Posts Tagged ‘music’


Don’t you worry ’bout a thing, Stevie Wonder

May 31, 2013

(Don’t worry about anything / Worry about nothing!)


Next week: Celebrating World Book Day

May 1, 2013

Next May 6 and 7, after this week’s 3-day holiday, we’ll celebrate World Book Day. Here is all the info on the raffle: May 6 & 7 Raffle (2 pdf pages)

I’ll bring varied podcast episodes / the episode “To belong” of the Baby Human Geniuses in Diapers documentary, for the first half of the lesson, for we’re done with unit 6, right?

Avanzado 2 Martes englishlings!, please remind me of giving you the stapled paper copies! Remember I’ll be on a strike on May 9!

Have a lovely 3-day holiday! 🙂
(In Spanish we call them “puentes”, “bridges”, when they connect with the weekend, but if you say “I’m on a bridge” English-speakers will never ever guess what you mean! :D)

Mentioned before…


March 21: Celebrating Poetry Day & Fighting Racism Day

March 22, 2013

♥ Joy Harjo

Learn about this amazing Muskoke (Creek) American musician, writer and activist! ♥

Should I dream you afraid so that you are forced to save yourself? Or should you ride colored horses into the cutting edge of the sky to know that we’re alive we are alive.

Read/Listen to her poem Strange Fruit

mediterranean_mapHere is a poem I wrote in 2012 dedicated to the Palestinian people. I wrote it after watching a documentary about a Music School they were trying to create or hold together in the Gaza region (a densely populated area on the planet where you can get killed very easily, apart from having to endure war-like hardship). Olive trees are also connected to the origin of the worldwide movement called Women in Black. Israeli and Palestinian women did something which patriarchal politics abhors, which was plant olive tree together in a shared land. Olive trees are also about our connection as part of the Mediterranean cultures. I’ve translated it into English.

Los olivos (michelle renyé, 2012)

van_gogh_bosquedeolivos1889La piel oliva es dorada y verde.
Los ojos y el pelo negro noche lluvia
y profundos,
como el verano en los jazmines.
Las hojas son verde ceniza por abajo
y se vuelven al cielo abierto,
tantas veces
con tanto esfuerzo, con dolor,
y levemente brillantes
por encima, como un recuerdo
de aceites y manos, de cuando
podían plantar olivos, verlos crecer.

La música está prohibida.
(Es ley en la democracia del genocidio.)
Las personas jóvenes no temen más
que aman, por eso cantan
en un espacio de ruinas secreto.
Sus ojos contienen al fondo cascotes
caídos sobre los olivos bajo el sol
sobre la tierra amarilla gastada agotada,
llana, terrosa, dura, persistente; hecha mirra,
y aprenden a tocar en cajas con cuerdas
y se juegan la vida cuando bailan.

Es lo que nunca cuentan las crónicas que escriben
los padres de todas las guerras.


Olive Trees (michelle renyé, 2012)

Olive skin is gold and green.
Eyes and hair black night rain
and deep,
like summer in jasmines.
The leaves are ash green underneath
and turn and twist towards the open sky,
once and again,
with such effort, such pain,
and slightly shiny
on top, like a memory
of oils and hands, of the time
when they could plant olive trees, see them grow.

Music is banned.
(It’s law in the democracy of genocide.)
People young do not fear more
than love, that’s why they are singing
in a secret space of ruins.
The background in their eyes contains
rocks of rubble fallen on the olive trees under the sun
on the yellow soil worn out exhausted
flat terrous hard persistent; made myrrh
while they learn to play boxes with strings
and risk their lives when they dance.

This is what’s never told in the chronicles written
by the patriarchs of all wars.

Web de Rumbo a Gaza


Atún y chocolate (Tuna and chocolate)

February 22, 2013

Enjoy your weekend, adorable people!

Here is one of my favorite videos (this is the kind of relationships human beings can have — where people do their thing freely, and they are all connected!) and one of my favorite songs! It’s (at least in part) in the roma language (romaní).

Barbati, atún y chocolate Y un poco de levante pa volar. Barbati, la tierra de mi “pae” donde mi “mae” me hace la “pringá”. Barbati, atún y piñonate y un poco de poniente pa enfriar. Barbati , la tierra de mi “mae” donde mi “pae” me deja la vespá.


