting version. In 1927, the conductor Nikolai Malko challenged Dmitri Shostakovich to do an arrangement of a piece in 45 minutes – and he succeeded! His “Tea for Two” arrangement, Opus 16, was incorporated into “Tahiti Trot” from his ballet The Golden Age:

And here is the Sing-A-long version for listening to and downloading:

Tea for Two