35.1 SONGS – podcast episode 35.1 – transcript

This is the follow-up episode about how useful songs can be in order to improve your English.   We collected the comments and ideas of our listeners Igor, Sergio Leon, Laura, Manfred, Letizia and Ilaria.

Check it out !  


Listen to the episode on iTunes or here:



M – Let’s talk again about SONGS!

C  –  Hi everyone!  as we mentioned in episode #35,  songs are precious tools to help you improve your English.   We’ve asked you to let us know which idioms and new words you learnt thanks to songs. Well, we’ve heard back from you and we’ve collected your ideas and suggestions.

M – Let’s start with our dear friend Sergio Leon from Mexico.

C –  Sergio wrote us that music and songs really helped him go beyond the English he studied in grammar books …

M- …that’s true…

C- …and listen to the real everyday English you speak when you travel the world.  He knows a lot of country songs, so he’s familiar with the accent of the American South.

M – Sergio also mentioned how he noticed the difference in accent between Sting (British) and Paul Simon (American).

C –  And Sergio’s favorite band is…take a guess?  Bon Jovi!

M – Good choice!

C – Sergio told us that he learnt that the contraction of “I WOULD” is “I’d” by listening to the song “I’ll be there for you” by Bon Jovi

M –   “I’d live and I’d die for you” .   Oh, I think I had listened to that song at least a million times when I was in high school, it brings back tons of memories!!  Thanks Sergio!

C –  And now:  Igor from Moscow!  Another dear friend of ours. While driving his daughters Ann and Nastya to school, the three of them listen to songs in English together.  Igor has an interesting method to suggest in order to better understand the words of a song.  He has found the file of a song by Linkin Park with separate vocal tracks, so that you can listen to the voice only.

M –  That’s very smart!

C –  Isn’t it?  Igor also told us that he learnt the expression “poker  face” thanks to Lady Gaga.

M –  Yes, and who didn’t?  She made that expression incredibly popular all over the world with her song.

C –  To keep a poker face means not to show your thoughts and emotions.

C – Ok, now our Facebook friend Manfred, from northern Germany.  He mentioned a song by The Kinks entitled “Dandy”.  This is the sentence he talks about:   ‘Hubby’s gone away and while the cat’s away the mice are gonna play’.   The word ‘’Hubby’’ means husband, plus there is the idiom: “when the cat’s away the mice will play”. It gives a great visual. Just be sure you are not the cat!

M – Thank you Manfred for sharing this with us.  Who else do we have?

C –  Laura,  our Italian friend now living in Australia.   She learnt the expression “to feel blue” thanks to a song by Dolores O’Riordan titled “Fly through”.    “You’re older now and you’re feeling blue”.

M – To feel blue.

C – It simply means to feel sad.

M – Laura also mentioned the song “Paid my dues” by Anastacia

C – Oh, LOVE Anastacia!! She actually learnt quite a strong expression thanks to that song  J   “I don’t give a damn about who’s around”    I don’t give a damn means I don’t care.

M – Thank you Laura for sending us your comments too.

C – Laura used to study English with you at your course English Amplifier before moving to Australia, right?

M – Right.

C – Wow. Laura, learned English sooo fast! She’s amazing. Can you think of any other students of English Amplifier who could add their comments to this episode?

M – Sure!  I remember Letizia once wrote on Facebook that “Payphone” by Maroon 5 helped her revise the Second Conditional.

C – Which line is she referring to?

M – If happy ever after did exist I would still be holding you like this.  It is a second conditional, she’s right.

C- And Adam Levine is a very good-looking grammar teacher!

M – And another of my students, Ilaria, learnt the expression “out of the blue” thanks to Adele.

C –  Oh, I know that song,  “someone like you”.  “I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited…”  ‘’Out of the blue’’ means suddenly, without notice.

M –  Out of the blue.  Easy.  Songs make everything much easier!

C – They do!   Now Marta give us an interesting expression in English from one of your songs.

M – mmmm, one of my songs….let me think,  ok:  to make blood promises.  Everybody listen to this line :   “They made blood promises they couldn’t keep,  but they were innocent,  wishing their time would never end”.

C – I know this song very well!

M – You bet!  I wrote the music of this song together with Cindy’s husband. He’s a great guitar player.

C – Your husband too.  Two podcasters married to two guitar heroes!

M – ….ok, back to the song:  “They made blood promises they couldn’t keep”.  To make blood promises.

C –   That’s a very solemn ritual typical of brotherhoods, making promises and adding a few drops of your blood to show you truly mean what you say. Generally speaking “making blood promises” means to be  very serious about those promises.

M – Promises you should keep, you should not break.

C – Right.  To keep one’s promise, to break one’s promise.  Everybody, promise you’ll go check out this song on iTunes:  it’s called “TWO DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS” and it’s included in Marta’s acoustic duo EP 2012.  Marta, can you give us the name of your acoustic duo again? And in as many languages as possible? :)))

M –  :)) Sure… it’s called…twelveNotes…dodiciNote…douzeNotes…doceNotas…12N…

C- available now on iTunes…Thank you!

M- Thank you! And thanks again to our wonderful listeners for helping us out with this episode:  Sergio Leon, Igor, Manfred, Laura, Letizia & Ilaria.

C –  Everyone, come visit us at our webpages and drop us a note!  “my American friend” is on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, Podomatic.com  and of course there is also our website  :  www.myamericanfriendblog.com

M – See you soon!  And keep listening to songs in English!

C – And to our podcast!  Bye bye!


Marta’s acoustic duo :

12N (twelveNotes)


2012 EP available on iTunes !

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