7. Susan Boyle


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Hello everyone around the world, and thank you very much for downloading the podcast. I’ve had lots of downloads in lots of countries recently.

This podcast is about Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who recently became very famous all over the world on YouTube. The feature section is about her and her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables. Why was it so special? Why have so many people in the world seen it? Why has she become so famous? Why do the Americans love her?

Below this text you can read a transcript of her conversation with the judges on Britain’s Got Talent (TV show), and the lyrics of I Dreamed A Dream. I explain some of the words and expressions from the conversation.

The Language Section is about some common idioms which you can use to describe people’s personality and appearance. You can read the idioms and definitions below.

What do you think of Susan Boyle? Is she famous in your country? What do you think of Luke’s English Podcast? Is it too long? Would you like me to change anything? Email me: luketeacher@hotmail.com

Here’s the transcript of the conversation from the video of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. (The tapescript starts from 0.40 seconds into the video:

SC = Simon Cowell AH = Amanda Holden PM = Piers Morgan SB  = Susan Boyle

SC: What’s your name darling? SB: My name is Susan Boyle SC: Ok, err, Susan, err, where are you from? SB: I’m from ??? near Bathgate in West Lothian SC: That’s a big town…? SB: It’s a sort of, a sort of collection of … (she thinks) … villages. I had to think there! SC: And how old are you Susan? SB: I’m 47… and that’s just one side of me!! SC: Ok, and what’s the dream? SB: I’m trying to be a professional singer SC: And why hasn’t it worked out so far Susan? SB: Well, I haven’t been given a chance before, but here’s hoping it’ll change… SC: OK, and who would you like to be as successful as? SB: Elaine Paige… SC: Elaine Paige SB: …something like that PM: What are you gonna sing tonight? SB: I’m going to sing “I Dream The Dream” from Les Miserables

She sings: (A presenter says: You didn’t expect that! Did you?? Did you?? No!)

I dreamed a dream in time gone by When hope was high, And life worth living I dreamed that love would never die I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid When dreams were made and used, And wasted There was no ransom to be paid No song unsung, No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night With their voices soft as thunder As they tear your hopes apart As they turn your dreams to shame.

And still I dream he’ll come to me And we will live our lives together But there are dreams that cannot be And there are storms We cannot weather…

I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I’m living So different now from what it seems Now life has killed The dream I dreamed

She starts walking off the stage when she is finished…

PM: Come back here!! SC: All right, and thank you very much, err, Susan. Piers? PM: Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I have had in 3 years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said “I want to be like Elaine Page”, everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now! That was stunning! An incredible performance. Amazing! I’m reeling from the shock. I dunno about you two, but… AH: I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you. I honestly think we were all being very cynical and I think that’s the biggest wake up call ever, and I just want to way that it was a complete privilege, listening to that. SC: I knew the minute you walked out… SB: Oh Simon! SC: …on that stage that we were gonna hear something extraordinary and I was right. Susan, you are a little tiger, aren’t you. SB: Oh, I don’t know about that. SC: You are. OK, the moment of truth. Piers – yes or no? PM: The biggest yes I have ever given anybody. SC: Amanda? AH: Yes. Definitely. Brilliant. SB: Amanda?! You too?!! SC: Susan Boyle. You can go back to the village with your head held high, because it’s three yesses! Presenter: Well! I think you enjoyed that just a little bit! PM: What a voice. AH: Incredible. Presenter: Congratulations! SB: Oh my God! Oh my God! Presenter: How do you feel? SB: …bloody fantastic! Presenter: Piers says that’s the biggest yes he’s ever given on the show… in 3 series. SB: Oh my God! PM: The most extraordinary shock we’ve ever had. SB: So emotional… Unbelievable and emotional and fantastic…

Here are some of the words and definitions: SB: “That’s just one side of me” = That’s just one part of who I am SC: “Why hasn’t it ‘worked out’ for you?” = why hasn’t it been a success for you? PM: “…with that cheeky grin on your face” = cheeky means a little bit rude, but joking too. A grin is a big smile. A cheeky grin is like a fun, rude smile! PM: “I’m reeling from the shock” – ‘reeling’ means that you’re struggling to recover from the shock AH: “Everyone was against you” = No one was supporting you AH: “We were being very cynical” – Cynical means when you expect bad things to happen because you believe the world is not a good place, you don’t believe people are good, honest, truthful, etc. AH: “It was a complete privelage” = a privilege is like a special opportunity that only a few people have. SC: “Go back to the village with your head held high” – Go back feeling very proud.

