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August 03, 2013

Songs And Stories

There are many language lessons wrapped around songs and sing-along exercises, plus everyone loves a story. There are some eras of great and memorable stories told through songs.

Some music eras are...

...better than others.

Summer (at least in my corner of the world) generally means summer concerts. And most summer concerts that I attend (which tend to be the low budget, or even free events) feature cover songs.

These are songs that are - or have been - popular and, as I have recently noticed, are known by virtually everyone.

One band I just heard went to great lengths to tell the audience the year and original artist of each song they played.

Another band urged the women in the audience to sing along - especially with the chorus - of a particular song.

The song was Be my baby by the Motown girl group, the Ronettes. If you don't know this song, or if you just want to sing along, you can listen to it here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzhbGaCwBzs.

It was fun for the crowd - so much fun in fact, that a dog howled and barked along with everyone!

Most people say that English is the world's universal language, and perhaps it is, but I would say that music is even more universal.

If you want to check the pulse of a language, listen to how it is expressed in its popular culture.

I know I am biased, but I am convinced that words have never been as mangled, explored and stretched as in American music - especially Broadway show tunes.

There is probably no more enjoyable way to learn a language and dip into a culture than through its music.

Tread carefully through this language, take time to take delight in your discoveries and be sure to send me any language usages or historical nuances that interest you, and be sure to let me know what it is about language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.


Also: for the first time in several years, Morf is available for parts of this August (and possibly even for a new full-time position) to visit your school or program, or even host or be a guest on your radio program. You can contact him at mmorf@mail.com.

Posted by mmorf at August 3, 2013 11:10 PM


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