"Tea in the Sahara" as written by and Gordon Matthew Sumner....
My sisters and I
Have this wish before we die
And it may sound strange
As if our minds are deranged
Please don't ask us why
Beneath the sheltering sky
We have this strange obsession
You have the means in your possession

We want our tea in the Sahara with you
We want our tea in the Sahara with you

The young man agreed
He would satisfy their need
So they danced for his pleasure
With a joy you could not measure
They would wait for him here
The same place every year
Beneath the sheltering sky
Across the desert he would fly

Tea in the Sahara with you
Tea in the Sahara with you

The sky turned to black
Would he ever come back?
They would climb a high dune
They would pray to the moon
But he'd never return
So the sisters would burn
As their eyes searched the land
With their cups full of sand

Tea in the Sahara with you
Tea in the Sahara with you
Tea in the Sahara with you
Tea in the Sahara with you


Lyrics submitted by sillybunny

"Tea in the Sahara" as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Tea in the Sahara song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI’ve always liked this song because I like the way “tea in the Sahara” sounds—not that I’m itching to have sand in my tea—it’s just presents a lovely visual image that has little to do with sand and sweat. The song was apparently inspired by the book The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles—he quoted a tale about three sisters who hoped to have tea in the Sahara with a handsome prince they had met. The song is about broken dreams.

    "Three girls from the mountains—Outka, Mimouna and Aicha go to seek their fortune and more than anything else they want to drink tea in the Sahara. One day a handsome Targui comes who tells the sisters all about the Sahara, where he lives. They dance for him, he makes love to them and he gives them each a silver coin that they save in hopes of traveling to the desert.

    One day they say, “We are going to finish like this—always sad, without ever having tea in the Sahara - so now we must go anyway, even without money.” And they pool their funds to buy a teapot, a tray, three glasses and bus tickets. The sisters end up in the desert climbing the highest dune in hopes of finding the handsome Targui.

    Many days later another caravan was passing and a man saw something on top of the highest dune there. And when they went up to see, they found Outka, Mimouna and Aicha; lying the same way as when they had gone to sleep. “And all three of the glasses," he held up his own little tea glass, "were full of sand. That was how they had their tea in the Sahara."
    sillybunnyon July 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBeautiful song. I think this song was performed the best during 1991 MTV Unplugged, slower and more expressive, the way it should have been recorded originally.
    TheLeadGuitaron April 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHey there Delilah
    I've got so much left to say
    If every simple song I wrote to you
    Would take your breath away
    I'd write it all
    sillybunnyon March 12, 2011   Link

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