2018年6月29日 星期五

Song Lyrics Interpretation: Up & Up by Coldplay | EET Teri (English Lecturer)


Song Lyrics Interpretation: Up & Up by Coldplay

(Click the words in blue to see the definition in Cambridge Online Dictionary)
Recently, we have been plagued with a lot of suicide incidents by famous people like the world famous chef Anthony Bourdain, fashion designer Kate Spade, and the rock band Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington among others. Reports show that the reason or one of the major contributing factors behind these people taking their own lives, despite their fortune and fame, is depression. Now I am no expert and this post is NOT in any way about how to deal with depression. For more information about depression and related cases, I suggest you visit this site: http://tspc.tw/tspc/portal/English/
 
This post is about finding a bit of light if you are going through a rough patch in life.
If you are in any way like me and you find comfort through listening to music and currently need a dose of positivity and encouragement in your life, then this song might just be the song that you need right now! 
Photo Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_%26_Up#/media/File:Coldplay,_Up%26Up,_Artwork.jpg
The title of the song is Up & Up by the American Band Coldplay. The song was released in April 2016. This particular song is not as popular as their other songs such as Hymn For The Weekend, The Scientist, Yellow etc. but the lyrics of this song is just something that definitely gives hope. Here is a link to the official music video of the song:

Just like mentioned in my previous post, the underlined words in blue in this article are all relevant links to the meaning of the words. You can click on them to help you understand the words better. I suggest that you listen to the song first (or a few times if you want to!) so you can get a feel of what the song is like before reading the article while the song is playing on the background so that you can really feel the emotions of the songwriter.

LYRICS
EXPLANATION
**In this song, we’ll come across the lyrics “up & up” a lot. It just simply means that we should look up (better things, be positive etc.) instead of being negative and looking “down”. J
Fixing up a car to drive in it again
Searching for the water, hoping for the rain
Up and up
Up and up
Here, at the beginning of the song, the songwriter talks literally about simple problems that we encounter in our daily lives such as fixing our cars so we can drive it again and hoping for rain to come when the weather is too dry so we can have enough water just like what happened recently in Taiwan. These 2 examples can also be interpreted as us people facing problems that 1) we can fix ourselves such as fixing our car and 2) Problems and situations that we do not really have control over such as not having enough rainfall and water supply and that all we can do is just hope for rain. But still “up & up”! Be positive!
Down upon the canvas, working meal to meal
Waiting for a chance to pick your orange field
Up and up
Up and up
A teacher teaches for a living, a driver drives, a sales person is after a sales target, and so on. “Down upon the canvas” symbolizes a painter doing his job. This line in the song is saying that we do what we have to do in order to live.
“Meal to meal” is a famous English expression that describes a situation wherein someone is unable to meet his/ her financial obligations and has to constantly work to make ends meet. A similar expression is “paycheck to paycheck”. For example: “I am living from paycheck to paycheck because I have so many bills to pay.”
Waiting for a chance to pick your orange field” means that as people, we are all waiting for the right time to get the result of our hardwork.
Put together, this couple of lines from the song means that it is okay for us to work hard and do our jobs even if we feel like we are getting somewhat tired because the time will come when we can already get the reward from all the times we had to work so hard.
See a pearl form, a diamond in the rough
See a bird soaring high above the flood
It’s in your blood
It’s in your blood
Pearls are not formed very easily; that’s why they are very precious and expensive. Same goes with diamonds; it takes a long time and a lot of effort to dig up a diamond. But these are part of nature’s work and that’s just the way it is.
As for birds, they just fly flawlessly even if there is a flood beneath them.
“In your blood” is another famous English expression that means to come naturally. Usually used to express a talent that someone has. For example: “Singing is in your blood.” Meaning, you naturally have a good singing voice even if you don’t really practice.
So this means that as people, we are naturally resilient. Even if life gets us down sometimes, we have the natural ability to bounce back and be okay again.
Underneath the storm an umbrella is saying
Sitting with the poison takes away the pain
Up and up
Up and up, saying
This means that when we are facing a problem (storm) we should try to protect ourselves (underneath an umbrella). But no matter how much we try to protect ourselves we will still get affected like even if we use an umbrella when there is a storm or when it is raining, we still get a bit wet.
But even if this happens we have to face and solve our problems because we cannot run away from them. This is what “sitting with the poison takes away the pain” means. It means that when we “invite” our problems (poison) to “sit with us”, it is the only way we can solve them –by facing them.
We're gonna get it, get it together right now
Gonna get it, get it together somehow
Gonna get it, get it together and flower
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
We're gonna get it, get it together I know
Gonna get it, get it together and flow
Gonna get it, get it together and go
Up and up and up
“Get it together” is another famous English phrase that means to take steps to better the situation or solve a problem. For example: “You have to get it together or else you will lose your job.
Lying in the gutter, aiming for the moon
Trying to empty out the ocean with a spoon
Up and up
Up and up
This part of the song talks about hope:
Gutter is the side of a road where water flows.
This line means that we have to dream big and aim high; that we always have to just keep looking up even if we feel down and sad. That even if we feel sad and hopeless (lying in the gutter), we still have to keep our hopes up (aim for the moon).
So just how much hope should we have? This line in the song answers it! We all have to have a lot of hope to the point that we have to think about “trying to empty out the ocean with a spoon”. I think there must be so much hope there to even think about emptying the ocean using a spoon!
See the forest staring at every seed
Angels in the marble waiting to be freed
Just need love
Just need love, when the going is rough saying
Photo Source: https://www.mypsdc.com/product-tag/large-marble-angel-statues.html
Here are a couple more of symbolisms that songwriter used:
The forest staring at every seed on its ground and angel statues that we often see in grand and fancy places. These angel statues often look really really nice and are made out of expensive marbles but despite their beauty and price, they cannot move at all and all they want is to be free.

