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SONGS: In this section of '2 Stars and a Wish' you will find activities and comprehension questions for popular songs. The songs are filed under 'SONG COLLECTIONS' in order of the dates they were uploaded (so 'Collection #1' was the first group of songs to be uploaded).

SONG COLLECTIONS:

Nancy Mulligan

Ed Sheeran

Questions for Discussion

1) Where is the singer from?

2) Are the singer and the woman he is singing about rich or poor? How do you know?

3) Approximately, when do you think they were born?

4) Choose one word to describe what this song is about.

5) Rank, in order of which the singer cares most about (cares about most first to cares about least), the following: a) 'The King and Crown', b) Nancy Mulligan' and c) money.

6) 'her snow white streak in her jet black hair' - what does this tell us about Nancy Mulligan?

7) The singer is rebellious - do you agree or disagree?

8) What do you think the singer was like at school? Why do you think this?

Click here for a link to the lyrics. 

Faded

Alan Walker

Questions for Discussion

1) What does it mean if something is 'out of sight'?

2) Who is the singer singing to? Why do you think this?

3) Find a line from the song that shows the singer is questioning whether the person they are singing to ever really existed.

4) Atlantis is a fictional island that some storytellers have said exists beneath the sea. Why does the singer mention Atlantis?

5) Select a word that best represents how the singer is feeling. Use evidence from the lyrics to support your answer. 

6) Find and copy one word that means 'of little depth'.

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Renegades

X Ambassadors

Questions for Discussion

1) Who is the singer singing to? How do you know?

2) This song is about freedom - do you agree? Use evidence to support your opinion.

3) The definition of a renegade is 'a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another' - what does this make you think of the singer? What might have happened to him? What might he have done?

4) How do you live like a 'renegade'?

5) Give three words to describe how the singer is feeling?

6) 'All hail the underdogs//All hail the new kids//All hail the outlaws' - what do all of these three groups of people share in common?

7) Find and copy one word that means 'change for the better'. 

8) Find a line from the song that shows the singer thinks it is time to take drastic measures. 

9) Can you think of someone who could be described as a 'renegade'? 

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

We Used to Wait

Arcade Fire

Questions for Discussion

1) Look at the opening five lines of the song. What are your first impressions of the singer? How do you think they are feeling?

2) 'Before the flashing light settled deep in my brain' - how does this 'flashing light' make the singer feel and  why do you think this?

3) 'Hope that something pure can last' - what is the singer describing as 'pure'?

4) What makes something 'pure'?

5) What other things would you describe as 'pure'?

6) 'Now it seems strange//How we used to wait for letters to arrive//But what's stranger still//Is how something so small can keep you alive' - why does the singer say its seems strange that he used to wait for letters? What has changed? What is he thinking about here?

7) 'Now it seems strange//How we used to wait for letters to arrive//But what's stranger still//Is how something so small can keep you alive' - what kept the singer 'alive'?

8) 'All those wasted lives in the wilderness downtown' - what impression does this give you of 'downtown'?

9) The singer is scared of change - true or false?

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Submarines

The Lumineers

Submarines by the Lumineers acts as a nice stimulus for writing. The lyrics track the story of a discredited man who believes he has seen danger approaching. However, he becomes frustrated at peoples' failure to take his warnings seriously. 

This song could act as the prompt for narrative writing from the point of view of the singer. Who is he? What is his name? What is/was his job? Does he have family, or does he live alone? Where does he live? How did he become so untrusted? What does he do about this? 

Questions for Discussion

1) Who do you think the singer is?

2) What do people in 'the town' think of the singer?

3) How do the police react to the singer?

4) Pretend that you are one of the police officers. What would you say to the man? Also, imagine how you would say it.

5) What are the jokes that the policemen made?

6) Choose three words to describe what the people in 'the town' think of the singer.

7) 'In the end it boils down to credibility' - what is the singer thinking when they say this?

8) What are 'the secrets of the sea'?

Click here for a link to the lyrics. 

Hold Back the River

James Bay

Questions for Discussion

1) 'Life got in between' - what does the singer mean by this?

2) 'Tried to square not being there' - what is the singer trying to do? 

3) What is 'the river'? Why are they trying to 'hold it back'?

4) Who is the singer talking to? Why do you think this?

5) How did they become 'caught in the tide'?

6) Is the singer hopeful? Use evidence to support your answer.

7) Find a word or a line from the song that suggests this songs is about 'regret'.

8) 'Once upon a different life, we rode our bikes into the sky' - do you think this really happened? 

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

Waiting for Love: Emotion Tracking Graph

Avicii

Avicii's 'Waiting for Love' is a nice song for tracking emotions. 

Show your children this song and then hone in on the chorus:

 

Monday left me broken

Tuesday I was through with hoping
Wednesday my empty arms were open
Thursday waiting for love, waiting for love
Thank the stars it's Friday
I'm burning like a fire gone wild on Saturday
Guess I won't be coming to church on Sunday
I'll be waiting for love, waiting for love
To come around

Ask the children about the singer's week and how hopeful he is a different points. 

On a piece of paper get the children to draw an x and y axis. On the y-axis get them to write 'hopefulness' and on the x-axis write the days of the week. Get the children to draw a line depicting how the singers hopefulness changes throughout the week mentioned in the song. 

Click here for a link to the lyrics. 

Ultralife

Oh Wonder

Questions for Discussion

1) Find one word from the first verse that suggest the writer was once alone. 

2) 'The singer feels alive' - Do you agree or disagree? Use evidence from the lyrics to support your answer.

3) 'Waves struck a sea of bitterness' - is this a metaphor? Explain your answer. 

4) If you believe that the lyrics mentioned above is a metaphor, what is it that is being described as 'a sea of bitterness'?

5) Find a line from the song that shows that the singer is feeling euphoric. 

6) Why does the singer say 'take a look at me now'?

7) Which word better describes the feeling of this song: 'hope' or 'change'? Use evidence from the lyrics to support your answer. 

8) 'Illuminate the in-between' - what does this mean?

9) What things could be described as 'in-between'? 

Click here for a link to the lyrics.

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