B2.2 – July – Notes from class 11/7/11

Notes from class 11/7/11…modals follow-up…

Focus on modal verbs

Multiple-matching with songs

Read the summaries of 6 songs (a-e) and match them to the song title.  If the title doesn’t help you can click the links and listen to/watch the clip (warning – these songs were not necessarily chosen for their musical qualities!) 

(a)  This is a lament.  A song of regret.  The songs’ speaker talks about mistakes made in the past.  It’s a break up song, directed to a lover the speaker is about to lose as a result of his/her own actions.

(b)  What is this song?  Is it a lover setting down the rules of a relationship?  Is it a lover trying to reassure his/her partner that they should just be themselves and not pretend to be something they are not?  Is it just an expression of the singers’ own personal, private preferences?

(c)  I’m not sure about this one either.  Is this speaker saying he/she loves his/her partner so much that whatever he/she  does is okay – there are no rules or obligations in the relationship?  Or, is this a lover telling the one he/she loves that he/she knows their relationship is impossible but that they will both always know that the relationship is important to both of them even though they can’t be open about it or continue with it?  Or, is this a lover talking to an ex who has left and begging them to still show they care even if they don’t express it in words?

(d)  Okay, this one is easy.  This song is a promise.  A promise from the speaker in the song to themself about their relationships in the future.  They won’t repeat the mistakes of the past and they won’t let themselves get involved with someone who isn’t right for them.

(e)  This song is a deduction.  The speaker in the song has only just realised the true nature of his/her feelings and has finally decided how they really feel about the person the song is directed to.

(f)  This is another deduction song but unfortunately the realisation has come too late so it’s also another break-up song.

Song 1:  Fairground Attraction – Perfect

Song 2:  Dusty Springfield – You don’t have to say you love me

Song 3:  Roxette – It must have been love

Song 4:  Prince – Kiss (link likely to break so here is Tom Jones…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6AgSzgY_xI&feature=related

Song 5:  George Michael / Wham – Careless Whisper

Song 6:  Madness – It must be love

Did the modal verbs in the song titles / lyrics help you decide which interpretation matched the songs?  Did you notice the form of the modals in the two break-up songs?  They used modals in the past…

I should have known better than to cheat a friend…We could have been so good together…

It must have been love but it is over now…

(George Michael / Roxette)

What about the Fairground Attraction song, Perfect?  Is there any difference in meaning between:  “It has got to be perfect” and “It has to be perfect”?

The Madness song, It must be love, was described in the interpretation as being a ‘deduction,’ a ‘realisation’ of the truth.  Which of these song titles with ‘must’ are deductions and which talk about obligation / prohibition?

  • Queen – The show must go on
  • Eurythmics – There must be an angel (playing with my heart)
  • Tavares – Heaven must be missing an angel
  • Simple Plan – God must hate me
  • Talking Heads – This must be the place
  • Bob Dylan – One of us must know
  • Nina Simone – Everything must change
  • Tony Bennet – We mustn’t say goodbye
  • D’Angelo – Heaven must be like this
  • Betty Driver – We mustn’t miss the last bus home
  • John Mayall and the bluesbreakers – The laws must change
  • Ice Tea – I must stand
  • Billie Holiday – I must have that man (or Liza Minnelli)
  • Tata Young – I must not chase the boys

Looking at your answers, what do all the song titles with ‘mustn’t’ have in common?

Finally, did you agree with my interpretations of the songs?  Do you have an alternative interpretation?  What about other songs with modal verbs in the titles / lyrics – can you think of any others?






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