We're gonna get it, get it together right now
Gonna get it, get it together somehow
Gonna get it, get it together and flower
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
We're gonna get it, get it together I know
Gonna get it, get it together and flow
Gonna get it, get it together and go

And you can say what is, or fight for it
Close your mind and take a risk
You can "it's mine" and clench your fist
Or see each other as a gift

We're gonna get it, get it together right now
Gonna get it, get it together somehow
Gonna get it, get it together and flower
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
We're gonna get it, get it together I know
Gonna get it, get it together and flow
Gonna get it, get it together and go
Up and up and up
We're gonna get it, get it together right now
Gonna get it, get it together somehow
Gonna get it, get it together and flower
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
We're gonna get it, get it together I know
Gonna get it, get it together and flow
Gonna get it, get it together and go
Up and up


Fixing up a car to drive in it again
When you're in pain
When you think you've had enough
Don't ever give up



This is honestly one of my favourite songs at the moment. If you think the original version of the song is quite sad, here is a remix version that is more upbeat:
https://open.spotify.com/album/46ElgN92j4wktUnUkxUFKR



Have fun and never EVER give up!

EET Teri


{ End of Song Lyrics Interpretation: Up & Up by Coldplay }

Author (作者):  EET Teri (English Lecturer, Enrich English Tuition/睿騏英語講師 Teri )

Publication Date (
發表日期): June, 2018

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Please feel free to share with proper citation (author, publication date, and other relevant information).

Song Lyrics Interpretation: Vanilla Twilight by Owl City | EET Teri (English Lecturer, Enrich English Tuition)



Song Lyrics Interpretation: Vanilla Twilight by Owl City


Some of the good ways to improve fluency in English are to speak to people using English, watch talk shows, reality shows, and sitcoms in English (In my opinion, watching talks shows, reality shows, and sitcoms are better for fluency practice than watching movies because people talk more naturally here than in movies which are heavily scripted.), watching English movies (This helps if learners can distinguish which words or expressions are used in everyday life and which words aren’t.), and my personal favourite: Breaking down and analyzing lyrics of songs that I like to listen to. 
 
Often times, we listen to a particular song and think “I wonder what this song is all about…” “Do the lyrics mean something else than the words the artist used?” etc. etc.

Well, you’re in luck because I will share my love of doing this with all of you; and hopefully this will help you get to know the English language more. Together, let us try and interpret what song lyrics really mean –or what they mean to us because the interpretations may vary from one person to another.

The underlined words in blue in this article are all relevant links to the meaning of the words. You can click on them to help you understand the words better. I suggest that you listen to the song first (or a few times if you want to!) so you can get a feel of what the song is like before reading the article while the song is playing on the background so that you can really feel the emotions of the songwriter.

Here is a link to the official music video of the song:


The title of the song we are doing for this article is Vanilla Twilight by Owl City. Owl City is the pseudonym of an American Electronica singer-songwriter Adam Young. The song Vanilla Twilight was released in January 2010. I personally like this song because the melody is really soothing and the lyrics are not literally what they are in words so it is a very good song to interpret and to try to understand the deeper meaning of the lyrics.
But first, let us talk about the title of the song: Vanilla Twilight.

