Course Type: General

Survey of British Songs

This course is concerned with enhancing students’ abilities in English language and culture through examining the lyrics of some representative English popular songs in the history of the Britain. Students seeking oral language training can study the linguistic and phonetic characteristics of these English popular songs. The course will start with a brief introduction to nineteenth-century British folk songs, followed by an overview of popular British songs from the early twentieth-century, and culminating with thorough coverage of late twentieth-century British songs, with an emphasis on lyrics. Along with the lyrics, their artists, composers and musical styles will be introduced from the perspective of their social, political and cultural contexts. Students will be encouraged to explore the relationship between these songs and their broader cultural significance. Meanwhile students can also upgrade their listening/speaking skills in English by figuring out how lyrics match melody and ways in which the vocals increase the impact of the story-telling in the song.