misheard lyrics for popular songs

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					Misheard lyrics


                A free lesson plan from teflclips.com



This activity is intended to demonstrate to students that even expert users of
English can find it difficult to hear and understand lyrics when listening to pop
songs.




The activity requires the six songs below which can all be heard on
YouTube. Links to all clips can be found at teflclips.com

   • Bad moon rising (Credence Clearwater Revival)
   • Orinoco Flow (Enya)
   • Blowing in the wind (Bob Dylan)
   • Purple Haze (Jimmy Hendrix)
   • Without you (sung as ‘Ken Lee’ on Bulgarian idol – see image
     above)
   • La Bamba (Berlitz advert)


A free lesson plan from teflclips.com                                               1
Preparation

1.       Print off a copy of the images on page 3

2.       Make copies of the worksheet on page 4 for your students




Method

1.       Write the following lines on the board and ask your students to copy
         them:

     •   There’s a bathroom on the right
     •   Save the whale, save the whale, save the whale
     •   The ants are my friends
     •   Excuse me while I kiss this guy
     •   Ken Lee, tulibu dibu douchoo
     •   Pour tea, Sir Ray, pour tea, Sir Ray

2.       Ask your students to suggest what these pieces of language might be.

3.       Show students the images of the book covers (see next page) and tell
         them about the phenomenon of misheard lyrics. Ask students if they
         know of any well-known misheard lyrics from songs in their own
         language.

4.       Ask students if they can identify any of the 6 songs from which the
         misheard lyrics come.

5.       One by one, play the songs and ask students to listen for the specific
         lines. In each case, ask students if they can guess what is actually being
         sung.

6.       After all songs have been played, give out copies of the actual lyrics.

7.       Ask students to tell you about singers who sing in English that they
         understand and those that they don’t.




A free lesson plan from teflclips.com                                              2
A free lesson plan from teflclips.com   3
Song excerpt 1

I see the bad moon rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightning
I see bad times today
Don't go out tonight
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bad moon on the rise

Song excerpt 2

Let me sail, let me sail, let the Orinoco flow,
Let me reach, let me beach on the shores of Tripoli.
Let me sail, let me sail, let me crash upon your shore,
Let me reach, let me beach far beyond the Yellow Sea.
Sail away, sail away, sail away

Song excerpt 3

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, and how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

Song excerpt 4

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately, things just don’t seem the same
Acting funny, but I don’ know why
Excuse me while I kiss the sky

Song excerpt 5

No I can't forget this evening
Or your face as you were leaving
But I guess that's just the way the story goes
You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows
Yes, it shows
I can't live if living is without you

Song excerpt 6

Para bailar La Bamba
Para bailar La Bamba
Se necesita un poquito de gracia
Un poquito de gracia y otra cosita
Ay, arriba ay, arriba
Ay, arriba ay, arriba, por ti seré
Por ti seré, por ti seré



A free lesson plan from teflclips.com                     4
 Variation
 As an alternative method, give students copies of song excerpts containing
 misheard lyrics (see below). Their task will be to work out which lines have
 been misheard and perhaps suggest what they should be. This can be done
 before, during or after listening to the songs in question.




Song excerpt 1
I see the bad moon rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightning
I see bad times today
Don't go out tonight
Well, it's bound to take your life,
There's a bathroom on the right

Song excerpt 2
Let me sail, let me sail, let the Orinoco flow,
Let me reach, let me beach on the shores of Tripoli.
Let me sail, let me sail, let me crash upon your shore,
Let me reach, let me beach far beyond the Yellow Sea.
Save the whale, save the whale, save the whale

Song excerpt 3
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, and how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The ants are my friends, they’re blowing in the wind
The ants are a-blowing in the wind the wind

Song excerpt 4
Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don’t seem the same
Acting funny, but I don’ know why
Excuse me while I kiss this guy




A free lesson plan from teflclips.com                                           5

				
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posted:5/15/2009
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