Category Archives: Learning English?

What the Stranglers did to their Diphthongs

R.I.P. Dave Greenfield. Keyboardist, songwriter and singer.

When you listen to the Stranglers’ song Golden Brown, pay close attention to the way Hugh Conwell sings the word brown:

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Lighting every step on the Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven is a classic choice for song contests.  If English is your native language, don’t take the words of this song for granted. If English isn’t your native language, don’t take the words of this song for granted. The words matter.

They matter, but they’re not a liturgy.  Dave Grohl captures the heart of the song without reciting every word in order. Or at all:

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Singing True Milk Chocolate Love

I love you” is one of those phrases we measure precisely, down to the smallest change in breath and intention. Speaking it, singing it and hearing it. Especially the first time, and the last few times.

At least one important person in your life will have said “I love you”, without meaning it. A deep, protective human instinct awakes in your heart and warns you: “Beware

If it wasn’t too recent and it isn’t too painful, think back. What alerted your heart to the lie? Did the word ‘love‘ sound too thin and hollow? Or was ‘love you’ overstuffed with emotion? What detail in the sound tipped you off to a falseness in the words? Continue reading Singing True Milk Chocolate Love