Language Section: Idioms to describe character & appearance

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” – You shouldn’t judge people by appearances only. You need to get to know them first before you judge them. “There’s more than meets the eye” – There is more to a person/situation than just how it looks. “A class act” – if someone is a class act, they are excellent at what they do. “A laughing stock” – Someone is a laughing stock if they’ve done something stupid in public, and then everyone is laughing at them and thinks they are stupid. “Moral fibre” – Moral fibre is the inner strength to do what you believe to be right in difficult situations Example: He lacked the moral fibre to be leader . “To have the courage of your convictions” – If you have the courage of your convictions, you are brave enough to do what you feel is right, despite any pressure for you to do something different. “To be bold as brass” – Someone who is as bold as brass is very confident and not worried about how other people will respond. “His bark is worse than his bite” – Someone who’s bark is worse than their bite may well get angry and shout, but doesn’t take action. “A barrel of laughs” – if someone’s a barrel of laughs, they are always joking and you find them funny.

Transcript for this Episode

Episode 7 – Susan Boyle

 

You are listening to Luke’s English podcast. For more information visit teacherLuke.podamatic.com.

Hello, welcome to Luke’s English podcast. You are listening to episode six. This is Luke of course. Hello, how are you? I hope you are well. I am fine thanks; I am just sitting here in my living room again. It’s a Thursday evening. I always seem to do these podcasts on a Thursday, for some reason. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I usually do nothing on a Thursday. But anyway, it’s Thursday evening. I am relaxing, having a nice evening and I have had a few emails recently and I had one email from Miho in Japan again – a regular e-mailer.

Hello, hello Miho, how are you and she emailed me saying: Have you heard about Susan Boyle, right? She is asking me about someone called Susan Boyle and have I heard about her because she is very famous at the moment in Japan and well, it’s funny she’s asked that because I have heard about Susan Boyle, of course, because everybody now knows about Susan Boyle. It seems that she is famous all over the world now, which is incredible. It’s a sort of big incredible story that everybody is talking about. It’s quite interesting for lots of reasons. One of the main ones being that she’s become famous overnight. She is suddenly very, very famous.

Now, if you don’t know who she is, I am going to tell you about her in the feature section of the podcast. So I am going to talk about Susan Boyle. Who is she? Why is she famous? Also I am going to interview a few people – some of my friends – just to see what their opinion of Susan Boyle is. I am going to be teaching you some bits of language that you are going to hear people using in those interviews, and then the language section at the end of the podcast is going to be some idioms – some useful common idioms that people use to describe personality, character and appearance, okay?

It’s section 2 coming up now. The feature section Susan Boyle- here we go….

Right then, Susan Boyle – who is she? Well, I am going to explain it for you now.

Susan Boyle is a Scottish singer who recently appeared on the TV show ‘Britain’s got talent’.

Now ‘Britain’s got talent’ is a very popular show here. It’s broadcast on Saturday night on ITV - that’s one of the TV channels here. It’s very popular and in Britain’s got talent what happens is – you get singers – musicians from all over the country. They may want to become famous. So they are just normal ordinary people – members of the public who want to become famous. And they can go on Britain’s got talent as a chance of becoming famous, okay? So they go on the show and they have to sing a song in front of three judges, okay. So the judges are a man called Simon Cowell who is a kind of music industry executive who has started the careers of lots of British pop stars. So he is a kind of British pop star manager. That’s Simon Cowell.

ITV:Independent Television

The second one is a woman called Amanda Holden. And she is an actress – a very famous actress in Britain and the third judge is called Piers Morgan. And Piers Morgan is a journalist who used to be the editor of the Daily Mirror. That’s one of the biggest newspapers in the UK.

