Monday, 9 July 2012

Muse- "Survival"

How could I resist to dealing with the Olympic Games just around the corner? So that's the reason why today we are going to listen to Muse's anthem, "Survival". Written by Matthew Bellamy as official song for the London 2012 Olympics, it is going to reach your ears quickly, as it will be broadcast  every time  the athletes enter the stadium before the medal ceremonies and while the international journalists will be reporting the sport events (Wikipedia explains it very well).
 In my opinion this song is simply gorgeous: the more you will listen to it, the more you will love it!

Level: beginner

Grammar focus on: phrasal verbs, idiomatic expressions

Activity:  fill-in-the gap (pool of items provided)


Lyrics taken from:


"Survival" was premiered last 27th June on BBC Radio 1 followed by  Zane Lowe's  interview to Muse available at

Linguistic aspects: to start with, a race is a competition. You can take your vengeance when someone who has previously tried to harm you or your family becomes finally punished or you wish he/she had become.

You pull someone ahead when you do something well or better than him/her.
Generally you keep up with someone or , as Muse say,  you keep up the pace with somebody  when you move at the same speed as him/her or, more figuratively, when you learn or make headway at his/her speed.

To end with, it is interesting to focus on I will light the fuse, an expression hat originally refers to the electrical practice to let a string burn slowly before exploding. In the journalistic writing it is used metaphorically every time a dangerous or angry situation is getting worse, however in these lyrics I guess it means simply that you really want to succeed and make all the difference to the other competitors.

Of course I wouldn't get out without posting the link to the extraordinary official London 2012 website: Please don't miss the "What's on" section (which I am sure will delight those among you who don't care about sport at all)!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Madonna - "Turn Up the Radio"

Controversial opinions welcomed Madonna's album, MDNA, as soon as it was released, but her "Turn Up the Radio", a dance-oriented song, has been described as a good song by both her fans and her critics. Once again it gives us the chance to deal with phrasal verbs.

Level: beginner (provided that you are already familiar with colloquial forms, like gotta or wanna)

Grammar focus on: prepositions and phrasal verbs

Activity:  circle the right option

Lyrics taken from


Linguistic aspects:  If you  feel like you're going insane it means that you want to escape from reality but you can't do it (see Cambridge Dictionary). 

You are sick and tired of something/ somebody when you are completely weary, discouraged, or bored with a situation or person (see

Madonna says that she's stuck like a moth to a flame, i.e. a literary expression (more commonly you find to be stuck like moths to flame or like a moth to a candle flame) meaning that you are very attracted by something/someone. 

Do you want to know something more about the origins of this saying? Then check out the following link: