IF  YOU WERE A SAILBOAT, CHANSON DE Katie MELUA (2007)

OBJECTIF : étudier cette chanson dans le cadre d’une séquence sur le conditionnel présent.

[Elle peut être écoutée sur www.youtube.com.]

                                                        A SHORT BIOGRAPHY

Katie Melua was born in

Georgia

(in the former

USSR

) in 1984. She first lived in

Moscow

. When she was nine, her father got a job as a heart surgeon in

Belfast

(

Northern Ireland

), so all the family moved there. She started writing songs in 2005 and her influences are Queen, Bob Dylan, Irish folk music and Indian music.

                                                      ABOUT THE SONG

If you were a sailboat is the first single from Katie’s third album, « Pictures ».

What she said of the song : « This love song deals with how you get very selfish when you fall in love with someone, and you don’t want to share them with the world. You just want them all about yourself. What’s genius about the lyrics is that instead of saying that directly they use these crazy strange metaphors. »

 

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1. Audition globale de la chanson. Is this song a love song ? a song about the sea ? a song about animals ?

What words or phrases do you remember ?

2. Exercice lacunaire de compréhension orale portant sur le premier couplet et le refrain.

If you were a -----  I would trail you

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- I’d nail you ----- ----- -----

If you were a sailboat ----- ----- ----- ----- to the shore

If you were a river ----- ----- ----- -----

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- I would live in you all my days

If you were a preacher ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

CHORUS

----- ----- ----- in fate

But ----- ----- ----- -----

Always seem to ring more true

You ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

I ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----

3. Deuxième partie de la chanson : associer les différentes propositions en faisant appel à la logique. Vérification grâce à une réécoute de la chanson.

If I was in jail

If I was a telephone

If I was in pain

If I was hungry

If I was in darkness

If I was a book

you would feed me

you’d ring me all day long

you would lead me to the light

you’d spring me

you’d read me every night

you’d sing me soothing songs

In linguistics what are the phrases : ‘ I would nail you …  If I was a telephone  …’ ? They are metaphors. What do they express ? They express how much in love she is. Have a look at the structure of the song. What do you notice ? There is an alternation between ‘If you were’ and ‘If I was’. Do you like the song ? Why ? Why not ?

4. Vérification de la compréhension du sens.

Find in the text the verbs that mean :

               clouer – aider à s’évader – suivre à la trace –  parier sur

What other words don’t you understand ?

5. Production écrite : trouver d’autres propositions : If I was a lion … If you were an apple …

                                                      AN EXPERIMENT

Mark Radcliffe of BBC Radio 2 was amused by the lyric ‘If you were a piece of wood, I’d nail you to the floor’, and asked his listeners to send in equally strange lyrics and compose a parody song for Katie to sing, not expecting her to actually do so.

However she sportingly contacted the show and agreed to play the song. The lyrics included ‘If you were some tiling, I would grout you !’ and ‘If you were ten pints of beer, I would drink you down my dear.’

           IF YOU WERE A SAILBOAT

If you were  a cowboy I would trail you

If you were a piece of wood I’d nail you to the floor

If you were a sailboat I would sail you to the shore

If you were a river I would swim you

If you were a house I would live in you all my days

If you were a preacher I’d begin to change my ways

                         CHORUS

Sometimes I believe in fate

But the chances we create

Always seem to ring more true

You took a chance on loving me

I took a chance on loving you

If I was in jail I know you’d spring me

If I was a telephone you’d ring me all day long

If I was in pain I know you’d sing me soothing songs

                          CHORUS

If I was hungry you would feed me

If I was in darkness you would lead me to the light

If I was a book I know you’d read me every night

If you were a cowboy I would trail you

If you were a piece of wood I’d nail you to the floor

If you were a sailboat I would sail you to the shore

If you were a sailboat I would sail you to the shore