Okay? So those are the three judges and the members of the public come on the show – they sing a song in front of the judges and the judges have to decide if that person is going to go through to the next round, okay? So the judges say yes or no. If they get the right number of yes-votes, these people go through to the next round until eventually you get one person at the end who wins and I think they get a record contract. But the person who wins usually becomes very rich and famous. Now Susan Boyle recently appeared on Britain’s got talent and she sang a song from the musical ‘Les Miserables’ and it was actually a very special moment in the show because…basically when she came onto the stage all of the audience and the judges immediately made judgements about her appearance because she – she’s actually 47 years old. She is very ordinary looking. I mean …It’s not rude, really to say …it might be a bit rude to say it, but she is not pretty. She is not really good-looking.

I mean, she, you know, she is not exactly beautiful, right? So, she is very ordinary looking. She doesn’t look glamorous. She looks a bit like your next door neighbour or something, you know. Very ordinary looking. And she does look a bit strange, as well, actually, to be honest.

So, when she came on stage nobody expected her to be talented at all. In fact, because on the show normally, they get lots of people who are very strange – they get always weird, strange people who think that they are very talented and they sing and they are absolutely terrible and everyone loves at them and the judges criticize them and they don’t win, right.

So, that’s what happens a lot. So, when Susan Boyle came onto the stage, everyone expected her to be awful and have a terrible voice. But, she didn’t. She had…she actually has a fantastic voice and it was a very touching and a very moving performance. The way she sings and you could see it in the audience and you could see it in the judges faces – everyone was very emotionally touched by her performance and something about the fact that she looks normal, she looks ordinary, but she has got a beautiful singing voice has made Susan Boyle into a massive, international star. She is very, very, very famous in America now. She is famous all over the UK, and she is famous all over the world. Even Miho in Japan knows all about her. You’ve probably heard about her yourself.

The clip of her performance is available to watch on you tube. So if you go to you tube and type in Susan Boyle, you can see it. And more than 100 million people have seen her performance on you tube. More than 100 million people. And I think that is the most watched clip on you tube, ever.

So, it’s amazing. It’s absolutely amazing how famous she is. And this has happened in really just a couple of weeks. So it’s really, really incredible.

Just a bit more information about Susan Boyle.

She is….let’s see …She left school when she was 16 years old and she doesn’t really have many qualifications. She has been unemployed for most of her life. She isn’t married. In fact, she says that she is never been kissed, even.

So she hasn’t really had much of an exciting life, actually. She is very normal, very ordinary. She has never really sung or performed on stage before. She sings karaoke in her village sometimes. But for some reason she has got an incredible voice.

Now, I am actually going to play you a clip from the performance. A clip from Britain’s got talent.

So, what you are going to hear is Susan Boyle coming onto the stage. You are going to hear some people talking. You hear the audience sort of laughing at her. Susan Boyle answers a few questions and then she starts to sing and you can hear the audience’s reaction. They are really amazed and you can hear how beautiful her voice is. I don’t usually like this kind of music. I don’t usually listen to music like this, but even I think that it is a beautiful voice and there is something special about her performance.

So, I am going to play it for you now. There may be some things that you don’t understand in this clip. Don’t worry, because I will teach you or I will explain some of the things that they said after the clip.

Now, if you listen to the song and you can’t understand the words, don’t worry you can read the lyrics, you can read the words to the song on the web page at teacherluke.podomatic.com. You can actually read the words there and I hope you enjoy it. It should give you an idea of why this is so special.

I will also post a link to the video on you tube. So you can actually watch the video on you tube as well.

Okay, here is the clip. I hope you like it.

SC = Simon Cowell AH = Amanda Holden PM = Piers Morgan SB  = Susan Boyle

SC: What’s your name darling? SB: My name is Susan Boyle SC: Ok, err, Susan, err, where are you from? SB: I’m from Blackburn, near Bathgate in West Lothian SC: That’s a big town…? SB: It’s a sort of, a sort of collection of … (she thinks) … villages. I had to think there! SC: And how old are you Susan? SB: I’m 47… and that’s just one side of me!! SC: Ok, and what’s the dream? SB: I’m trying to be a professional singer SC: And why hasn’t it worked out so far Susan? SB: Well, I haven’t been given a chance before, but here’s hoping it’ll change… SC: OK, and who would you like to be as successful as? SB: Elaine Paige… SC: Elaine Paige SB: …something like that PM: What are you gonna sing tonight? SB: I’m going to sing “I Dream The Dream” from Les Miserables

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
As they turn your dreams to shame

And still I dreamed he’d come to me
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed

PM: Come back here!!