Photo Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanilla_Twilight#/media/File:Vanilla_twilight.jpg

The word vanilla literally means a type of sweet flavour or scent that comes from vanilla pods. Vanilla is usually used as flavouring for ice cream or coffee and scent for perfume or candles. Vanilla can also be used as an adjective to mean something that is ordinary or regular but still pleasant. 

Twilight means the short time when we can see the soft glowing light from the sky when the sun is about to set –when it is not very dark yet but also not very bright and light anymore. (see photo) In this case, twilight represents uncertainty --about not being sure of something or of something existing only for a short fleeting moment then disappearing. So if we put vanilla and twilight together, the title probably refers to a period of time that is ordinary but pleasant and something that happened during this period only lasted for a short time but it is special even if it didn’t last long. (Click the words in blue to see the definition in Cambridge Online Dictionary)

LYRICS
EXPLANATION
The stars lean down to kiss you
Stars –In general, when the word star is used in poetry, it symbolizes something that is higher than us or something we adore.
So this line means that the stars are bending down to kiss someone (“you”) that is special to the songwriter. It also means that this “someone special” is not with the songwriter now because he/ she is already with the “stars”. This can mean that this person has already passed away.
And I lie awake and miss you
And while the stars are kissing this someone special, the songwriter cannot sleep because the songwriter is missing this “someone special” very much.
Pour me a heavy dose of atmosphere
The songwriter is begging to be taken back to reality because he is missing someone special that is not around anymore so much that he cannot sleep and he cannot function properly.
The songwriter wants to have a huge amount of realness slapped into his face; thus the phrase “heavy dose of atmosphere”.
'Cause I'll doze off safe and soundly
But I'll miss your arms around me
Doze off means sleep. Safe and sound means in not in danger and really well.
The songwriter is saying that, in time, he will still manage to be able to sleep well even without this “someone special” but that he will miss sleeping beside, on the same bed, and being hugged by this “someone special” who has already passed away.
“Arms around me” means being hugged by someone.
I'd send a postcard to you, dear
'Cause I wish you were here


Before we had smart phones and the internet where we can just upload or send photos of our vacation to our loved ones in real time, we used to send postcards to people we love when we travel. Sending someone a postcard means that you were thinking about them and you wish they were with you at that place and time.
I'll watch the night turn light blue
But it's not the same without you
Because it takes two to whisper quietly
Watching the night turn light blue means that the songwriter is ready to face a new day ahead but this new day will not be the same without his “someone special” because it always takes the two of them together to do things.
The silence isn't so bad
'Til I look at my hands and feel sad
'Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly

Photo Source: https://www.pinterest.ie/pin/389279961512391608/

Now, the songwriter is slowly getting used to the fact that he is now all alone in life. He is saying in this part that being alone (silence) is quite alright. But when he looks at his hands, he still feels kind of lonely because he can see spaces between his fingers and those spaces are specially made for his “someone special’s” hands. The songwriter is expressing that they are like two puzzle pieces: they fit perfectly together.
I'll find repose in new ways
Though I haven't slept in two days
'Cause cold nostalgia chills me to the bone
The songwriter says that he will try to find different ways to relax, be calm, and cope with his new situation but then he still hasn’t been able to sleep in two days because memories keep haunting him. He keeps remembering the old times they had together and it hurts him real bad and deep (to the bone).
But drenched in vanilla twilight
I'll sit on the front porch all night
Waist deep in thought because when
I think of you I don't feel so alone
I don't feel so alone
I don't feel so alone

Photo Source: http://www.wideopencountry.com/15-things-need-perfect-southern-front-porch/


The songwriter is very conflicted because he is feeling both sad and happy. Sad because the one he loves is no longer around. Happy because he knows that his “someone special” will always be in his heart and his mind.
He sings about “sitting on the front porch all night”, meaning he will always wait and sit and just think about all the good times they had together because when he thinks about this person, he doesn’t feel so alone anymore.


