acoustic honey
November 17, 2011 6:42 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to broaden my ESL songbook, and give kids things to sing that would appeal to them.

Well, I've quite a number of songs at my disposal now, and I can quite successfully make my pupils sing. But even if I use funny, bawdy, beautiful, Irish or American classic songs or evergreens, I feel that somehow I should once in a while use a song the kids would feel more connected to.
The problem is that I really don't know anything about contemporary singers in the English-speaking world. I mean, the kind of contemporary singers my pupils (11-17 years old) would listen to. I mean Lady Gaga like.

So my question is : do you know any contemporary songs that would stand the test of a class use, with a nice melody, clever lyrics and an uplifting message ?
posted by nicolin to Education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You should watch a few episodes of Glee who also do a Lady Gaga song. That said, I think Gnarls Barkley's Crazy would be a fun song for students to sing.
posted by shoesietart at 6:56 AM on November 17, 2011

Best answer: Well, this isn't exactly contemporary, but it fits your other criteria: my students loooved "Don't Worry Be Happy" (the Bobby McFerrin version).
posted by swingbraid at 7:10 AM on November 17, 2011

Best answer: "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz fits all your criteria. He's very good with clever lyrics in general. Another good one is "You and I Both". Other suggestions:

Bruno Mars - "Just the Way You Are" or "Marry You"
Selena Gomez - "Who Says" has a great message
posted by yawper at 7:11 AM on November 17, 2011

Smash Mouth's All Star is fun to sing and chock full of the kind of (American) English colloquialisms that would be very appealing to 11 to 17 year old ESL students, I think.
posted by apparently at 7:46 AM on November 17, 2011

Best answer: P.S. 22 Chorus is the student choir of a Staten Island public school. They've covered a lot of songs and the kids (almost always) get a real kick out of singing the songs. It's worth looking through for ideas.
posted by Kattullus at 1:36 PM on November 17, 2011

ESL I don't know, but I do know that kids (as all sane persons) love They Might Be Giants. OH, how I made the other counselors suffer when I taught a bunch of children at a girl scout camp "Purple Toupee" and "Particle Man". It was pretty hard to get them back on the official camp songs after that.
posted by Because at 1:47 AM on November 18, 2011

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