One Billion Rising (song)

February 14, 2013

words and music by Cathy Grier


Led Zeppelin

January 25, 2013

Brussels, 1975 (Interview with Robert Plant)

1969 – “Communication Breakdown” & other songs including a ballad… sort of… 😀 (rock – groundbreaking)

First, the ballad, “Babe, I’m gonna leave you”, because in the video below it’s cut (here in 2008, for Amnesty International – Jimmy Page and Robert Plant)

I’d say that after listening these people, some other music we’ve had since the 1990s appears as a crime against humanity… (just made to make money, with commercial formulas, nothing to communicate, no emotion behind…) The industry of art is revolting… We should have separate words: say, “indusformies,” for the “masters/mistresses” of commercial formulas (yes, they should have a place in the world), and then “music” for artists.

They start with “Communication Breakdown”…


Don’t Know Why

January 25, 2013

(2002) by Norah Jones

Norah Jones interview (re: Foo Fighters collaboration)

Below the video, a link to print the lyrics and fill in the blanks! (just in case you haven’t got the textbook audios!) 😀



Ain’t no mountain high enough…

January 25, 2013

by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell ♥ (soul, ar-n-bee) – Ain’t No Mountain High Enoughtammiterrellmarvingaye

Watch ’em!

“ain’t” here means “there isn’t”

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” is an R&B/soul song written by Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson in 1966 for the Tamla Motown label. The composition was first successful as a 1967 hit single recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, becoming a hit again in 1970 when recorded by Diana Ross.


We’re in the middle of a Revolution

January 25, 2013

by Nina Simone ♥

Harlem Cultural Festival, 1969


Chet Baker – so light and sweet! (and powerful)

January 24, 2013


Sinéad and the homeless

January 24, 2013

Black Coffee, sung by Sinèad O’Connor (I love how she sings this one!) Previous interpreters include Ella Fitzgerald, Black Coffee

homelessgirlSinéad O’Connor dedicated this album to the homeless (homeless people), and well — when I was younger I was a homeless for some time, not much, but when I give money to people asking for money I know I have no right to say, “Spend it well.” What’s well? If people with houses have alcohol whenever they like, what would they have to bear life on the streets? Anyway, I missed music so much! Some time after that unwanted experience, I had found a job in a private language school in Gran Vía, and one day an adorable student of mine was ranting and raving about seeing a homeless person having a cassette player with earphones and a natural orange juice in one of those expensive cafeterias in Madrid. And regretting having given this person a coin. Well, that blew my mind. I think I mostly asked questions.

Do you have a place to get back to when you choose? Is it a place where you are safe, and warm, and can drink and eat, moreover, where you can read, and listen to music, and watch TV and have your special treats? Why should you feel outraged because someone who is homeless has a cassette player and gathers some money to have something this person loves. Please, be honest. What’s the role of the cassette player or a natural orange juice in this person’s life and what’s the role of that in your life? Please, don’t go insane. That’s tradition speaking through you. We’re children of the 20th century. We have managed to grasp the meaning of the word ‘human rights.’ Actually, we make enough money with our work to pay for nobody to be homeless. The problem is some other kind of people, who are invisible for us all, take it all. But our work would make a kinder world possible. Don’t grow cold and hurt the most vulnerable people.

sineadoconnorSo when Sinèad O’Connor dedicated this album of hers, called Am I Not Your Girl? (where she interprets classical jazz songs, songs of her own her story and mine!, in her own talented way), to the homeless (and there’s a text she wrote too), I was really happy to get it! She even interprets one of the songs Doris Day (el colmo de la cursilería) used to interpret! It’s always struck me how cheesy Doris Day was and her very well muscled arms! If you ever watch a movie of hers, try to notice. Nowadays, any woman can have those arms and we have nothing to say about it, but in her days slim women were meant to have softer “curves.”

There’s a song in this album that I always imagine mimed by a girl who appeared miming a song in one of Almodovar’s movies: How Insensitive. I wonder if this happens to anyone out there ? 🙂 I don’t even remember which movie it was!


More Karen Souza…

January 24, 2013

karensouzaFrom “Every step you take,” the song performed by The Police (Sting, singer) Karen Souza sings her own interpretation. This woman’s voice is so interesting! 🙂

Not that I agree with the phi-lo-so-phy, but it sounds so well! Her voice is so velvety! And it’s all so light…

Paris (song – bossa nova, right?)


The Unit 3 song: I will survive, by Gloria Gaynor

December 29, 2012

Here’s a little story. When we were arrested at Greenham, and had to wait and wait in the portacabin, we would get bored and sometimes we’d spend our time singing this song — enacting this song, really! It was fun! And very funny!

You’ll find the lyrics under the video. There are conditional sentences you should be good at!


Black or White, by Michael Jackson

December 15, 2012


Man in the Mirror, by Michael Jackson

December 15, 2012


Scenes of Smoke Signals

December 6, 2012

If you enjoy the upcoming lesson (see this post) where you’ll, share your thoughts and work on The Absolutely True… we could watch “Smoke Signals“, the movie (don’t know when or how or where, though). I have a copy of the screenplay in class, which I’ll donate to the school’s library at some point. But I think it’s worth having a copy in your personal little English mediateque, right? — it’s about €5. Of course, screenplays have some technical English, but that just means you’ll have the chance to learn more! 😀

Sherman Alexie: “This is not the first feature film written, directed, and produced by Native Americans. It is the first such film to ever receive national and international distribution by a major studio. It’s an important distinction. Natives have made tons of films over the last few decades, but sadly, Smoke Signals remains the only Indian-created film to ever receive this much attention. Also, looking at the trailer, this film could have easily been titled Bad Wigs.”



Ulali – healing – loss – water

December 6, 2012

Song Title: Wah Jhi Le Yihm. Album: Smoke Signals Sountrack by BC Smith and Forgive Our Fathers Suite by Ulali – another performance

Ulali (posts from YouTube link below): This song is in the Tutelo language… I had it translated by one of our speakers from home in NC. It’s an old pigeon dialect of our Old Siouan, Iroquois and coastal Algonquin people’s languages together.  All 3 of our big nations have lived together for thousands of years here in what is now the present Virginia and Carolina’s. This is a place that many nations migrated out of and went on traveling north, west and some more south and all over. An old hub!! Also this is a song for healing and giving back to the water and letting the water wash and clean and the spirit rise those are some of the words in the song. Wahjheeleh Yihm… means I carry you with me… So…it means let the water carry you… It’s an ancestral song for the dead and the water as the sacred source…where some of us put in the ashes as a return to be free spirit!! I wrote this song with the help of my cousin Jennifer and Soni. We are Ulali…


It’s a lovely day today, by Ella Fitzgerald

December 4, 2012

Lyrics by Irving Berlin below

It’s a lovely day today
So whatever you’ve got to do
You’ve got a lovely day to do it in — that’s true

And I hope whatever you’ve got to do
Is something that can be done by two
For I’d really like to stay

It’s a lovely day today
And whatever you’ve got to do
I’d be so happy to be doing it with you

But if you’ve got something that must be done  (practice your modals!)
And it can only be done by one
There is nothing more to say
Except it’s a lovely day for saying
It’s a lovely day

(Dance a bit! Ba da doo, ba da dooooooo)

For I’d really like to stay

It’s a lovely day today
And whatever you’ve got to do
I’d be so happy to be doing it with you

But if you’ve got something that must be done
And it can only be done by one
There is nothing more to say
Except it’s a lovely day for saying
It’s a lovely day

Except it’s a lovely day for saying
It’s a lovely day


Joni Mitchell for a thank you!

November 30, 2012

joni_mitchell-hejira♥ A big thank you to the people who generously offered to read my little workshop (30 pages!!) on Language and Culture, and give me feedback. Your comments are precious to me, and I hope to find some time some day (!) to put together the final version — the latest would be next summer! 😀 (Tons of work loading up just now!)

Thanks again! I’m posting a link to a Joni Mitchell song I love. But there’s no personal message in it. I’m just posting it because I love the music and how she sings! Hope you like it too!


“Get up, Stand up, Stand up for your rights” and “We Can Make It Work”

November 13, 2012

Jamaican English, people! I’m just watching a documentary called “Marley” (2012), and here is my song of the week! (Not that I like reggae much, because of its resemblance with ska, but this documentary is interesting, on Bob Marley’s life, with tons of Jamaican English to educate your ear, and well, non-reggae musical people can always listen trying to see the soul and funky in it!) I’ll post the lyrics in a comment. Nightie night!

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