Music and Second Language Learning

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Listening to music is a great way to "fix" grammatical structures. On this page, there are many links to songs and their lyrics. These links lead various places. On my blog, there are a few songs with gap-fill lyric exercises §. These are songs that I have tested on classes at the 5e / 4e level. Similarly, but in real time, lyrics training offers a game that allows you to listen to a video while filling in words missing from the lyrics. Other links on this page may lead to youtube or daily motion.

Type lyrics + "song title" in any search engine to find the words to songs.

To return to the notion of "fixing" structures (which does not mean "repairing" them, but making them part of your everyday speech), let's take some examples from "Yesterday" by the Beatles:

  • All [my troubles] seemed [so far away]

replace what is in brackets with other expressions (for the first you can substitute any noun phrase, for the second any predicate (substantive: infinitival, substantive // predicate adjective / locative... etc. :

  • All [[of] the deadlines] seemed so far away.
  • All [[of] our clients] seemed so [satisfied].
  • All [[of] the accounting] seemed [to be in order].
  • All [[of] our IT people] seemed [to want to change the system].


  • There's [a shadow] [[hanging] over [me]].

which could give:

  • There's [a deadline] hanging over [the project].


(For the moment you will have to use ctrl-f to find them on the page. Someday I may fix this. ^^)


at Lyrics Training:


Comparatives / Participles

Aloe Blacc & Avicii, "Wake Me Up" lyrics training

Present Perfect

  • Cat Stevens / Eleanor Farjeon -- "Morning has broken" text history

Simple Past

  • Beatles -- "Yesterday" (used to) / nostalgic past (Cf. Proust) (lyrics training)
  • Lauryn Hill -- "I Used to Love Him"

Particles / Phrasal Verbs

  • Armstrong, Louis -- Louis and the Good Book (1958) Cf. Creoliste blogpost
  • Fitzgerald, Ella -- "Call the Whole Thing Off" (Gershwin)
  • Jones, Norah -- "Turn Me On" dailymotion
  • Marley, Bob -- "Get up, Stand up" Santana & Friends
  • They Might Be Giants, "Particle Man".




  • "Jonah and the Whale", traditional, Louis Armstrong, Louis and the Good Book, 1958. blog


  • Rush, Moving Pictures tour, [5]
    • MTV established in 1981
    • Tom Sawyer
    • Xanadu
    • Closer to the Heart


  • Professor Longhair: Big Chief. Cambridge jumping. [6]
  • Fantasia 2000, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. [7]
  • Elvis Costello. God's Comic. [8]
  • The Police. "Walking in Your Footsteps" [9]