The Cup Of Tea reel

Also known as The Cup O’ Tea, The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea.

There are 63 recordings of a tune by this name.

A tune by this name has been recorded together with Cooley’s (a few times), The Trip To Durrow (a few times), The Wise Maid (a few times).

The Cup Of Tea has been added to 1,282 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Five settings

X: 1
T: The Cup Of Tea
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:BAGF GEEF|GEBE GEEA|BAGF GEEG|FDAD FDDA|
BAGF GEEF|GEBE GEEA|B2 BA GABc|dBAG FD D2:|
K:D
|:d2 eg fdec|d2 eg fB B2|d2 eg fdec|dBAG FD D2|
d2 eg fdec|dfaf g2 fg|afge fdec|dBAG FD D2:|
|:FAdA FABA|FAdA FEE2|FAdA FABc|dBAG FD D2|
FAdA FABA|FAde fee2|fdec dBAF|GBAG FD D2:|
ABC
X: 2
T: The Cup Of Tea
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:BAGF GE (3EEE|GEBE GE (3EEE|BAGF GE (3EEE|FDAD FD (3DDD|
BAGF GE (3EEE|GEBE GE (3EEE|BAGF GABc|(3dcB AG FD (3DDD:|
|:d2 fg fdec|df eg fB (3BcB|d2 eg f2 fg|agfe fB (3BcB|
d2 (3efg fdec|dfaf g2 fg|af (3gfe fdec|(3dcB AG FD (3DDD:|
|:(3FGA A2 FA dA|(3FGA dA FE E2|(3FGA (3FGA (3FGA Bc|(3dcB AG FD (3DDD|
(3FGA A2 A2 A2|(3FGA de fee2|fdec (3dcB AF|GBAG FD (3DDD:|
ABC
X: 3
T: The Cup Of Tea
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:BAGF GE E2|GEBE GE E2|BAGF GE E2|FDAD FD D2|
BAGF GE E2|GBEG BE E2|BAGF GABc|dBAG FD D2:|
|:d2 (3efg fdec|dfeg fB B2|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAG FD D2|
d2 (3efg fdec|dfaf g2 fg|af (3gfe fdec|dBAG FD D2:|
|:FA A2 FAdA|FAdA FE E2|FA A2 BABc|dBAG FD D2|
FA A2 FAdA|FAdA FE E2|fdec dBAG|FAEG FD D2:|
# Added by JACKB .
ABC
X: 4
T: The Cup Of Tea
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|{c}BAGF {A}GE ~E2|{A}GE{c}BE {A}GE ~E2|{c}BAGF {A}GE E2|(3GFE (3BAG FD ~D2|
{c}BAGF {A}GE ~E2|(3GFE BE {A}GE ~E2|{c}BAGF GABc|dBAG FD ~D2|
|{c}BAGF {A}GE ~E2|(3GFE BE {A}GE ~E2|~B2 {c}BA ~G2 AG |FD~D2 AD ~D2|
(3BAG {A}GF {A}GE ~E2|~E2~E2 {A}GE ~E2|{c}BAGF GABc|dBAG FD ~D2|
|:d2 (3efg fdec|dfeg fB ~B2|d2 (3efg fdec|dBAG FD ~D2|
d2 (3efg fdec|dfaf g2 fg|a.f (3.g.f.e fdec|.d.cAG FD ~D2:|
|:FA ~A2 FA ~A2|~A2~A2 {c}BE E2|FA ~A2 FABc|dBAG FD ~D2|
FA ~A2 FAdA|FAdf {a}fe{a}eg|fdec dBAG|(3GFE AG FD ~D2:|
ABC
X: 5
T: The Cup Of Tea
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Edor
|:"Em"BAGF GEEF|"Em"GEBE GEE/E/E|"Em"BAGF GEEF|"D"FDAG FDD/D/D|
"Em"BAGF GEEF|"Em"GEBE GEEA|"Em"BAGF GABc| "D"dBAG FDD2 :|
|: "D"d2e/f/g fdec|"Bm"d2eg fBB/B/B|"D"d2eg fdec|"A"dBAG "D"FDD2|
"D"d2e/f/g fdec|"D"dfaf "G"g2fg|"D"afge fdec|"D"dBAG FDD2 :|
|: "D"FAdA FABA|"D"FAdA "A"FEE/E/E|"D"FAdA "G"BABc|"A"dBAG "D"FDD2|
"D"FAdA FABA|"D"FAdf "A"fee/e/e|"D"fdec "G"dBAF|"A"dBAG "D" FDD2:|
ABC

