Monday, August 17, 2009

Curious Item #6 -- Tupelo Honey

K* and I are both big fans of Van Morrison (if you don’t know who K* is, then I’m surprised you found this blog). We occasionally find ourselves involved in inane discussions of mundane things.

Frequently, it’s me just talking and K* indulging me, but there are some topics that get us both excited. And one of them is the meaning of Van Morrison’s song “Tupelo Honey.” Specifically, this passage:

You can take all the tea in China

Put it in a big brown bag for me

Sail it right around the seven oceans

Drop it smack dab in the middle of the deep blue sea

Because she's as sweet as tupelo honey

So, (CQ) what the hell is Van Morrison talking about?

K* inteprets it like this: The song’s character is a powerful man, a tea mogul perhaps (can you imagine how much all the tea in China would be worth?! Probably, like a lot.) And he’s saying, you know, I can have any worldly possession and do whatever I want, but none of that matters much because what I really want is you and your sweet, sweet love.

Now I interpret it like this: The song’s character has imagined a scenario wherein he’s turned all of the world’s oceans into one giant cup of tea. He did dump all the tea in China into the ocean, after all. And what he’s saying is that she’s so sweet, so incredibly saccharine, that she can still sufficiently sweeten this world-sized cup of tea (by jumping into it presumably). Now that, my friends, is sweet. (And, might I add, she has yet to be found to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Powerful stuff.)

(Imagine all of the blue stuff as tea. Crazy, right?!)

What do you think? The more I think about it now, I think K* may just be indulging me.

1 comment:

  1. K Star here. (Greg likes to refer to me in code.) Ahem, it's Katie.

    To answer the last question first: Yes, I am indulging you.

    That phrase, "I wouldn't trade it for all the tea in China"... That's what's happening here. Ol' Van is saying, "Look, y'all. You can pack up all that good stuff, haul it onto a boat, just sail on around that big ol' world and then dump it smack dab into the middle of the great blue sea, because I don't give a bump. I've got this girl that's so sweet that all of that tea has no meaning for me." Or this is what Street-Van would say.

    I concede that you have quite the point with his line, "She's as sweet as Tupelo Honey" and also, well, that's the name of the song, and album come to think of it. Perhaps he's saying of all the indulgences alloted in life, he'd prefer the sweetness of his lady friend for all that rich tea in China.

    I mean, you wouldn't trade me for all that tea, right?.... Right?