SC: All right, and thank you very much, err, Susan. Piers?

PM: Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I have had in 3 years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said “I want to be like Elaine Page”, everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now! That was stunning! An incredible performance. Amazing! I’m reeling from shock. I dunno about you two, but…

AH: I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you. I honestly think that we were all being very cynical and I think that’s the biggest wake up call ever, and I just want to say that it was a complete privilege, listening to that.

SC: I knew the minute you walked out…

SB: Oh Simon!

SC: …on that stage that we were gonna hear something extraordinary and I was right. Susan, you are a little tiger, aren’t you.

SB: Oh, I don’t know about that.

SC: You are. OK, the moment of truth. Piers – yes or no?

PM: The biggest yes I have ever given anybody.

SC: Amanda?

AH: Yes. Definitely. Brilliant.

SB: Amanda?! You too?!!

SC: Susan Boyle. You can go back to the village with your head held high, because it’s three yesses!

Presenter: Well! I think you enjoyed that just a little bit!

PM: What a voice.

AH: Incredible. Presenter: Congratulations!

SB: Oh my God! Oh my God!

Presenter: How do you feel?

SB: …bloody fantastic!

Presenter: Piers says that’s the biggest yes he’s ever given on the show… in 3 series.

SB: Oh my God!

PM: The most extraordinary shock we’ve ever had.

SB: So emotional… Unbelievable and emotional and fantastic…

Oh my god, oh that’s just so emotional. Och, I am not really crying. But, well quite emotional. Everyone sort of amazed about it. Extraordinary! The most amazing experience in my whole life, right. So, you can see how passionate she was and see how impressed the judges were. Let’s see then. Maybe some language that you heard there, that you didn’t understand. It might have been a bit difficult to understand everything they said. So, go to the web page. You’ll see a script of the conversations and a script of the song, the lyrics so you can read them and understand everything. But I am also going to teach you a few things or explain a few things that they said as well.

So, let’s do that now. First of all Susan Boyle is from Scotland, so she has got a Scottish accent. Sometimes for learners of English that’s a little bit difficult to understand. So she has got a bit of a Scottish accent which makes it hard to understand.

She said….let’s see….Simon Cowell said: .How old are you Susan, and she said I am 47. And that’s just one side of me. When she is saying that’s just one side of me, it means that is just one part of my personality.

So what she is saying is: I am 47. I am a normal, ordinary middle-aged woman but there is another side of me which is exciting and passionate and talented.

So, Simon Cowell said: What’s the dream? She says: I am trying to be a professional singer and Simon Cowell says: Why hasn’t it worked out so far, Susan?

So it is a phrasal verb there. To work out. If something works out it means, it is a success. It is successful. So he said, why hasn’t it worked out so far and he means why haven’t you had any success, yet being a singer.

Okay, so after Susan sang her song, Piers Morgan said: Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I have had in three years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said I want to be like like Elaine Page everyone was laughing at you No one is laughing now.

A cheeky grin, a cheeky grin. Well, a grin is like a smile on your face, yeah? And a cheeky grin is one that …let’s see, it’s difficult to explain. Cheeky means that you are a little bit rude, but you are joking, as well. Like for example, if you have a child in a school. A child who maybe asks a slightly rude question to the teacher, that’s a cheeky child and it’s a collocation. We say cheeky grin. So, it is like a sort of slightly rude little grin on your face, a rude little smile. A cheeky grin. Okay?

Let’s see! Piers Morgan also said: That was stunning, an incredible performance. Well, you know stunning means like shocking, amazing. So amazing that I didn’t know what to do. So amazing that I couldn’t move. It was stunning.

And he said: I am reeling from shock. I am reeling from shock. So, if you are reeling it means you are struggling to recover, okay? You can’t quite recover. So, perhaps you can’t think straight or you can’t control yourself. So, I am reeling from shock.