As many times as I blink
I'll think of you tonight

I'll think of you tonight
According to studies, on average, people blink once every 4 seconds. This part is where the songwriter is suggesting that he thinks about his “someone special” an awful lot.
The phrase “as many as” means a lot. For example: He can eat as many as 7 slices of pizza in one sitting.
When violet eyes get brighter
And heavy wings grow lighter
I'll taste the sky and feel alive again
Violet means purple and this color represents sadness. Here, when the songwriter says that when his sad eyes are no longer so sad and when he is able to lift the weight off his shoulders and fly again, he will be capable of living a normal life once more.
If we look deeper, it means that in time, when he gets better, he will be able to continue on and live his life like he once used to without being weighed down by the thought of losing someone he loved and still loves so dearly.
And I'll forget the world that I knew
But I swear I won't forget you
But even if he lost this “someone special”, life still has to go on at some point. We cannot live our lives being stuck in the past because that will do us no good. In this part, the songwriter is somewhat letting go of his “someone special”. He is saying that he will feel like he is living in a different world now but he will always remember and never forget this special person.
Oh, if my voice could reach back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear,
"Oh, darling, I wish you were here."
And so life goes on… but from time to time, the songwriter still wishes he could talks to his “someone special” and that he wishes that this person was still here with him.

In conclusion, this is really a bittersweet song about lost and life, about letting go and moving on.
I like this song a lot because it reminds me of my father who passed away 4 years ago; just in time for western father’s day which is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June every year which happens to be 17 June 2018 this year. This is different from Taiwan’s local father’s day celebration which is August 8th

{ End of Song Lyrics Interpretation: Vanilla Twilight by Owl City }

Author (作者):  EET Teri (English Lecturer, Enrich English Tuition/睿騏英語講師 Teri )

Publication Date (
發表日期): June, 2018

歡迎分享.請註明以上作者和出處、發表日期之內容

Please feel free to share with proper citation (author, publication date, and other relevant information).

2018年6月16日 星期六

EET 英文課的學習心得 |Cleo (醫療業 上班族 台北)


                EET 英文課的學習心得            作者:Cleo (醫療業 上班族 台北)

學英語從來不是一件簡單的事,對我更是如此,因此在眾多資訊的網上我開始逐一比較篩選,看看網評看看學員心得,就這樣我選擇了個看似最適合自己的睿騏家教,不知是幸運還是不幸運,我的第一位英文家教就是 EET黃老師。

     課程的開始你會擁有7本重量大小不一的原文書,每週你會有一次的體力鍛鍊機會,因為你要扛著這些書到上課地點,不管是開車騎車搭車走路,無一倖免,想少帶一點嗎? 抱歉無法,老師每次教課的內容都會依據你當天的情況有所改變,舉例今天課程進度是現在簡單式,內容上到一半老師開始請你造句,造句的題目是每天起床後你都做了甚麼? 請想個三句,中間如很不幸的在第三句卡住了,那老師接下來就會換本書,而那本書就剛好會有一單元再告訴你例行性生活用語該如何表達,如果你因為偷懶而沒帶到這本書,你將會失去一個連貫學習的好機會,這也是老師不樂意見到的。
     老師有一套專屬教學步調與方法,他會讓你知道學英文無法速成。如果你想要短期三個月、半年或1年內學好,除非自身英文的基本功就扎實的不得了,否則不可能。課堂中老師提供的是一些觀念,而答案必須靠自己解出來,他要求學生練習憑自己不斷的思考獲得解答,看到這你可能會想說耗久一點 老師就會妥協,抱歉並沒有!如果你覺得他這樣總是不給答案會逼瘋你,你會因為想不出來而開始歇斯底里,你會開始苦惱答案和苦惱今天進度緩慢,並開始計算這思考的期間中分秒流失的金錢,所以你其實是個習慣依賴老師一直給予答案的人,抱歉你可能不太適合當他的學生。

如果以上我說的狀況你都可以妥協,那這個老師還有個最大的地雷,就是學習英文的過程中,不管是課堂上或課餘的練習時間,你都要記住不得查中文這五字,五字箴言務必牢記於心,講很容易做起來難呀,習慣的養成怎是能說改就改的,不用Google大神上輸入 中文單字+英文 這關鍵字搜尋,是要怎麼面對不會的單字啦!? 這時你沒別的選擇,只可使用網上英英字典或者書單裡的英英字典2種,再來必須克服用英英字典學單字時,常會有看完解釋也不太明白其意的窘境,所以這又是個莫大的挑戰。不要考驗老師,他總是有辦法知道你查中文,如果你問我老師怎麼知道的?老實說我也不清楚,我只知道一但被發現,接下來的上課時間就不好受了!我整理出的後果順序是這樣的:盤問責唸 (好聽點是教導) →自己想辦法,在此被責唸後開始自己動腦思考的過程你內心肯定會充滿很多問題和不解,但依據我的經驗,問等於沒問,答案還是請自己想,而你知道嗎?有些人會覺得在上課時接受這指責的過程同時也在耗費自己白花花的錢,所以你不如千千萬萬別和自己過不去,看到中文就自動閉眼掠過吧!

