How to listen to this song: Jealous Guy

How to listen to this song: Jealous Guy by John Lennon

Use this song to practice Past Continuous

You can also listen here, here, or here.

First Listen to the song

Second Answer this question: What is a “jealous guy”? What are three things a jealous guy might do?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the past continuous verb tense. The form is was/were plus the –ing form of the verb. For example: I was watching TV. They were sitting alone.

We use the past continuous to talk about actions that happen over a period of time in the past. We can also use the past simple, but it changes the meaning a little bit. Compare:

I ate rice on Saturday.

I was eating rice on Saturday.

I ate rice makes it seem like the action happened at one time. I was eating rice makes it seem like it happened for some time. Both are true. Saturday is one time and Saturday is a period of time. “I ate rice on Saturday” makes it sound like at one point in time on Saturday (for example 2pm), you ate rice. “I was eating rice on Saturday” makes it sound like you ate rice several times on Saturday (for example 10am, 2pm, and 6pm).

We need to use the past continuous for interrupted actions. For instance, I was eating rice when you called. You stopped the action when you called, so I should use past continuous.

For more information, please click here.

Fifth Look at the lyrics in the song.

I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure
You might not love me any more
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eyes
Thought that you was trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry (oh my)
I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy (watch out)

I’m just a jealous guy (look out babe)

I’m just a jealous guy

Sixth Answer these questions:

Why does he say that his heart was beating fast? When does your heart beat fast?

What reason does he give for hurting her? (Why did he hurt her?)

Why was he feeling insecure?

What does “I was swallowing my pain” mean?

Answers

What is a “jealous guy”? What are three things a jealous guy might do?

A jealous guy is a guy who is too protective of his girlfriend/wife. For example, a jealous guy feels bad when the girl he likes does something without him (especially if she is with other men).

A jealous guy might (1) tell his girlfriend not to meet other men, (2) get angry if his girlfriend doesn’t tell him where she is, (3) tell his girlfriend not to do things without him.

Why does he say that his heart was beating fast? When does your heart beat fast?

His heart was beating fast because his emotions were crazy. Our hearts beat fast when we exercise, when we are very nervous, etc.

What reason does he give for hurting her? (Why did he hurt her?)

He’s a jealous guy.

Why was he feeling insecure?

He thought that she might not love him anymore.

What does “I was swallowing my pain” mean?

It means he was trying to hide his pain. He didn’t want to show her that he was feeling bad.

American Culture: Songs and Purposes

American Culture Songs and Purposes

Do you want to learn more about American culture? Here are five songs that can help.

Green Day “Jesus of Suburbia” This song is full of references about life in the American suburbs during the last ten years. Lyrics are here: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greenday/jesusofsuburbia.html

Billy Joel: “We didn’t start the fire” This song references events from the 1950s into the 1980s. Go here for more information: http://www.teacheroz.com/fire.htm

Don McLean: “American Pie” This song is about America from the late 1950s and 1960s. Go here for more information: http://understandingamericanpie.com/index.htm

Woody Guthrie “This Land” A song that describes many traditional parts of America. Full lyrics here: http://www.arlo.net/resources/lyrics/this-land.shtml

Ice Cube “It was a Good Day A song that describes common activities and concerns for many black men in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Lyrics here: http://artists.letssingit.com/ice-cube-lyrics-it-was-a-good-day-fzcs8pw

How to listen to this song: Neutron Star Explosion

Listen to the song “Neutron Star Collision” by Muse. Then read explanations below.

You can also listen here, here, or here.

I was searching, you were on a mission
Then our hearts combined like a neutron star collision
I had nothing left to lose
You took your time to choose
Then we told each other with no trace of fear that

Our love would be forever
And if we die, we die together
Well I, I said never
Cause our love would be forever

  • I was searching sounds like he was searching for meaning in life and/or love.
  • On a mission means working very hard to do something.
  • A neutron star is the heaviest kind of star.
  • A collision is when two things hit each other.
  • I had nothing left to lose means that he could take risks because everything was already gone.
  • You took your time is from the idiom “to take one’s time”. It means to go slowly.
  • A trace is a small amount.
  • No trace of something means there is none of that something. (Here, there is no fear.)

So…there are two young people—a boy and a girl. He is searching for something and she is working hard. They meet and it is very good. He wants to be with her, but she needs time. Then, without fear they decide to be together forever. They will love each other forever. They will even die at the same time.

