This beautiful, although extremely sad ballad by Kamelot, tells the story of a woman hopefully waiting for her lover who may have died at sea in a shipwreck. Although she feels lost and lonely, she never loses hope and lights a candle every night to guide him back home to her. Why the man went away, is not clear in the lyrics, but the reference to the ‘resounding sirens’ bring to mind something that at first looked tempting, but finally had a tragic outcome.
The song may also be a romantic reference to smuggling, which during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was very common in the British Isles as many were those that at night, risked their lives in an attempt to earn a living.
Anyway, whatever the ballad is about, Kamelot’s vocalist, Roy Khan, has such a wonderful voice that I want to share it with you, so as to bring to mind a bard-like story of remote Ireland.
The British pop/soul band, Simply Red covered this song in 1989 and it became their second best-known hit after reaching number 1 in U.S. The original track was recorded in 1972 by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
Here the aim of listening to this song is to become aware of the first conditional, which is actually the title of the song. The song also has some very useful expressions related to a romantic relationship between a couple that are arguing. Although it is a very old song, I chose it because it is easy to understand, but as I always say to my students, be careful with some of the expressions that are grammatically incorrect, like double negatives, but are often used in colloquial speech.
Do you like animals? Do you consider yourself an animal lover?
I found this video really heartbreaking, but I also give high value to the positive note knowing that there are many people that sympathise with animal’s feelings viewing them a real members of a family and not only as a form of amusement, that can easily be discarded in times of illness or impossibility to look after. In Spain we have a real problem concerned with animal abandonment and you’d be completely horrified to see how full animal shelters are of pets that were once loved and cared for. So when I saw this fantastic video, I thought it would be a nice listening activity for my Intermediate students but I also thought that it would be my tiny contribution towards making people realise that because our ‘hairy friends’ love and respect us, the least we can do, is to provide them with care and love, even in moments of distress because, after all, they had no voice in their choice of pet owners.