Tea In The Sahara

Album: Synchronicity (1983)
  • My sisters and I
    Have one 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

    Tea in the Sahara with you
    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
    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

Comments: 10

  • Philkelt from Dublin, IrelandThe 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."
  • Danielle from New York, NyWhile the inspiration for "Tea in the Sahara" may have come from the prostitution scene in the book "The Sheltering Sky", the song seems to have some vivid pagan elements, particularly with the sisters praying to the Moon. I believe that they are actually priestesses of a pre-Judeo-Christian-Islamic religion. The lyrics "they would wait for him here ....the same place every year" makes it seems more like a ritual, perhaps a yearly fertility ritual. Also, he is a young man, not a mature one. This would also be in keeping with a fertility ritual. Additionally, he is satisfying their need, not the other way around. He probably never comes back because he is either killed for continuing to worship a pagan faith, or he is converted. The sky turning to black signals the end of the power of their God, or Goddess, on Earth. Their cups full of sand represents their barren wombs and the barren earth due to the fertility ritual not being completed. The fact that they were waiting in a desert to begin with could represent that theirs was a dying faith, the desert itself symbolizing the death of their religion.
  • None from None , WyAh, I love this song. For some reason when I first got this song on a greatest hits album I ignored it. But then finally one night I listened to the whole album all the way through and I thought this was a perfect way to end it. Its kind of... comforting in a way. I'm not saying the lyrics are comforting, but the song (to me) can almost make you feel as if you're being tucked into bed. But perhaps I'm only saying that because it was 1 AM when I was listening to it and I nearly fell asleep. Haha.
  • Xyzee from Boston, MaLiquid Len...
    You crack me up!
    Hey, you've got an ear...
    This I know!
    Your Murder by Number comment was
    right on target.
  • Xyzee from Boston, Ma...but, he never returned, so the sisters would burn, as their eyes searched the land, with their cups still full of sand...

    Bloody brilliant! Sure wish Sting would write 'em the way he did with (the) Police. Misery becomes him, Felicity does not.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrThere's a confusion on pronunciation. Is it "Sa Hera"? or is it "Sa Hahra"?
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, CanadaThis song has subliminal messages in it! If you take the first letter of each word in the title...
  • Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesThis has such a 1940s cinematic feel to it... I cannot explain it any better than that.
  • Matt from West Springfield, MaThis prolly my favorite police song...this or message in a bottle....I love the idea of broken promises and how empty it can make you feel....especially if its a promise broken by someone close to you...reminds me of a girl..lol
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrWhen I first heard this song, I misheard the lyric as, "Gee Whiz a Heart, with you."
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