Authorís note: Hi. My name is Christopher Chase. I teach English Communication and Culture classes at Seinan Gakuin University, in Fukuoka, Japan. This page is one I created for my University homepage. It provides lyrics and information for songs on an English Music CD mix that I made for my classes. My goal as a language teacher is to provide students with opportunities to enjoy authentic English language and culture. In my class I usually begin by passing out copies of the CD, encouraging students to listen carefully to the songs. I next ask them to go to my homepage and read the lyrics and information for the songs that they liked the best. Often I will select a song from the CD to play at the end of each class, passing out the full lyrics. Sometimes I will ask the students to sing along. Finally, I usually ask my students to write short essays describing their feelings and impressions of the songs and their lyrics. Hope you enjoy the page here.

 

 

 

 

 

Last update: June 1, 2007
~~^^::In My Life::^^~~
English Class CD
 

INTRODUCTION

 

Hi ~*((everybody))*~! Welcome to my homepage's description of the songs on the CD mix I made. I hope that you are enjoying the music and that you will read more about the songs that you liked. Also, please check out the links! Some of them are to Japanese sites, some are videos done by young amateur musicians over at youtube. Finally, please e-mail me if you have found any good links (or information) that I can add here, or if you just want to give me feedback on the music. Take care, and enjoy!!

Christopher Chase
christopherchase2002@yahoo.com
 

 


~*Two of Us*~

The song Two of Us was originally recorded in 1969. It is the first song on the Beatles' Let it Be album. You can read the full lyrics here. This is one of my favorite Beatles songs, because John Lennon and Paul McCartney sound like they are really having fun, singing together. Please check out this *video* of the Beatles rehearsing the song live in the studio.

The song is about two friends traveling through life together. When I hear this song I think about my closest friends and my family as well. Its about the people we travel through life with, the ones we love the most...

You and I have memories
longer than the road
that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
standing solo in the sun
You and me chasing paper
getting nowhere on our way back home
We're on our way back home
We're on our way home
We're going home
We're going home

The version of this song that we listened to in class is from the I Am Sam movie soundtrack. It's sung by Aimee Mann and Michael Penn. ((I really like Aimee Mann's voice!)) In the movie it is played during the last scene when Sam hugs Lucy at the soccer game.

By the way, the original Let it Be album was re-released a few years ago, as it was originally recorded. The movie Let it Be is also going to be released soon on DVD.

 

 


~*Change the World*~

This love song is by Eric Clapton.  He is singing about how he is in love with a woman, but has not yet told her that he loves her. Inside his heart he can feel it. He wants to tell her the truth, but for now its "only in his dreams." Once he tells her he believes he will "change the world." He imagines that he will be the sunlight in her universe. He hopes that she will soon realize how great and powerful his love is. (He sure has a BIG heart, doesn't he?!) Please check out this cover version of the song by Ben Deignan *here*

If I can reach the stars,
Pull one down for you,
Shine it on my heart
So you could see the truth:

That this love I have inside
Is everything it seems.
But for now I find
It's only in my dreams.

And I can change the world,
I will be the sunlight in your universe.
You would think my love was really something good,
Baby if I could change the world.

Here is a website with the full lyrics.
 

 

 


~*Always in My Head*~

This song is by India Arie, from her first album Acoustic Soul. I think this song goes nicely with Change the World because India also uses images of Nature, as she describes her love. "You are like a cool breeze on a summer's day. You are like a river on a desert plain." For her all of Nature seems to be playing music. The wind sounds like drummers, an airplane in the sky sounds like its playing a cello line.

"The leaves blowing in the breeze, ring out like guitars
A tin can rolls across the gravel like a tambourine"

In 2002 India received Grammy nominations in 7 categories, including best new artist and album of the year. Her 2003 album Journey to India also sounds excellent. You can find out more about her by clicking on her name (above). For all the words to this song, please go here.

