Avicii Feeling Good
Good morning! Today’s Monday and many of you may feel tired and not very motivated by the thought of starting a new week, but the funny thing is that some of us feel happy and full of energy because during the weekend we had time to think and plan new projects and Monday is the perfect day to set them to work. While I was writing an email, this song started playing on my computer and I thought that was just perfect to set people in a positive mood or sort of explain the feeling you have when you are happy and want to shout it out to the world. It’s another of Avicii’s wonderful songs Feeling Good. The lyrics deal with present simple, present continuous and vocabulary related to the natural world, so it’s suitable for students from A2 to B1 although you may want to see the pre-listening list of vocabulary below before doing the listening activity.
Breeze /bri:z/ = a soft wind – blossom /ˈblɒs.əm/= flowers on trees that become fruit – Dawn /dɔːn/= a period in the day just before the sun rises. Dragonfly /ˈdræɡ.ən.flaɪ/ = large insect with four transparent wings that flies over water and can be of different colours like green or red. Butterflies (singular butterfly) /ˈbʌt.ə.flaɪ/= an insect with large brightly coloured wings.
Billie Eilish Lovely (amazing cover)
Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Summer Holiday
This is a good song for the present continuous and vocabulary related to holidays and having a good time. Levels A1/A2
The Cure – Friday I’m in Love
This great song by the British band The Cure really puts one in a happy mood and I must say, that it doesn’t matter how old the song is or how many times you hear it, it’s always smashing. Apparently the song was written in response to press criticism accusing the group of being incapable of writing anything cheerful (if you want to know what the press meant by this, look for their song ‘Lullaby’, even though I don’t agree). The meaning of the song is not clear. Some say it’s about love, some say it’s about enjoying Friday more than being in love with a person they probably meet on this day, and some people even go a bit further in their interpretation (there may be minors reading this post, so I’ll leave this to your own imagination). Whatever conclusion you arrive at, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it anyway. There are different activities for this song. The first two are for basic levels, to learn days of the week and discriminate sounds. An intermediate level is for learning some colour idioms as well as filling the blanks with missing vocabulary from different fields.
David Bowie – The Man Who Sold the World
Here’s a song written by David Bowie back in the 70s that became very famous again when Nirvana performed their fantastic cover of it. It was hard for me to decide which version to use, because I love both of them, but since very few people know that Bowie wrote it, I eventuallydecided to use this one. The aim of this activity is to become familiar with the relative pronoun ‘who’ and to practise simple past verbs. There are two versions, one with the verbs in brackets and the second one without the verbs.
David Bowie – Heroes
Another incredible song by David Bowie (Did he ever do anything that was not worth while?). This song is for revising vocabulary from different topics dealt with in intermediate levels. It’s also a great way to hear a good sample of ‘will’ for future use as the song deals with a posssible future situation, where two people are involved, probably in being themselves, against all the odds. I hope you enjoy the activity.
This activity is also a homage to my brave students that come to classes despite having to almost freeze to death due to that classes must be held with all the windows open at that there will always be a risk of catching this virus that threatens to change our lives in such a drastic way.
Don McLean – Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)
This beautiful tribute to Vincent Vangogh provides us with the opportunity to learn and practise vocabulary related to the art world and nature.
Levels High C1 and C2
Doris Day Que Será Será
This song is great for lower levels to become familiar with ‘will’ for the future.
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole- Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
In no other way could I have started creating and uploading blog entries for this year, rather than placing this beautiful cover from Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole and his soothing ukele. It’s a song of hope, to which we all relate to during these times of troubles and worries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s even more than a song of hope: It’s a conviction, that somewhere, there is a better and more beautiful place where humans will find comfort and their problems will melt away like lemon drops. I really hope that some day soon, we find that hidden rainbow.
JJ Halle Don’t Give Up Too Soon
Probably the most devastating problem in modern society is loneliness, which is even worse for the elderly. John Lewis Christmas advert aims to raise awareness of this situation. Hopefully, this touching ad will not only tug at people’s heartstrings, but will also make people understand how much we need each other, especially now in a year so full of isolation and anxiety.
Levels: A2, B1, B2
Kamelot – The Sailorman’s Hymn
I’ve have removed some words related to the natural world from the lyrics of this beautiful song. Level B2
Katy Perry – Roar
This song’s real fun! Makes you feel good and strong and ready for almost any of the daily battles we come across.
This song by Katy Perry is about overcoming a bad situation in life, may that be at work, in a romantic relationship or a challenge we had set ourselves and somehow failed to achieve. It is about a person who used to accept a situation, even though she was not happy about it, but one day, felt tired of feeling this way and decided to face her problems and sort them out. I think it’s definitely a very motivational and inspiring song.
The video is quite funny and has used the cliché of Tarzan (King of the Jungle), but in a humerous way, representing the typical things Tarzan did ( like killing crocodiles or any other animal in sight), however, adapting them to the female role represented in the video.
Here I’ve used the video for the purpose of learning some expressions and idioms related to problems and relationships. I hope you enjoy it.
Madonna – This Used to Be My Playground
This song by Madonna talks about a precious time in life, before reaching adulthood, when life did not have the complexities, that unfortunately seem to come into existence as one gets older. It’s a good way to practise the structure ‘used to be’ to speak about things that belonged to the past and no longer happen. In this activity you will also have the opportunity to brush up on other structures that use ‘used to’. Level B1-B2
Muse – Uprising
I love this song! Gives one such a feeling of power recharges batteries. Maybe you like it as much as I do, so you might enjoy doing this listening activity and at the same time, finding out the meaning of some idioms and synonyms. First do the pre-listening activity and after you can do the sentence completion.
Pink Floyd Bike
This is a really hilarious song performed by Syd Barret. It’s a sort of wierd love song where the boy is wooing a girl offering her the few things that he has and sharing stories and facts about his daily life with her. The end of the song is quite scary and I can’t help wondering if the girl didn’t turn out to be the best company or ‘the type of girl that fits into his world’. I’m aware that some blog visitors will think me completely bonkers for using this song and that my students may even think that I’ve knocked my head on some hard surface (well I actually did a couple of months back, so that might explain everything!). Anyway, I think this song is absolutely fab for low levels and it’s SO English!