Learn English with song lyrics – our readers’ favourites

Listening to a piece of music can be inspiring as it conjures up all sorts of emotions. Songs with English lyrics can also be a useful way for …

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Learn English with song lyrics – our readers’ favourites

Listening to a piece of music can be inspiring as it conjures up all sorts of emotions. Songs with English lyrics can also be a useful way for listeners to become more familiar with the language. They contain many aspects of the English language, including common expressions, everyday language, descriptive terms and slang.

Of course, it is impossible for us to inform you of all the songs that could inspire English language learning – the list is endless! However, here, our Pearson English blog readers give us their recommendations of music they have found inspiring and useful for those who want to learn English with song lyrics…

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

This pleasant, slow song is a firm favourite of Penny Roux. She suggests dividing English language students into groups and giving them a handful of the song’s lyrics cut into strips. When they listen to the song, their task is to arrange their lyric strips into the correct order. This activity will help them to become familiar with the vocabulary in the song, which is slow enough in pace for them to really hear the pronunciation of the words. As the students gain a more varied English vocabulary, it could be followed up with a different, slightly quicker song to help them pick up more new words.

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world…’

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, ‘What a wonderful world…’

In My Life – The Beatles

Blog reader Oswald Marcel Farias Martin is a fan of The Beatles, and his favourite for English language learning is In My Life. Written by John Lennon about his childhood, the song is written in the past tense, making it useful for learning the difference between the past, future and present tenses.

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

We Are the Champions – Queen

A firm favourite among sports fans, Angelika Hajdul also appreciates this song by Queen. Written by lead singer Freddie Mercury, the song is one of the band’s most popular songs. Angelika acknowledges the “perfect” composition in the present tense, making it perfect for learners who wish to expand their conversational skills.

We are the champions, my friends
And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end
We are the champions

We are the champions
No time for losers
‘Cause we are the champions of the world

Spider-Man – Ramones

We agree with Abrão Lacerda who points out that each learner will have their favourite songs to listen to. He likes this song by the Ramones because of the rhyming in it – and because it is fun! Reading the lyrics, we have to agree! He also recommends Waiting for the Sun by The Doors for a song with a great melody.

Is he strong? Listen Bud, he’s got radioactive blood
Can he swing from a thread? Take a look overhead
Hey, there! There goes the Spider-Man

In the chill of the night – at the scene of a crime
Like a streak of light, he arrives just in time

Love Reign O’er Me – Pete Townshend

Helen Fiona Bryant says that Pete Townshend “writes beautiful imagery”. And this song is full of his poetic lyrics. Perfect for English language learners wishing to expand their vocabulary.

Only love, can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea
Only love can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers
Laying in the fields

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