Learn English with The Beatles as we explore lyrics from Beatles songs and pick out some idioms, descriptive language and other vocabulary for you to learn. Featuring Antony Rotunno from the Glass Onion: On John Lennon podcast.
In this episode you can learn English with The Beatles as we look at specific bits of English which appear in the lyrics of their songs.
I’m joined again by Antony Rotunno from the Glass Onion on John Lennon Podcast. Antony is also an English teacher and something of a John Lennon expert. He is also a musician, and a lot of the credit for this episode goes to him, because he did most of the preparation, going through lyrics of Beatles songs and picking out specific use of English, including certain phrases and idioms.
This is like a quiz actually. Can you name the songs when Antony plays them?
Can you beat me?
Can you name the songs from the lyrics and from the music?
There are a few references to The Rutles and Neil Innes of course, but for us those songs are all part of The Beatles extended universe.
I’ll chat to you again at the end of the episode and will sum up some of the bits of language that come up, but now let’s get started.
Phrases / Vocabualry
- Using lots of pronouns, me, you, us, I etc
- Using more imagery in the lyrics
- I’m going to love her until the cows come home
- A chip on my shoulder
- My heart went boom when I crossed that room
- Buzz, hum, boom (Onomatopoeia)
- It won’t be long ‘til I belong to you
- I don’t know why she’s riding so high
- To be on your high horse
- I’ll make a point of taking her away from you
- I sat on her rug biding my time, drinking her wine
- This bird has flown
- Please don’t spoil my day, I’m miles away, and after all, I’m only sleeping
- If she’s gone I can’t go on, feeling two foot small
- Feeling 10 foot tall
- Ouch, you’re breaking my heart
- To upset the applecart
- Where there’s a will there’s a way
- He was like a wolf in sheep’s clothing
- Or an iron hand in a velvet glove
- Working like a dog
- Sleeping like a log
- Sleeping like a baby
- If you need a shoulder to cry on
- To give someone a shoulder to cry on
- To open up the doors
- My independence seems to vanish in the haze
- It was another string to their bow
- There is a place, where I can go, when I feel low, when I feel blue
- To feel blue
- Everybody’s green because I’m the one who won your love
- Green = 1. Jealous 2. inexperienced
- Oh dear what can I do, baby’s in black and I’m feeling blue
- When the sun shines they slip into the shade, and sip their lemonade
- With tangerine trees and marmalade skies, cellophane flowers of yellow and green
- No-one I think is in my tree
- Nobody is on my wavelength
- Semolina pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower
- The clouds will be a daisy chain, so let me see you smile again
- Her hair of floating sky is shimmering, glimmering, in the sun
- My mother was of the sky, my father was of the earth but I am of the universe and you know what it’s worth
- Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup
- Pools of sorrow, waves of joy
- Don’t need a gun to blow your mind
- No longer riding on the merry go round, I just had to let it go
- Mother, you had me, but I never had you