Amanda Holden said: I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you. So, to be against something means to disagree with it or to not support it. So, everyone was against Susan Boyle because of her appearance. So she says: I am so thrilled because everybody was against you. I honestly think we were all being very cynical. Now, cynical means, when you expect only bad things. So, for example you expect people to be selfish. We expect people to …not be talented. So, for example when everyone saw Susan Boyle and her appearance, everyone just expected her to be crazy or expected her to be….to have a very bad voice. So, cynical. So being cynical means that you expect only the bad things. So, that’s cynical.

Amanda Holden also said, she said: I just want to say that it was a complete privilege listening to that. So a privilege is like….when you have a very special opportunity to do something. So, a special opportunity that most people don’t have. So for example, Amanda and the audience were very privileged to see Susan Boyle singing because most people didn’t have the opportunity to do it. So she was, you know….. She had a very special opportunity. She was privileged. Okay?

We often say that rich people in society are privileged, because they have more opportunities than everyone else, because they are rich.

Okay, so when Simon says yes, he said: Susan Boyle, you can go back to the village with your head held high because it’s three yesses.

So, to do something with your head held high means that you can do something with a feeling of pride. So you can feel very proud that you’ve done something very well. So, hold your head up high. It’s the opposite of letting your head go down. So, if your head is down, it means you are ashamed or very disappointed, but if you hold your head high, it means you are very proud, very pleased that you have done something.

Right! So those are basically the things that they said in that clip. What I would like to just talk about now is why…why is Susan Boyle such a famous person. What is it that has made her so special? And I’ve done a bit of research. I’ve been kind of reading some different articles about her and so on and it seems that basically this is about appearances and the fact that we judge people by appearances.

So actually, Susan Boyle did an interview with the Washington Post, an American newspaper, and she said it very clearly. She said: Modern society is quick to judge people on their appearances. There is not much you can do about it. It’s the way they think and it’s the way they are. But maybe, this could teach them a lesson or set an example.

So, what she is saying is that these days in society people just judge you by the way you look. But, hopefully this situation could help people to realize that it is not just the appearances that it’s what inside that counts, okay?

Other newspaper articles on the internet said that this situation, this story is really about ….it’s really a victory for talent and artistry. So it is a victory for talent and artists.

In a culture which is obsessed with physical attractiveness and physical presentation, yeah…so

Amanda Holden again said that everyone was cynical when she came out. But listening to her sing was a wake-up call. A wake up call. A wake up call is something that wakes you up. Something that sort of makes you realize something. A wake-up call.

Maybe you get a wake-up-call in a hotel in the morning. That means that the front desk, the …what are they called? The receptionist, the customer services will call your room. So wake you up in the morning. That’s a wake-up-call. But it is also used to mean something that makes you realize something. Something that opens your eyes. So it is the greatest wake-up-call ever.

Other newspapers are saying that this story is interesting because it’s about the contrast between Susan Boyle’s appearance and her singing. So, the fact that, you know, she looks so ordinary, a little bit ugly, but actually her singing was so good. It was a big surprise and it makes it very interesting. It just makes it a kind of exciting experience to watch.

Other people are saying that this is an under-dog story.

Now, an underdog is the person or the team …if it is a football game…the person who you expect to lose, okay. So, that’s the underdog. The person that you expect…or the team that you expect to lose. So for example in a football game ….let’s see…..if it is Manchester United against maybe like a small local Japanese team. So it could be like Manchester United against Shonan Bellmare., who are a kind of low quality Japanese football team. From Chigasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture . So it is Manchester United versus Shonan Bellmare, then obviously Shonan Bellmare is the underdog. Nobody expects them to win. But, people like to support the underdog. And if the underdog wins, it’s fantastic and everyone is very excited and pleased about it. So, really Susan Boyle’s story is an underdog story. It has a very powerful effect on the audience.

Other people are saying that this is really a victory for middle class …sorry…middle-aged women. Not middle class women. Middle aged women. Because usually in our culture, you know, pop-stars and …on TV the media is obsessed with younger women, you know. Like sexy younger women. And that’s all you see in music videos on MTV. But this is really a victory for older women, middle-aged women.

Susan Boyle is an every-woman. She is an every woman. That means that everyone can relate to her. Everyone feels the same as her. Everyone feels like they are similar to her. Everybody knows somebody like Susan Boyle. She could be your next-door-neighbour.

