Not for English teachers to use in their lessons, but for English teachers to enjoy, by themselves, on a rainy Sunday.
Alphabet Assassin, by Lowkey
Alliterating their way through the alphabet while still managing to stay gangsta.
Paperback Writer, by The Beatles
It’s a dirty story about a dirty man – and 60 years later, some poor English teacher is going to have to explain it to her 14-year-old students. (Who will pretend to read it, but will actually just watch the film.)
Proper Rock, by The Chap
90s London slang sung in delightful, formal RP English – until it isn’t.
Thank You God, by Tim Minchin
Tim Minchin is brilliant. This song is not about English or grammar or literature, but the way he uses English and sarcasm is just, like the man himself, brilliant. Here is a version of the song with running lyrics, if you, like me, crave to understand every word.
Shakespeare, by Fink
Oh why, oh why do they teach us Shakespeare, when you’re only 16, with no idea, what it all means.
Holiday in Spain, by Bløf and the Counting Crows
When Dutch and English came together, and it sounded… good.
I Love You, Period, by Dan Baird
90s nostalgia, punctuation, and inappropriate student-teacher interactions
Any more contenders?
There are lots more songs out there that showcase the wonders of the English language, and quite a few songs that are somehow about teaching, literature, grammar, or punctuation. What’s your favourite?
(I did of course think of “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd. But that song is no fun to listen to as a teacher, for me anyway. It makes me frustrated that I don’t have much time for individual students and then get seen as part of an evil system that I don’t want to be a part of (oops, I got a bit ranty there).)
Deze site, hoezegjeinhetEngels.nl, bespreekt Nederlandse woorden die moeilijk naar het Engels te vertalen zijn, zoals hoeveelste en zweverig. Maar zondag is het tijd voor ontspanning en dan zet ik een iets leuks op mijn blog dat met taal of cultuur te maken heeft. Want dat is leuk! 😉
Heddwen Newton is an English teacher and a translator from Dutch into English. She thinks about languages way too much, for example about how strange it is that these little blurb things are written in the third person.
Heddwen has two children, two passports, two smartphones, two arms, two legs, and two email newsletters.
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