heard on the wire

I don’t want no cream or sugar

Elektra coffee machine

Tea or coffee? It’s one of life’s eternally important questions. Get the start to the day wrong and everything feels out of kilter.

I’m a coffee-in-the-morning, tea-in-the-afternoon person, preferring something strong and black before noon, something strong and a deep, rich shade of brown in the afternoon. The evening is reserved for beer.

What does popular music have to say on the subject? Not a lot, it would seem, save for hackneyed references to lipstick marks and coffee cups.

It’s a question that the estimable Dukla Prague Away KIt has attempted to answer—and with some success, despite taking some liberties with the definition of tea and including a song by Sting. But in addition to DPAK’s Top 10 I present the following lyrical libations.

Should the faintly ridiculous atheist assemblies that are springing up around the UK ever need a hymn book, they could worse than turning to Darren Hayman’s songs of praise to, among other things, cigarettes, alcohol, the postal service and the 1950s folk revival.

And to coffee.

Hefner :: A Hymn For The Coffee

Boca Chica were an orchestral twang pop band from Pittsburgh, it says here. Do they take afternoon tea in Pittsburgh?

Boca Chica :: Afternoon Tea ⬇ [free]

We stay in Pennsylvania for a third smithsock appearance from the man born Sean Scolnick who later adopted his hometown’s name (no, not Slim) to make beautiful music.

Langhorne Slim :: Coffee Cups

Belle and Sebastian also make beautiful music, though their latter LPs divide opinion between those, like me, who enjoy them as a natural progression from their earlier work and those who insist that everything after the first record, Tigermilk, is rubbish. This is gentle, soothing, ear cuddling pop music of which, frankly, I can never get enough.

Belle and Sebastian :: For the Price of a Cup of Tea

Audio MP3


Thank You For Smoking manages to be three things that rarely go hand in hand. The book, the film and the soundtrack are all worth a little of your hard-earned. The soundtrack is full of obscure tobacco-inspired gems; add coffee and Otis Redding and, well, just listen.

Otis Redding :: Cigarettes and Coffee

Audio MP3


Photo: Elektra; some rights reserved

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