As always, nothing in music is ever that simple, and a song about England's favourite beverage has only the most tenuous connection with it. "Everything Stops For Tea" was composed by the New York born Maurice Sigler, has lyrics by fellow New Yorker Al Goodheart and Russian born American Al Hoffman. And was performed in the first instance by Jack Buchanan, who in spite of his impeccable English accent was actually a Scotsman. It was featured in the 1935 musical Come Out Of The Pantry, which was set in New York, but Buchanan also made a separate recording with a cameo introduction.
As to the song itself, it is probably not quite true that a lawyer in the courtroom in the middle of an alimony plea also stops for tea. In Britain, alimony is known as maintenance. And where exactly does Cleopatra come into it?
"Everything Stops For Tea" was also featured in the 1940 exhibition by the Ministry of Food, at which time tea was rationed, and was recorded decades later by Long John Baldry.
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above
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