She could be, you know, your math teacher at school or something. So, she is just like everybody else. She is an every-woman. And that means that people can relate to her story.

Also, the Americans love Susan Boyle. And there is something very American about her story. But she is not American. She is Scottish. But the Americans love an underdog and they obviously believe in the American Dream which means that anybody can get to the top. So, even the most normal ordinary person can go straight to the top. And this is a good example of the American dream. Susan Boyle came from nowhere went on this show, sang beautifully and now she is famous all over the world.

So, that’s the story.

Recently she has been in papers here in the UK. There are pictures of her that have been taken. She has had a make-over. So now, you can see her in the newspapers, wearing a leather jacket and a burberri scarf. You know, she looks cool and everything now, but really I think the people will remember her as being the ordinary middle class – sorry – middle-aged Scottish woman who made everyone feel very emotional, and surprised everyone with her fantastic voice.

Now, I expect that Susan Boyle won’t stay famous for very long. She will probably be famous for, you know, a few months or so but after that, I think, people will just forget about her.

The artist, the modern artist Andy Warhol said a famous quote, once. I think in the ninety sixties. He said: In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. And I think this could be proof that Andy Warhol is right and I think that Susan Boyle probably won’t be famous for very long. She will be famous for 15 minutes. Well, not literally 15 minutes, but it means she will have a short period of fame.

I think she is going to release a CD which Simon Carol is going to publish. So you might be able to listen to her singing on CD. She’ll probably become very, very rich, but I expect that she won’t be famous for very, very long. That’s my prediction.

I might be wrong. I might be wrong. She might become, you know, the next big, big thing who is famous for a long, long time. But I think it’s really just that one moment when she appeared on Britain’s got talent that will be remembered.

Okay, so that’s that.

Don’t forget, if you have got questions about that or if you have comments, please let me know. I would like to hear what you think of Susan Boyle. Is she famous in your country? What do you think of her? And do you think that she will be famous forever? Or will she just be famous for a few months.

Okay, now what I am going to do tomorrow is record some of my friends. I am going to interview a few people and ask them what they think of Susan Boyle.

So, I will post those interviews in another podcast. So, I am going to post this podcast on the internet tonight and I will do some interviews tomorrow and I will post those interviews in another extra podcast that you will be able to download. Probably over the weekend, okay?

So, next you are going to hear the language section where I am going to teach you some idioms.

Okay, so, idioms! I thought it would be interesting to teach you some idioms about appearance and about people’s character and personality. I feel like it’s relates to the Susan Boyle situation quite well. Just a little bit of information about idioms.

What is an idiom? Well, an idiom is a fixed expression that people often say as part of their normal conversation. It’s a fixed expression which is very difficult for learners of English to understand. And that’s because you can’t understand it just by looking at the individual words. So if I give you an idiom and you just look up the words in the dictionary, you might not be able to understand what it means.

So, the words together have another meaning. Everyone has idioms. You have…you will have idioms in your languages that would be difficult to explain to someone who is learning the language and we certainly have a lot of idioms in English. And they are rather difficult for learners to learn but they are also difficult to understand when you hear them being used in conversation. Native speakers use idioms all the time when they are talking, when they are writing to each other and so on.

So, I am going to teach you some useful idioms that you can use to describe personality and character.

Okay, so the first idiom is: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Now, you could say that that’s not an idiom. You can probably understand what it means, actually. But don’t judge a book by its cover means, you shouldn’t judge somebody just by the way they look. You need to get to know them first before you can make judgements about them.

So just like you wouldn’t judge a book by looking at the cover, by looking at the picture on the cover. You have to judge a book by opening it and reading it.

It is the same about a person. So for example if you look at Susan Boyle you’ll think she is just a boring, middle-aged woman, right? But don’t judge a book by its cover. Actually she is very interesting. She’s got beautiful voice, she is very talented, yeah.

Now, the next one is very similar in meaning and it’s: There is more than meets the eye’. There is more than meets the eye, okay. So there is more than meets the eye means the same thing as don’t judge a book by its cover., really. It means the way someone looks or the way something looks doesn’t show you what is inside. Or doesn’t show you what it really is.