Eighteen comments

I think I first heard this reel on an old album by "The Wild Geese". It’s quite a popular reel and a good one to liven up any session.

I’ve shown a fairly basic version of the tune here. As always, you could spice it up with some tastefully applied ornamentation.

For instance, at the start of the second part, you could either turn that D note into a triplet or slide up to it from C sharp.

For a very NON-basic version of the tune, check out Liz Carroll’s version on Lost in the Loop on the first track (along with Sevens and Michael Kennedy’s). Wild!

Zina

Kieran Hanrahan

In set with "Greiggs pipes" and "the Congess" on album "Kieran Hanrahan-plays the Irish tenor banjo". Brilliant!

LIz Carroll does this a fifth lower

Adorian instead of Edorian — it sounds great on the fiddle!

It’s on the Thistle and Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh.

The Cup Of Tea

Isn’t this sometimes called "The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea"? If so, why is it unfortunate? Is there a story behind this?

Horslips had an album entitled The Unfortunate Cup of Tea and it is under that name if you look in the contents of O’Neill’s. Other than that, I’ve only heard it called the Cup of Tea.

Try,

Drowsy Maggie, The Morning Dew, The Cup of Tea

Does anyone know why it is ‘Unfortunate’ - this would seem to be the older name of the tune. There must be a story behind it …someone?

I’d say "unfortunate" refers to a spilt cup of tea. We’ll all spilt a cup at some stage but it can be particularly unfortunate if, for example, it was the last teabag. Maybe you’d just carried it all the way out to the shed, having taken care not to spill any of the full-to-the-brim cup on the garden patio only to have an accident at the finish line all lose everything.

Pipers Version of Cup of Tea

No idea about keys,

X:1
T:A Cup of Tea
M:C|
L:1/8
R:Reel
C:Traditional
Q:120
K:HP
|:e3/2A/2 A2 g2 f3/2g/2|e3/2A/2 A2 B3/2G/2G3/2B/2|e3/2A/2 A2 g2 f3/2g/2|a3/2f/2g3/2e/2 d3/2g/2f/2g3/2:|
|:e3/2a/2a3/2g/2 e3/2f/2g3/2e/2|e3/2a/2a3/2g/2 e3/2d/2B/2d3/2|e3/2a/2a3/2g/2 e3/2f/2g3/2e/2|a3/2f/2g3/2e/2 d2 c3/2d/2:|

Pipers Version of Cup of Tea

It’s A mixolydian. Tunes in A keys tend to have lots of notes within A chords (e.g. A major = AC#E).
A part: 1st, 2nd and 3rd bars all start with EAA.
B part: 1st, 2nd and 3rd bars all start with eaa

Also, try to imagine what note you would play after the last note, to finish the tune off. In this tune it might be an e, but as part of an A chord, or you might feel that a solid A would be the note. Either way, it’s the note that’s not written at the end which may reveal the key.

Now post it properly as a setting!

Wasn’t aware there was "A" Cup of Tea and "THE" Cup of tea - both being different Reels, now I am.

X:4 Willie Clancy’s version



THE cup o’ tea

I posted this setting the way we play on banjo. It’s very much like the other settings posted here but I’ve added chords for the backup guitarist.