     EET主打成人英文教學,而身為成人的大家想必都在為了生活打拼,下了班不看韓劇,不滑手機滑到爽,人生還有甚麼樂趣????????  但選擇EET開始,這些就只能是下班生活的 "小小確幸",因為課餘的複習和功課會環繞著你,你得開始比就學念書時還要認真地規劃自己的英文複習進度表,這也像小時候埋頭寫作業那樣沒頭沒日般,當然這一切對某些人來說很容易,但我就不是了,這往往犧牲了我很長的下班休息時間,反覆練習著課本上的內容,即便練習到不背都不知不覺背起來的程度,都還無法靈活運用,很多人在重複練習這關就會被打敗,反覆的練習是件很無聊並缺少新鮮感的事情,這時你其實就會很容易受外界迷惑,就會想做些別的事 (例如找尋更多課外的英文雜誌、讀物或網路上的免費影音檔,或是看看人氣部落客的英文教學直播之類的影片),但你想過嗎? 如果你無法靈活運用學過的基礎內容 (老師稱之為「基本常識」),這些更多的精彩資訊是否也就沒有他們原先的價值了?

而活生生血淋淋的實例就在打這篇心得的前天發生了,當天上課時,課文內容出現了我打從心底就覺得不認識的單字,但老師卻堅稱我學過它,當下我心中就是覺得很想問老師“有嗎? 沒學過吧!少騙我....”,我的表情畫面可想而知,就是一片沉靜,最終老師當然也沒給我任何線索,只丟下一句 「你曾經朗讀過

………最好是朗讀過我不知道,我每篇朗讀過的文章,我都是花了多少個小時,字字句句反覆唸到朗朗上口過,我會不認識且完全沒印象?? 礙於我實在太了解老師了,沒有把握的事他不會說,下課前老師撂下狠話要我這禮拜不可查任何字典,並想出到底是在哪本課本的哪一篇,俗仔的我只能摸摸鼻子乖乖照辦,很幸運的我找到了,也確實是我剛來上課時曾經當初朗朗上口的文章,諷刺的是我卻堅持覺得我不認識它

但更諷刺的在後頭,學習的路上我一直有個盡責的小聽眾 (我的男朋友,我每星期都會唸英文給他聽),當我找到答案時,心想這種丟臉的事怎麼可以只有我自己擔,當然要找個人一起擔呀! 二話不說我立即拿起電話撥給了小聽眾,我問小聽眾知道我說的這個字在哪一篇嗎?萬萬想不到他聽完當下思索不到一分鐘,便說出正解!這對我真是晴天霹靂呀!!!!!!!!  不禁問他:「為甚麼你知道? 為甚麼?........ 」得到的答案就是: 「因為妳當初唸給我聽了不下百遍耶小姐~」

好吧! 我輸了,朗朗上口又如何? 我終究是沒打開耳朵好好地聽,也沒好好再把老師給的簡單的文章重複複習。

       好吧,看到這你是否擔心上黃老師的課會很有壓力?沒錯,而且壓力可不小,當你被壓力壟罩時,老話一句 只能靠自己這老師他不走善解人意的路線,他不會也不擅長安慰,反而是更加的督促你前進,這樣學有時候就得看自己能否調適了,調適不了必會出現抵抗,抵抗的結果就是會有“放棄”的念頭,和老師學英文不只學英文,還像場自己和自己打的心理戰,時時需抵抗自己的心魔。而心魔最怕的就是“堅持”,相信老師的教學理念並堅持課餘複習並不是簡單的過程,我就是這樣跌了又起,跌了又起,適時放慢腳步,有時還得為自己打打氣,同時建立起學英文的自信,並且不讓自己像許多學英文的人對黃老師懷疑東懷疑西,而最終這一切最大受益者絕對是我。

我期許自己英文變得更好,到更多海域潛水,見證更多海底的美麗

附上二篇我的英文作業本內頁 (我還沒完全改完,但老師說很好笑~):





{ EET 英文課的學習心得  全文完 }



回傳 & 刊登日期 : 2018年6月16日