So, again, again, Susan Boyle you look at her and think: Oh, she is just sort of ordinary person. But no, there is more than that. There is more than meets the eye. Actually she is very talented and interesting. Okay, there is more than meets the eye.

The next one is: She is a class act. She is a class act. So a class act is somebody who is excellent of what they do. Somebody who is very, very good what they do. So, Susan Boyle is a class act because she has got a great voice.

 

Okay, the next one is: He is a laughing stock. He is a laughing stock.

So, a laughing stock is someone who has done something very stupid in public and now everybody is laughing at them. Nobody takes them seriously anymore. And everybody thinks that they are stupid.

So, for example, if Susan Boyle hadn’t sung very well, she had had a very bad voice or she had done something very stupid, then she would be a laughing stock.

She isn’t a laughing stock at all. She is actually great. I think she is fantastic. But a laughing stock is somebody who has done something really stupid and everyone is now laughing at them.

Let’s see, you could say perhaps that George Bush is a bit of a laughing stock because of his bad English, right? He often made bad English mistakes when he spoke and so he is a laughing stock. Particularly in America. I mean, the Americans love to laugh at George Bush now. Some of them don’t, but a lot of them do. Yeah, he is a laughing stock, I think.

 

The next one is: to have moral fibre. To have moral fibre. So, moral fibre is the inner strength. So, the strength that you have in your personality which helps you to do what you believe is right in a difficult situation. So, for example you could say: He didn’t have the moral fibre to be a leader, right? He didn’t have the moral fibre to be a leader. So, in order to be a leader, you need to have like strength of personality and we describe that as moral fibre.

So, for example you need to have a lot of moral fibre to be a good president.

So, probably Barack Obama seems to have a lot of moral fibre, alright?

 

Okay, a similar expression is to have the courage of your convictions. To have the courage of your convictions. Now if you have the courage of your convictions, it means you are brave enough to do what you feel is right, even if other people disagree with you.

So, for example, okay let’s take the example of Charles Darwin. Charles Darwin was the man who came up with a theory of evolution. Now he came up with the idea that nobody else believed in evolution.

He was the only one and everyone else disagreed with him, but he had the courage of his convictions. He wrote books about it and now we now, that he was right. That evolution is true.

You know, I believe in evolution. So Darwin had the courage of his convictions and now we know that he was right, actually.

 

Another expression is: To be bold as brass. To be bold as brass.

Now, if you are bold as brass, it means that you are very confident. You are sort of….you are so confident that you are not worried about how other people will think about you.

So, for example, Susan Boyle walked onto the stage and she was bold as brass. She wasn’t worried about what people thought of her. Bold as brass. Okay.

 

Another nice expression is: His bark is worse than his bite. His bark is worse than his bite.

This means, if someone’s bark is worse than their bite, it means that they might get angry, they might shout. They might seem to be very frightening and scary but actually, they are not really scary. They won’t do anything dangerous.

A bark and a bite we associate with a dog. So we can use it to talk about a dog who makes a lot of noise bark bark bark bark bark, like that, barking, but the bark is worse than the dog’s bite.

So it barks a lot but it doesn’t bite. It’s bark is worse than his bite.

But we can also use that expression to talk about people. So, if there is someone you know, who is perhaps very angry. They shout, they get angry very easily, but actually they are not very dangerous as a person. Actually, they are quite friendly, you can say: His bark is worse than his bite.

So, maybe someone like Simon Cowell one of the judges on the show, he seems to be a very angry guy and he is critical. But actually when you get to know him, he is probably quite a nice person, I think. He has got a big heart. So his bark is worse than his bite.

 

And the last idiom I am going to teach you is: She is a barrel of laughs. She is a barrel of laughs.

A barrel of laughs means someone who is really, really good fun. Someone who is very, very funny. Someone who laughs a lot and someone who makes you laugh a lot.

So, for example, if you know someone who is really funny, when you spend time with him, you laugh a lot and you have a really good time, you can say: She is just a barrel of laughs.

Now a barrel is a kind of container, like a wooden container that you can use to keep beer in. You might put beer in it, yeah? So, if you have a barrel full of laughs, right. I think you can imagine what that is: a barrel of laughs. A barrel full of laughs. So we use it to describe someone. He is an absolute barrel of laughs. You have a great time with him.