 

 


~*Mother Nature's Son*~

Mother Nature's Son was originally written by Paul McCartney, for the Beatle's White album. The version on the CD is sung by Sheryl Crow. Sheryl is a close friend of Eric Clapton. Actually, they were lovers for awhile, have helped each other with albums and played some concerts together. One of these (Eric Clapton and friends) is available on video and DVD.

I wanted to introduce this song to you because it is very precious to me. I must tell you a short story to explain why. In 1994 my son Dylan was born here in Fukuoka. Right after he was born the nurse brought him out of the delivery room. She put him down on a towel and prepared a bath for him. As I looked at my first born son, only about 2 minutes old, the doctor walked over to me and said, "Please, pick up and touch your son."

I was surprised. Dylan was all red from the blood of his birth. In America after a child is born they put him first near his mother's breast, but this doctor wanted me to hold my son before he was washed, before his mother held him. Was it a Japanese custom? I didn't know. But, I picked him up, and not knowing what to say, I thought maybe I should sing a song to him. What song should I sing? This song came out of my mouth, "Mother Nature's Son."

Born a poor young country boy
Mother Nature's Son
All day long I'm sitting
singing songs for every one

Sit beside a mountain stream
See her waters rise
Listen to the pretty
sound of music as she flies

Did Dylan enjoy my singing? I don't think so. He immediately started to scream! Was it from my voice? Perhaps it was because of my cold hands? I don't know. Anyway, this is his "birthday song." Please check out this great youtube *video* with a cover version by Pedro, in Brazil. You can find the full lyrics here.

 

 


~*Seven Years*~

This next song is sung by Norah Jones, from her first album Come Away with Me. Norah won 8 Grammy awards for this album in 2003!! You can see a video of Norah singing the song *here* Norah was born in NY City, in 1979. She grew up in Texas, although her career really took off after she returned to NY City, in 1999. Her father, Ravi Shankar, is a very famous and talented sitar player in India. He was a close friend of George Harrison, of the Beatles. Norah's sister Anoushka is also a musician, and a sitar player. Here is a photo of her sister with her father. You can read more about Norah (in Japanese) at this website.

 


Anoushka, Ravi & Norah

 

I chose this song for class because I think it's very similar to the song Sheryl Crow sings. This is about a little girl who is laughing and singing outdoors. She is "Mother Nature's daughter" -- just enjoying herself, singing and dancing alone, to her favorite song. You can read the full lyrics here.

Eyes wide open
Always hoping for the sun
And she'll sing her song to anyone
that comes along
 

 


~*In My Life*~

This is a very beautiful song, by the Beatles. It was written by John Lennon. A nice youtube version by Nortrello is *here*. The lyrics are about all the places we remember, and the lovers and friends we have shared our life with. We remember them, though some of them may be gone now. And while we may feel love for many people in our life, sometimes there is a special person who we love the most.

We never know what will happen in the future, so we should enjoy our lives now. We should try to appreciate our family and friends. Live your life fully and enjoy every day. Give as much love as you can to all the people and places you experience. You can only live your life once, so it's a very precious gift. Every person and place you meet is special. That's what this song is about, I think.

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends
I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all
 

 


~*Crazy Love*~

This is one of my favorite love songs from the beginning of the 1970ís. It's by the Irish singer and song writer Van Morrison, from his album Moondance (which I think is excellent!). I love Van Morrisonís voice, and the lyrics of this song always make me smile. The woman he loves gives him "crazy" love, which doesn't mean she is mentally sick. He is using the word crazy to mean something like "genki." If you were singing this song in Japan you might sing it that way:

She gives me love, love, love, love, genki love
She gives me love, love, love, love, genki love

This is a song about a peaceful, funny and joyful lover. She has a great sense of humor, and makes him laugh. She takes away all his sadness, all his unhappiness and stress. When he goes to see her he feels peaceful and happy. She makes him feel "mellow" deep down into his soul. (To feel mellow means to be really REALLY relaxed). The song was used in a movie a few years ago. I donít remember which one. If you know, please send me an email!!

