Monday, April 11, 2011

Song lesson - 'It's All Over Now Baby Blue' by Bob Dylan

This song has to be one of the all-time greats. Recorded by Dylan in 1965, and covered by many others including notably, Them (with Van Morrison), the Animals (with Eric Burdon), the Byrds and the Grateful Dead.
The meaning of the song has been highly debated. All people seem to really agree on is that Dylan is saying goodbye to someone (a woman perhaps), or to some people (his folk fans maybe), or to something, perhaps to a part of his life (his accoustic folk days?).
This song is from the time when he was changing from being an accoustic folk singer to being part of the new (electric) rock mainstream, and not all his fans appreciated that. (See Wikipedia link below)
  1. Vocabulary matching exercise
  2. Song lyrics gap fill exercise
  3. Extra activity on relative clauses, reduced relatives and nominal relatives

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Song - 'America' from 'West Side Story'

America is one of the greatest songs ever from possibly the greatest musical ever, West Side Story.
A distinctive characteristic of this song is its rhythm, which mixes 6/8 time with 3/4 time (see Wikipedia link below). Some cover versions see fit to remove this feature, in my opinion totally ruining the song.
"In the 1961 film version of the musical, Anita (played by Rita Moreno) sings in favor of the United States, while Bernardo responds to her praises with corresponding criticisms satirizing latent racism in American society, especially towards Puerto Ricans"- Wikipedia

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Song lesson - These Boots Are Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra

Written by Lee Hazlewood and recorded by Nancy Sinatra, this record was released in February 1966 and was a Number One hit in the US and UK Pop charts.
There have been many cover versions in a range of styles: metal, pop, rock, punk rock, country, dance, and industrial. (Adapted from Wikipedia)
  • Simple song vocabulary exercise
  • Vocabulary - different meanings of the verb mess

Friday, April 1, 2011

Word corner - fair

The word fair can be an adjective, an adverb and a noun, and has various different meanings, as well as being the basis of several idioms. Here are a couple of exercises to help you suss it out.
Remember not to confuse fair with the noun and verb fare. There are some dictionary links below.