Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I used some music in my lesson yesterday evening – Don McLean’s American Pie.

I have learnt...

1) ..all the words. Don’t invite me to your next sing-a-long: I’ll be the annoying one singing the fifth verse once everybody else is bored.

2) ..that it’s “The birds flew off with a fallout shelter”, not “The birds fell da, um, da da ..elter”.

3) ..that Italians don’t know who Don McLean is. Earlier in the lesson I asked them if they knew the song, showing them the name of the title and artist. “Ah! Madonna” they cried in unison.

4) ..that, worse, they don’t know who Buddy Holly is. I apologise for an injury you may have experienced falling off your chair after reading that last sentence. I thought about putting a health warning before it but, y'know, I didn't wanna spoil the effect. But really: every one of them – every one of them – (and the class has a mix of ages from 22 to 62) looked at me blankly when I told them what the song was about: “Who?”.

5) ..that it’s very difficult to explain what a “teenaged brunken-buck” is, especially when you don’t really know yourself.

6) ..that everything you ever wanted to know about anything can be found on the interweb thing-a-ma-jig. I already knew this but I’m still amazed every time I relearn it. Today’s example: Understanding the lyrics of American Pie. Fascinating stuff. Did you know that they “..both kicked off [their] shoes” because street shoes of the 50s tore up wooden basketball courts? Or that “the jester” is Bob Dylan and that when he’s “..lying on the sideline in a cast” it’s about when Dylan was in seclusion for nine months recovering from a road accident, leaving the way for other artists to become noticed? And the “Satan” is (probably) Mick Jagger?

7) ..that I definately fancy one of my students in that class.

So, seven new things in one day: not bad. All together now: “Bye bye Miss American Pie...”

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