The lyrics are pretty easy to understand, I think. You can find all of them here. I don't have a good link to the original version, but this is a great *cover version* by a singer named Omar Dean, a young student living in London.

I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles
And the heavens open every time she smiles
And when I come to her that's where I belong
Yes I'm running to her like a river's song

She gives me love, love, love, love, crazy love
She gives me love, love, love, love, crazy love


 

 


~*Something*~

George Harrison, of the Beatles, wrote "Something" in 1969, for his wife Patti (see the photo above). It was recorded on the British group's last album, Abbey Road.  George's wife Patti was a fashion model. She was a very beautiful and charming woman, and she inspired him to write many other love songs. In fact, she was so attractive that Eric Clapton (one of George's best friends!) also fell in love with her, and then he wrote many songs for her too! "Ohhhh nooooooo!!"

Their dramatic story has become one of rock's legends, two best friends in love with the same woman! It was of course very difficult for the three of them, but I don't think anyone else in the history of rock music has inspired as many great love songs as the beautiful Patti Boyd Harrison/Clapton.

Please check out this great *cover version* of the song by the Japanese band BeaTrips. You can read more about their story, and see photos of Patti and George, here.

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don't want to leave her now
 

 


~*Scarborough Fair*~

Scarborough Fair is sung by the American folk-rock group Simon and Garfunkel. It is based on a very old love poem, written hundreds of years ago. The song is about a man who's friend is going to Scarborough Fair, where his old lover still lives.

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine

He tells his friend to find her and then ask her to do some things to find out if she still loves him. The things he asks her to do are impossible! Sew a shirt without using a needle, find an acre of land between the beach and ocean waves. This is not really a love poem, its more like an angry ex-lover's poem! He also sings about 4 spices- parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. I wish I could tell you WHY he sings about these four spices, but I don't know... ((sorry!!)). You can see a video of Simon and Garfunkel singing the song in New York's Central Park *here*

An Irish musician named Martin Carthy put the poem to music, and then Paul Simon borrowed his arrangement. He also added a second series of verses, which are sung in the background behind the original poem. Most people do not know what this background song is about, because it's very difficult to hear, even for native English speakers!

(On the side of a hill, a sprinkling of leaves)
(Washes the ground with so many tears)
(A soldier cleans and polishes a gun)
(War bellows, blazing in scarlet battalions)
(Generals order their soldiers to kill)
(And to fight for a cause they've long ago forgotten)

The background verses are about some soldiers going off to war, dieing without knowing why they are fighting. I think this song is really unique and interesting. On the surface it has a beautiful melody. It sounds like it must be a LOVE song. But actually, it combines 2 stories together, one about lost love, the other about the meaninglessness of war. I didn't know what the song was REALLY about until just recently.

If you like the sound of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's voices you might want to check out some of their other music. They were very famous in the 1960's and their Greatest Hits CD is excellent. You can also read more about them (in Japanese) at this web site: Salmon & Garlic.

 

 

 

~*Hotel California*~

This is a song from the late 1970's, by the Eagles. To be honest, this song is very hard to explain. It is kind of like a scene from a strange dream. A man is walking down a dark desert highway. The wind is blowing around him. The warm smell of a flower, colitas, is in the air. Up ahead he sees a hotel. He starts to feel tired. A beautiful woman is standing in a doorway of the hotel. He enters, and then gets trapped inside. People are dancing in the courtyard. Everyone seems happy, but he can't escape. Is this heaven or hell, he wonders?

This song is really popular all over the world. People sing it in karaoke bars, from Thailand to London, Brazil and Iraq. It seems to be a song about "materialism" and the lives of famous people, like rock stars. The mind of the girl in the song is "tiffany twisted." She's got the "Mercedes Bends." I think this means she only cares about material things like tiffany jewelry or expensive cars. Rock stars have a lot of money, and can buy anything they want. But money does not buy happiness, and a life of only "pleasure" can feel like a prison or trap.

