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Songs about Money

We live in age of rampant materialism. What can we do about it?

How can we change it?

It is not about the money

When we say “it is not about the money” or “it is not about the car”” or it is not about the dog” we mean “that is not the whole point” or “that is not the focus of what we want to say”.

Price Tags

“Everybody has got a price” means “everybody is for sale”.

Do you think everybody has got a price? Is everybody for sale?

How has money come to dominate the world?

What can we do about it?


“He can’t sleep at night” means “He has a guilty conscience because he did something wrong and he is not following the dictates of his soul”.

Do you sleep well at night?

Here is a version from the original singer:

Try and sing along with her.

Learning to sing in English is a great way to learn vocabulary and also pronuciation and intonation and to get a feel for the language and the cultural context. Language is connected to culture and ideas and you can get lost in the content and forget the medium. Stop thinking about English – just use it and be happy. Lose yourself in the song.

A Version from Bulgaria

Here is another version of the song:

A Different Point of View

Abba has another song about money. Check it out. Read the lyrics and the answer the questions below.

What were the two songs called?
Which song is older?
Which song is in favour of money?
Which song is against money?
How do you feel about money?

Write your answers in the comments section below.

Link to the Money Page

Share your thoughts...

Would you like to be a Flight Attendant?

Passive Voice

A flight attendant is trained to handle anything from the routine to …

Check to see that your seatbelts are securely fastened.

to the terrifying.

Open your seat belts! Get out!

and when that happens, training saves lives.

They call it boot-camp. And we are … I mean … merciless.

First Conditional with “going to”

I am going to feel like a huge failure if I do get sent home today.

Before any flight attendant takes off she must be prepared for the possibilites no-one likes to think about.

Because keeping passengers comfortable is easy. Keeping them safe: That is the hard part.

The preparation begins at flight attendant school.

In this episode of Flight Attendant School:

Reason for Removal

One out of every three of our students will be removed because they cannot maintain our academic requieremnt or meet the standards of conduct.

I am afraid we are going to have to let you go tonight. We will have to escort you out of the building.

Denver Colorado

Home to Denver International Airport.

Keep listening. Do not worry if you do not understand the whole text. Listening is a complex skill. Identify the phrases you know. Do not worry about the phrases that you do not know. Go!

Do you like to dance?

Is dancing popular in your society?

This song is about a young girl dancing at a disco. She is “having the time of her life”. She is very happy. She is young and beautiful and happy. She is in the prime of her life.

Have your attitudes changed as you have grown older? Are you the same person now that you were were ten years ago, twenty years ago, more ..? Tell us about your thoughts on age-ing and the stages of life. Is youth the best?

Write your opinion in the comments section below. How did the song make you feel? Did it remind you of something?


Some people say dancing is the oldest art. Is there traditional dancing in your society? Do men and women dance togther? How is modern dancing different from folk dancing?

Link to the art page

Can you see clearly?

The Rain as a Metaphor

We can say “the rain is gone or “the rain has gone”.

We use the metaphor of a bright clear day with the sun shining to describe our feeling. How does the song make you feel Does it make you happy?

Tell us how you feel in the comments section.

Future “going to”

We say “gonna” instead of “going to” but we do not usually write it in academic or formal language. It is common in speech and in songs.

You can find more examples of this tense at this link:

Future Going to tense

How does she know that you love her?

How does she know that you love her?

Don’t sing. Let’s just walk.

He knows the song too.

Present Perfect Tense

I have never heard this song.

Really nice work.

Ok. That is it.

Idiom – take somebody for granted

It is not enough to take the one you love for granted.

How do I know he loves me?

How do I know he cares?

Present Participle

Sending flowers when the sky is gray.

A little bit every day.

That is how you know.


I have seen quite enough. Let’s go.

You’ve got to show her that you need her.

Everybody wants to live happily ever after.

Everybody wants to know that true love is real.

Take these flowers to Nancy. Please.

What are you? Crazy? They are birds. They don’t know where she lives.

That’s how you know.

The Importance of Love

How important is love?

Link to the Love Page

Do you have a dream?


“to cope” is the infinitive form of the verb.

Link to infinitive lesson

Crossing the Stream

A strream is a small river.


The song talks about believing in angels.

Do you believe in angels?


How important are dreams? And what exactly are dreams?

Some people say dreams are just mental garbage. They are just random images from your waking life.

Other people say that they are messages from another world. Some believe they are messages from your soul.

The Meanings of the Word – Dream

In English the word “dream” has two distinct meanings. One meaning is the mental images which we remember when we wake. They are the experiences we remember while asleep and they stay in our minds a while after we wake up but they often vanish quickly.
The other meaning of the word is “objective” or “ambition”.

If you have something you really want, it can be a dream or vision or goal.

What is your dream?

Tell us in the comments section below.

Are you familiar with the Martin Luther King speech?

