"Tea for Two" is a song from the 1925 musical No, No, Nanette with music by Vincent Youmans and lyrics by Irving Caesar. It is a duet sung by Nanette and Tom in Act II as they imagine their future. The song contains abrupt key changes between A-flat major and C-major. The song also consists mostly of dotted eighth and quarter notes. Alec Wilder described these features as being uncharacteristic of a great theatrical song but acknowledged the song's great success regardless. The story may be apocryphal, but Irving Caesar indicated on Steve Allen's radio show that the lyrics were intended to be temporary. Hoyt Axton later did much the same thing with the "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" part of "Joy to the World". In October 1927, the conductor Nikolai Malko challenged Dmitri Shostakovich to do an arrangement of a piece in 45 minutes. His "Tea for Two" arrangement, Opus 16, was first performed on 25 November 1928. It was incorporated into Tahiti Trot from his ballet The Golden Age first performed in 1929.
I'm discontented with homes that are rented so I have invented my own. Darling this place is a lover's oasis where life's weary chase is unknown. Far from the cry of the city, where flowers pretty caress the streams, Cozy to hide in, to live side-by-side in. And don't let it abide in my dreams.
Picture you upon my knee, just tea for two and two for tea, Just me for you and you for me, alone!
Nobody near us, to see us or hear us, No friends or relations on weekend 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?