“I wanna be a rock star, but I *ain’t got what it takes.
Need the drive and the determination and lucky breaks.
I wanna be a rockstar, yeah, but I ain’t got the face.
Oh, still I wanna be a rock star, but I ain’t got what it takes.”
– from “Rockstar” by Third Day
If you “wanna” (want to) be a rock star, or just enjoy music, there’s a tool that can make your English language learning more fun – instaLyrics.
Go to instaLyrics.com and put the title of a song in the search box. If you aren’t sure of the title, you can find the song by searching for the name of the recording artist. If all you can remember is a key phrase, that might work, too.
InstaLyrics will quickly give you the lyrics to that song and a video of it being performed. The video might not be a performance by the original artist, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I discovered that the video for “Rockstar” was a cute Lego animation of the song (and you know that I love Lego!). Of course, instaLyrics doesn’t have every song in the world, but they do have a large collection. If you can’t find the song you’re looking for, you might find another one that is just as interesting. With the lyrics in front of you and a performance to watch and listen to as many times as you like, you can study the meaning of the words at your own pace.
After you enter the song that you want, the lyrics will appear in the center of the screen. To the left of the lyrics is the video. There are usually numbers under the video which represent other videos for that song. If you’d like to see them, click on the numbers. Also on the left is a list of other versions of the song and songs with similar titles.
Need a little help getting started? Try these:
- When You Say Nothing At All (Alison Krauss)
- Young (Kenny Chesney)
- I Will Always Be True (Third Day)
*By the way, as you probably know already, ain’t is not a “real” word. It is a contraction for am not, but can also mean are not, is not, have not, or has not. In the “Rockstar” lyrics above, “I ain’t got” means “I don’t have”. Though ain’t is incorrect, it is very common in informal conversation and in song lyrics. Ain’t is a good example of what I call “real world English” – the way that people really talk in everyday life.
What was the first song you learned in English? What is your favorite English-language song?