The world is broken, and halos fail to glisten
We try to make a difference but no one wants to listen
Hail the preachers—fake and proud
Their doctrines will be cloud
Then they’ll dissipate like snowflakes in an ocean

Love is forever and we’ll die
We’ll die together
Well I, I said never
Cause our love, could be forever

  • The world is broken means that the world has big problems.
  • A halo is a ring of light. Usually a halo is above the head of an angel.
  • To glisten means to sparkle or to shine. Think about what water looks like when light hits it. A lake glistens in the morning light.
  • To make a difference means to make things better.
  • Hail means to respect something and do what it wants.
  • Preachers are religious leaders, they are like priests.
  • Fake means not real.
  • Proud means you think too nicely about yourself.
  • Doctrines are systems of belief
  • To be cloud is not a normal expression, but it probably means that it won’t be solid.
  • To dissipate is to break into many parts and go away.

So…The world has many problems, but their love is strong.

Now I’ve got nothing left to lose
You take your time to choose
I can tell you now without a trace of fear

That my love will be forever
And we’ll die, we’ll die together
And I, I will never
Cause our love will be forever

So…This last part makes it seem like he’s still waiting for her to choose or maybe she left and he wants her back. We know because instead of saying “our love” he says “my love”.

How to listen to this song: “We are the Champions” by Queen

How to listen to this song: “We are the Champions” by Queen

Use this song to practice the Present Perfect verb tense.

First Listen to the song “We are the Champions” by Queen

(If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, here, or here.)

Second Answer these questions: What is a champion? What kinds of champions are there?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the Present Perfect verb tense. We use the present perfect to talk about past actions when we don’t know, or don’t care, when they happened. The form is have/has+third form of the verb—usually, it’s verb+ed, but not always (e.g. eaten, read, sat, etc.).

Note: You can also use the Present Perfect with “for” and “since”, but that’s not the emphasis for this song.

Fifth Answer these questions:

How many times can you find the Present Perfect in this song?

What does “I’ve paid my dues” mean?

What does “my share of” mean?

What does “I’ve taken my bows” mean?

This is a very popular song. Why do you think it is so popular?

Lyrics

I’ve paid my dues
Time after time
I’ve done my sentence
But committed no crime
And bad mistakes
I’ve made a few
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

I’ve taken my bows
And my curtain calls
You brought me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it
I thank you all

But it’s been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise
I consider it a challenge before the whole human race
And I ain’t gonna lose (ain’t gonna = am not going to)

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions, of the world

Answers

What is a champion? A champion is a winner. Usually, a champion wins many games or matches, so we know they’re the best of everyone.

What kinds of champions are there? There are lots of champions. You can be a champion sports player, a champion speller, or a champion in any competition.

How many times can you find the Present Perfect in this song? There are eight (8): I’ve paid my dues, I’ve done my sentence, I’ve…committed no crime, bad mistakes I’ve made a few, I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face, I’ve come through, I’ve taken my bows and my curtain calls, it’s been no bed of roses

What does “I’ve paid my dues” mean? It means he has done things in the past so that he can be successful now.

What does “my share of” mean? It means a fair amount. Usually, we use this expression before bad things to say that we’ve had similar problems to everyone else. For example, I’ve had my share of fights, or I’ve made my share of mistakes.

What does “I’ve taken my bows” mean? At the end of a popular show or concert, a performer will bow. He means that he’s had good, popular shows.

This is a very popular song. Why do you think it is so popular? This is an opinion question. What do you think?

Do you have more questions about this song? Ask in the comments.

How to listen to this song: Somewhere over the Rainbow

How to listen to this song: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Use this song to practice the Present Simple verb tense.

First Listen to the song Somewhere Over the Rainbow

(If the above link doesn’t work, you can listen here, here, or here.)

Second Answer this question: Is this a happy song or a sad song? Why?

Third Listen to the song again. This time, read the lyrics to the song too. (The lyrics are below. Scroll down to see them.)

Fourth Think about the Present Simple verb tense. One thing we use the Present Simple for is things that are sometimes, usually, or always true. The time isn’t important. For example: Skies are blue. Yes, sometimes, the sky is black or grey or red, but skies are blue in the past, present, and future.

Sixth Answer these questions:

Can you find another example of present simple? Where? What does it mean?

What does “dreams come true” mean?

Why does the singer want to go over the rainbow?

Lyrics

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly,
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly,
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh, why can’t I?

Answers

Can you find another example of present simple? Where? What does it mean? Bluebirds fly. It’s a habit of bluebirds. It means bluebirds can fly. They fly in the past, the present, and the future.

What does “dreams come true” mean? A dream is like a wish. A dream come true is a wish the really happens. For example, Barack Obama wanted to become president. It was his dream. He became president, so his dream came true. In the song, dreams come true in the past, present, and future. Over the rainbow, dreams come true.

Why does the singer want to go over the rainbow? She thinks that she’ll be happier there.

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