Category: SONGS


Watch the video clip again :

Billie HolidayBillie Holiday

Strange Fruit is still a song for today (article from the Guardian)

article-Strange Fruit in PDF:

"Strange Fruit is still a song for today : Made famous by Billie Holiday, Abel Meeropol's lyrics offer a powerful plea for racial tolerance that is no less relevant today..."

autres liens :Strange Fruit

Billie sur Wikipedia

Here is a good slide show that I have found to complete our presentation of Billie Holiday:

N.B. re « Strange Fruit » : Abel Meeropol a.k.a. Lewis Allan (i.e. it’s the same person)

(remarque:   !attention faux ami : to sanction = to approve (diapo. n° 2) + le « Civil Rights Act » mettant fin à la ségrégation a été signé en 1964  

 il y a aussi quelques erreurs de langue dans le texte: ex.  (diapo. n°20) : voc. s’enorgueillir de : to pride oneself on doing something et non « preceded »)

and here is another good slide show and  analysis of the song plus a translation (in French) :



Sur le site iDiOmS, qui vous permet d’apprendre une expression idiomatique, il y a pas mal de chansons comme moyen mnémotechnique. Cliquez sur l’icone :

Following a presentation by a student  in TermL, I thought I would post this…

The British have a long tradition of children’s books.  It all started with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll , and it is also an example of English non-sense. 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Arthur Rackham

Jefferson Airplane, a band in the sixties was inspired by the story so they wrote and sang White Rabbit :

Link to the song


Irish music

 Easter 1916 : a rebellion against the English  took place in Dublin Post Office.    


 The Foggy Dew is an Irish patriotic song : by clicking on the link below you can listen to it, read the lyrics and have a look at some pictures of the events, all in one go: 

Foggy Dew


Présentation pédagogique avec explication des références.

Voc : Easter : Pâques / rising : soulèvement – G.P.O. = General Post Office

Version des Chieftains avec la belle voix de  Sinead O’Connor 

seaman« WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH A DRUNKEN SAILOR, early in the morning? … Hurrey and up she rises,hurrey and up she rises … »

Sur un  air traditionnel Irlandais cette chanson très célèbre  était chantée lorsque les marins levaient l’ancre ou hissaient une voile (« and Up She Rises »).

master & commander  Les marins, qui avaient la vie très dure à l’époque, la chantaient pour se donner du courage.  Peut-être que l’équipage du célèbre  CAPTAIN COOK, le grand explorateur, la chantait car elle était autorisée par la Royal Navy.

[Ex. sur les temps à partir de la vie de  James Cook]

.  On peut aussi imaginer la chasse à Moby Dick sur cet air là: 

MD illustrated  by Rockwell Kent

MD illustrated by Rockwell Kent

Voici une version des Irish Rovers, mais il y a d’autres versions…


Autre idée de lecture si vous aimez la fantasy :  Ship of Magic




Black artists like tap dancer Mr Bo Jangles performed for the fashionable white audience that went to the famous Cotton Club in New York City, during Prohibition.  Here is a beautiful tribute to him from Nina Simone, the High Priestress of Soul, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement era :

 here are the lyrics : 

Bob Dylan – Mr. Bojangles

I knew a man Bojangles and he’d dance for you in worn out shoes

Silver hair and ragged shirt and baggy pants, the old soft shoe

He’d jump so high, he’d jump so high, then he’d lightly touched down

I met him in a cell in New Orleans I was down and out

He looked to me to be the eye of age as he spoke right out

He talked of life, he talked of life, laughed, clicked his heels and said

He said his name Bojangles and he danced a lick across the cell

He grabbed his pants for a better stance, oh he jumped so high and he

clicked up his heels

He let go laugh, he let go laugh, shook back his clothes all around

Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles, dance. 

He danced for those at minstrel shows and county fairs throughtout the South

He spoke with tears of 15 years of how his dog and him travelled about

The dog up and died, he up and died.

After 20 years he still grieves

He said « I dance now at every chance at honky-tonks for drinks and tips

But most the time I spends behind these county bars, ’cause your see, I drinks a bit »

He shook his head and as he shook his head, I heard someone ask him, « Please » — « Please » …

Mr. Bojangles, Mr. Bojangles — « Dance »

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