I have a Dream

Link to Historical Materials

Trading – Gambling or Investing

In this lesson we are going to look at two short videos. The first one is an anti-gambling advertisement by the Victorian Government. It is aimed at gambling addicts or problem gamblers.

gambling addicts
problem gamblers
people who have a problem with gambling

The second video is an advertisement for online trading. This advertisement is for a company called IG which provides trading in financial derivatives.

online trading
trading stocks
trading financial derivatives

Perspectives on Gambling

Note how one video portrays gambling as a problem but the other video glorifies gambling as a glorious exciting occupation. The first film shows images of a woman playing on slot machines or fruit machines but the second film portrays a man on a mountainside, in a lake and other natural places. Let’s watch the first video.

Questions About the Video

What type of gambling is pictured in the film?
Who is the film aimed at?
Is gambling portrayed positively or negatively?

Anti-Gambling Advertisement

Karl was always at work
He was never home.

a bit of fun at the pokies (poker machines – slot machines)

I won at first
I sold the watch he bought me, but he didn’t notice.

I even sold Gran’s things.

Jenny was worried about me.
She told her dad.

He was going to leave.

I decided I really needed help.

And listened.

Is On-line Trading Different from Gambling?

Before we look at the next advertisement let’s ask, is online trading or retail trading in financial derivatives a form of gambling? What do you think?

What type of gambling is pictured in the film?
Who is the film aimed at?
Is gambling portrayed positively or negatively?

Now look at the advertisement:

Advertisement for Prospective Traders

to be a trader
you need that spark inside
the courage … vision .. determination … and insight
the eye to see opportunity
and the wit to seize the right one
especially when it is right in front of you.
That is what it means to be a trader.
That is what it means to trade.

What do you think about gambling? Tell us your opinion in the comments section below.

I have never seen anything like you

Non – Standard Language

I have never seen anything like you.
I have never seen nothing like you.

“anyone” focuses more emphasis on the identity of the person as a person, as opposed to as a thing.

I have never seen anyone like you.
I have never seen anything like you.

Present Perfect Tense

Note the pattern:

I have seen ….
I have seen
I have seen …

But I have never seen …

Present Simple Tense

Do you do you want my love?

Do you, do you want …. ?

Listening with Partial Comprehension

When you listen it is not necessary to understand one hundred per cent. Partial listening leads to full comprehension in time. But you have to start by actively listening. Listen to the parts you know.

Listen to the parts you recognise.
Then try to work out the parts that you do not know. Do it several times.

Link to more songs:

Man in Black

How Long do we have left?
You are beautiful
Do you know the Way to San Jose?
Time After Time

Link to Vocabulary Tests

Link to Real Conversations

Please Pick up the Telephone

Non-Standard Language – Ain’t

The use of “ain’t” instead of “am not”, “isn’t” or “aren’t” is extremely common, especially in songs.

Road Trip to the Beach

Are you in the club?

Passive Voice

Ok Elsa. I just wanna say for the record that I am really excited.

I am thrilled to be getting out of Arendale.

Present Perfect Continuous

I have been wanting to get out of Arendale.

Relative Clauses

I just want to know where we are going. I don’t understand why it has to be a surprise.

Present Continuous Tense

And you are driving so fast.

Relative Clauses

I don’t know where you learned to drive.

Present Perfect Tense (simple)

I have never even been in a car.

But you seem to know what you are doing so that is good.

Past Continuous Tense

But back to what I was saying.

Present Simple Tense

I don’t understand.

Relative Clauses

Is there any reason why I can’t know where we are going?

Present Continuous Tense

You are still driving so fast.

What do you say Elsa, can you tell me?

No, Anna! It has to be a surprise. No more questions.

That was a pretty firm “no”.


I just hope that where we are going is appropriate for somebody who is wearing a hat and mittens.

It seems like we have been in the car for a really long time.

Metaphor – Figurative Language

Have I ever steered you wrong?

I am your date!

No. You have never steered me wrong.

The Beach

Ok We are here. The beach!

This is so great.

I cant believe we are here. This is so beautiful.

I just wish I had a bathing suit.

Present Perfect Tense (simple)

Don’t worry Anna. I packed everything we need.

Wow! I love my suit. I love yours too.

This is also nice.

Keeping me warm and cosy with my mittens and my hat.

Past Continuous Tense

Anna! I was protecting your beautiful royal skin from the harsh rays.

Future Tense

No w you go and sit over there sand I am going to get in the water.

Past Simple Tense

The water felt so great.

You really should think about getting in the water

Hey Anna! How does the water feel?

I don’t know, Elsa. Still a little hot. I am wearing a hat and mittens with my bathing suit.

No problem, Anna.

Ahhh I am gonna get you for this.

What do you think she did? (Did she throw water on her?)

Link to dialogues with audio and transcript: Mosquito City