Friday, May 4, 2012

Song and Exercise: "Summer of '69"

I was going to put up a video related to our "downtown" topic from Monday and Wednesday, but the only songs I could think of were Prince's "Uptown" and Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl." I like both songs (although Prince's is much better), but Prince's song doesn't seem to have a video, and the video for "Uptown Girl" is objectively one of the stupidest music videos ever. So I was stuck. What to do?

After much debate, I finally decided I'd put up Bryan Adam's song "Summer of '69." I'm doing this for two reasons:

-Celine Dion is my arch-nemesis, so if I put up a Bryan Adams video, it should prove I don't hate Celine Dion because she's Canadian (I hate her because her music is awful).
-The song is filled with verbs, both in the simple present and simple past tenses. I actually used this song in a class activity earlier last week, so it's also convenient for me!

Here's the video, followed by the lyrics with an activity.

Lyrics Activity:
Circle (or at least identify) all the verbs you can find in the song. 
How many verbs are there? 
Are the verbs in the simple present or the simple past tense? 
Divide them into two columns.


I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it 'til my fingers bled
It was the summer of ‘69

Me and some guys from school
Had a band and we tried real hard
Jimmy quit and Joey got married
Should have known we'd never get far

Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah - I'd always want to be there
Those were the best days of my life

Ain't no use in complainin'
When you’ve got a job to do
Spent my evenings down at the drive-in
And that's when I met you yeah

Standin' on your Mama's porch
You told me that you'd wait forever
Oh and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life
Back in the summer of ‘69

Man we were killin' time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothin' can last forever - forever 

And now the times are changin'
Look at everything that's come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about you, wonder what went wrong
(repeat chorus)

So, when you've identified the verbs, you're done --you can go home and enjoy the weekend! Next week we'll look at this song and its verbs again, and we'll do a few activities with them. Until then, have a great weekend, and thanks for reading!


  1. nice! i've used this too but i *DO* like this activity! =)

  2. Thanks--glad you like it! You'll have to check back on Monday for the exciting continuation :)

    Plus, it's 10 times better than that horrid Celine Dion song people use for past tense practice.


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