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December 1999 - Issue No. #37 (p.17)
In Newsletter #35 (June, 1999) Sunao Shimizu offered a rationale and list of songs for teaching global issues through music. Here I'd like to provide a sample lesson and some practical tips for using global issue content songs in the language classroom.
CD rental shops provide an economical way of obtaining music for the classroom. Japanese CDs usually contain lyrics of foreign songs in both Japanese and English. For teachers in areas where English CDs are limited, Internet shops like Amazon.com provide quick service. Home pages on the Internet also list songs; you can use Yahoo to find home pages devoted to a band or musician and quickly find the lyrics to the songs of that artist. This gives you an already typed, easily alterable document for making a cloze or other classroom activity.
Mercy, Mercy by Marvin Gaye (from his album Ecology)
Oh mercy, mercy me, ah.
Ah, things ain't what they _________1 to be, no no.
Where did all the __________________2 skies go?
Poison is the ___________________3 that blows
from the north and south and ______________4.
Woo, mercy, mercy me, mercy father, ahh.
Things ain't what they _______5 to be, no no.
Oil wasted on the _____________6 and upon our ____________7,
fish _________8 of mercury.
Ah, oh, mercy, mercy me, ah.
Things ain't what they _______________9 to be, no no.
Radiation under ______________10 and in the ________11
______________12 and birds who live by
Oh, mercy, mercy me, ah.
Things ain't what they ___________14 to be, no no.
What about this over- ______________15 land?
How much more __________16 from man can she stand?
Oh na, na . . . My sweet Lord. . . No. . . My Lord.
1) used 2) blue 3) wind 4) east 5) used 6) oceans 7) seas 8) full 9) used 10) ground 11) sky 12) animals 13) dying 14) used 15) crowded 16) abuse
Socially aware musicians make public through interviews their views on global issues. These can be found in magazines or on the Internet and can be utilized to prompt class discussions. I recommend Heartspark Dollarsign by the band "Everclear" from the CD Sparkle and Fade (1995) on interracial relationships. Also, ask your students to look for or propose songs for the class to study.
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