 

Okay, so that is the end of the language section.

Don’t forget, look at the web page, teacherLuke.podomatic.com.

You can see all the idioms that I have just introduced to you there on the page with definitions. You can also see a picture of Susan Boyle and you will see a link to the you tube video and you can also read the scripts of the conversation between Susan and the judges and you can read the lyrics of her song.

 

 

That’s it! Don’t forget to email me. Luketeacher@hotmail.com.

Let me know what you think of Susan Boyle. Let me know what you think of the podcast. This is the longest podcast I have done, yet. Each podcast is getting longer and longer every time. I hope you don’t mind. This is about 45 minutes long.

So please let me know what you think of the podcast. Give me some feedback, give me some comments. If it’s too long, let me know. I will make them shorter.

That’s the end of the podcast.

 

Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye

Thanks for downloading Luke’s English podcast.

11 thoughts on “7. Susan Boyle

  1. trang ngoc

    Thanks alot Sir. I really enjoy your lesson. I watched SuSan’s performane long time ago but it i didn’t understand completely what judges and SB said, and now i get it!! so great.

    Reply
  2. Wassim

    By the way, I was watching the stand up comedy of Jack Carroll last night, and I really couldn’t get any of his jokes other than the last one “funny bones – a serious decease”. I would be interested to hear a full explanation of this obviously great comedy clip on Luke’s English Podcast one day.

    Reply
  3. Wassim

    I am feeling that most of us hope to be famous, but once we get there, and we face the downside of fame, we start looking at it from a different view. Yes, all of a sudden the person feel loved by millions of people, but again this love is so superficial and can dissapear at any moment.

    Reply
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  5. Luke Thompson

    Comment archive from podomatic.com

    hello your podcast was amazing I listen to it more than ten times.as far as I am concerned you are the best. kamran (147 days ago)
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    thank you so much for your legitimate podcast. it not only teaches how to listen, but also does give new knowledge about new things. Serkan Akkose (337 days ago)
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    Thank you, Luke. This one really was interesting for me. Not only interesting but also contemplative. I am looking forward to your podcasts. Thank you so much. I did not expect to find such interesting stuff in the internet. Christa Bartels (376 days ago)
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    Hi (407 days ago)
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    You are fantastic. This is (all your posts) more than learning english. Thanks man! Siniša Kuzmanović (430 days ago)
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    Enter your comment (513 days ago)
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    Thank you Luke,now it works. Tommy (640 days ago)
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    Hi Tommy, the link should work correctly now. Luke Thompson (643 days ago)
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    Hi Luke. If I click to read the transcription and the idioms of this podcast,it doesn’t work. I’d like to get your answer and so being able to read the episode. Thank you very much! Tommy (643 days ago)
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    I might appear to be a lauphing stock in your eyes,but I first heard Boyle singing only 1 month ago.It was her interpretation of Should Auld Acquaintance,I got absolutely mesmerized by her voice,looked for more on the You Tube,found Autumn Leaves,Just a Perfect Day – and cried…Her angelic sounding really moves something inside and – purifies.Since I am new on your Podcast,a lot is still awaiting me,and I am really looking forward to it.Thank you,Luke….Lena from Russia. (644 days ago)
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    I liked very much and I’m learning a lot (757 days ago)
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    Her fame still lasts!
    From Wikipedia:
    Boyle’s debut album, I Dreamed a Dream (2009) remains as the UK best-selling debut album of all time, beating previous record holder, Spirit by Leona Lewis. I Dreamed a Dream is ranked fourth in its first week sales according to the Official Chart Company in the United Kingdom. In her first year of fame, Boyle made a fortune of £5 million with the release of I Dreamed a Dream and its lead off singles, “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Wild Horses”. The success was continued with her second album, The Gift (2009), and this is expected to be followed by Boyle’s third album, Someone To Watch Over Me, expected to be released in November 2011.

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  7. adrian

    Thanks Sir, I love too much your podcasts and I consider you an extraordinary teacher… because for my believe you give and spread freely with your heart all your knowledge without selfishness!!! keep it up please , you do a great jobbbb….

    Reply

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