Here's a live *music video* of the band doing an acoustic version, in 1994. You can also watch this *video* of the original electric version from back in 1976.

I don't know why this song is so popular. Maybe it describes a feeling famous people have sometimes, when they chase their dreams and then feel trapped by them? And yet, there is also something beautiful about our dreams, even when they don't work out. Or maybe it is that the whole world seems to be caught up in a dream like this, where hopes for pleasure and happiness can lead humans deeper into trouble? I don't know, it's a very mysterious song.

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
'This could be Heaven or this could be Hell'
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say...

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face

hotel california (all lyrics)
 

 

 


~*Fragile*~

On the evening of September 11, 2001 (see this *music video*) Sting performed a live concert and dedicated this song "Fragile" to the people of New York City. He said, "We are performing the song "Fragile" as a prayer and a mark of respect for those people who have died or are suffering as a result of this morning's tragedy." He says in the video that he doesn't want to play, but will "sing a song for those people who lost their lives." This song's lyrics are really sad, but I also think it's beautiful, especially the chorus:

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are,
how fragile we are
 

 


~*Tears in Heaven*~

This is one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard, by Eric Clapton. He wrote it for his 4 year old son Conor, who died on March 20, 1991. Conor fell from a 53rd story apartment building window, in New York City. For almost a year after his son died, Clapton did nothing. He just stayed at home, played his guitar, and read letters that came to him from his fans. He said that those letters gave him a new faith, helped him to keep going. After that he wrote this song, about what he might say and how he would feel if he saw his son, in heaven.

Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven?
Would it be the same if I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong and carry on,
'Cause I know I don't belong here in heaven.

The song is so sad, but at the end Clapton leaves us with words of hope. In Heaven, he says, there are no more tears. We on earth may be sad and miserable, but the people we love who have died are not. They are filled with love, and calmness. "Beyond the door there's peace I'm sure, And I know there'll be no more tears in heaven." What a beautiful thought, ne? Here's a *music video* of Eric singing the song soon after he wrote it, and *this* is a cover version by an 18 year old girl named Esmee Denters singing it over at youtube. Here are the full lyrics.
 
 

 


~*Knockin' on Heaven's Door*~

This song was originally written by Bob Dylan. The version I played in class is sung by Avril Lavigne. You can see her singing in this *music video.* Many other musicians have covered the song over the years, including Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses and Eric Clapton. You can find the guitar chords at this site.

Why is this song so popular? I think because it is a very simple song against war and killing. It's about a sheriff who doesnít want to kill anymore. He'd rather bury his guns in the ground. He feels too close to death, like he is knocking on heaven's doors. Dylan wrote the song for a movie called Pat Garret and Billy the Kid. You can listen to Bob's original version *here*

Mama, put my guns in the ground
I can't shoot them anymore.
That long black cloud is comin' down
I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door.

Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
Knock, knock, knockin' on heaven's door
 

 

 


~*No Woman, No Cry*~

This is one of the most famous songs by the reggae singer Bob Marley. It's a beautiful ballad and seemed to fit well with all these other songs. Listening to Fragile, Tears in Heaven and Knocking on Heaven's Door can make you feel really sad! Bob Marley however is saying that everything is Ok, "Don't Cry!" There are a lot of really beautiful lines in this song. I especially like the way he sings "Everything is going to be alright."

Here's a *music video* of Bob singing the song live, just as played on the CD.

Good friends we have had,
Oh good friends we've lost along the way
In this bright future you can't forget your past
So dry your tears I say

No woman, no cry
No woman, no cry
Little darlin' don't shed no tears
No woman, no cry
 
 

~*^:::^*~
 

~*Information on the Other Songs Coming Soon!!*~
 

golden slumbers (lyrics)

imagine (lyrics)

all you need is love (lyrics)

stand by me (lyrics)

Information about the song
Let it be

 
 

~*::*~