"Tea And Sympathy" as written by Greg Wells, Mark Hudson and Dan Haseltine....
Fare thee well
Trade in all our words for tea and sympathy
Wonder why we tried for things that could never be
Play our hearts lament like an unrehearsed symphony

Not intend
To leave this castle full of empty rooms
Our love the captive in the tower never rescued
And all the victory songs
Seem to be playing out of tune

But it's not the way
That it has to be
Don't trade our love for tea and sympathy
'Cause it's not the way
That it has to be

You begin
And all your words fall to the floor and break like china cups
And the waitress grabs a broom and tries to sweep them up
I reach for my tea and slowly drink in

[Chorus]
'Cause it's not the way
That it has to be
Don't trade our love for tea and sympathy
'Cause it's not the way
That it has to be
Don't trade our love for tea and sympathy

So fare thee well
Words the bag of leaves that fill my head
I could taste the bitterness and call the waitress instead
She holds the answer, smiles and asks one teaspoon or two

[Chorus: x2]

Don't trade us for tea and sympathy
Don't trade us for tea and Sympathy
We can work it out
Don't trade us for tea and Sympathy
Don't trade us for tea and Sympathy
We can work it out
Don't trade us for tea and Sympathy
We can work it out


Lyrics submitted by limegreenguitar

"Tea and Sympathy" as written by Mark Hudson Greg Wells

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Tea And Sympathy song meanings
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21 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commenti have to disagree because in england, the term for "tea and sympathy" usually refers to a casual act between friends or family to those that need mere company during a time of trial or sadness...

    tea and sympathy refers to that time spent together, a casual get-to-gether when one is giving sympathy to the one who is heartbroken.

    this song is staged at a place exactly where you might go for tea and sympathy- a restaurant, and the waitress is someone who's very experienced with other people walking in doing just that- having casual conversation with one person giving sympathy while the other is heartbroken.

    what the singer is trying to suggest is that he doesn't want their love to grow into the type of relationship where they only meet to talk of trivial things, conversations where the girl speaks of meaningless things- that's why her words fall to the floor like china cups...there's just no substance in them and they're love has faded into some friendship with casual conversation...

    it's like when you break up with someone you really love, and afterwards, your relationship sometimes ends up being bland, "bitter", and all the things you've said in the past, all the dreams and "castles" you've planned were left unattained.

    in the end, he's pleading to save their love...their relationship, for something more passionate and real than just bland casual friendship with empty words and sympathetic gestures. he reassures her "we can work it out" meaning to continue their romantic relationship and not trading it in for some 'hey, how you doing these days' type relationships...
    marchesaon June 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentmarchesa,

    the way you explaned it just makes the song more clear to me.
    I agree with what you said.

    Thanks-a-lot!
    bear_hug20on October 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentok you guys, this is a tough one. i have no clue on this one, i've known this song forever, but i've never figured it out. so please help me out!
    limegreenguitaron December 04, 2001   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about miscommunication and how it kills true love, what we could have have. And tea and sympathy symbolizes how when we are depressed or heartbroken or sick, tea is supposed to be like a remedy and of course you get sympathy from your friends and people.
    HesMySavioron February 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "tea" in this song refers to things said between two people who love each other. Some of the words are harsh and misunderstood, and "fall to the floor and break like china cups", whereas some of them are calmly and carefully spoken, "slowly dr[u]nk in". The waitress tries to clean up the broken words, and later offers sugar. They taste the "bitterness" of the words spoken, and the waitress offers sugar to sweeten the "tea" -- meaning they need to "sweeten" the words.

    This all might sound silly, but they've put a lot of analogies into the song. The waitress represents a kind of common sense -- trying to fix the mistake of using harsh words, and trying to find better words to use. The tea represents the words being spoken, and the bag of leaves represents those not yet said (not yet mixed).
    japhyon April 19, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhoa, japhy. Right on. How on earth did you know all that??
    Grim713on May 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentway to go japhy, i understand it so much better. thanks!
    annemarie_on May 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentnow i understand. Ü
    kaTe_o7on September 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReminds me of a good friend. (8(')
    doctorbeakon March 20, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReminds me of a good friend. (8(')
    doctorbeakon March 20, 2003   Link

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