Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69 – Learn English through Songs

Learn English by listening to the song "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams.

There are 6 steps in this lesson:

1 - Learn the new vocabulary words and idioms
2 - Listen to the song without reading the lyrics
3 - Read the lyrics
4 - Understand the text with my explanations
5 -​ Write the answers to the personal questions in the comments
6 - Sing along to the song 

1 - Vocabulary and Idiom List

six string - a slang term for a guitar with six strings (a normal guitar)
five-and-dime - a type of store (popular in the middle of the 20th century) where everything cost either 5 cents (a nickel) or 10 cents (a dime). Nowadays in the US, they are called "dollar stores" since everything costs a dollar (due to inflation)
to get far - to be successful and advanced in life
drive-in - short for "drive-in movie theater." You drive your car to a big parking lot and watch a movie on a gigantic screen while sitting in or next to your car.
to kill time - to do fill the time in your life or while waiting with activities that aren't very important

 2 - Listen to the Song (without reading the lyrics)

​3 - Read the lyrics

I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played it ’til my fingers bled
Was the summer of ’69

Me and some guys from school
Had a band and we tried real hard.
Jimmy quit, Jody got married
I should’ve known we’d never get far

Oh, when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I’d always wanna be there
Those were the best days of my life

Ain’t no use in complainin’
When you’ve got a job to do
Spent my evenings down at the drive-in
And that’s when I met you, yeah

Standin’ on your mama’s porch
You told me that you’d wait forever
Oh, and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life

Oh, yeah.
Back in the summer of ’69, oh.

Man we were killin’ time
We were young and restless
We needed to unwind
I guess nothin’ can last forever, forever, no! yeah!

And now the times are changin’
Look at everything that’s come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about you, wonder what went wrong

Standin’ on your mama’s porch
You told me that it’d last forever
Oh, and when you held my hand
I knew that it was now or never
Those were the best days of my life

Oh, yeah.
Back in the summer of ’69, oh.
It was the summer of ’69, oh, yeah.
Me and my baby in ’69, oh.
It was the summer, the summer, the summer of ’69, yeah.

Who’s that?
Nobody.
I said ‘Who’s that?’
I said ‘Nobody.’

​4 - Check your understanding of the complicated parts of the text

Is “me and some guys from school had a band and we tried real hard” standard English?

​5 - Answer these questions in the comments below to get personalized feedback .

a) Do you, or did you in the past, play any musical instruments?

b) Was your time in high school "the best years of your life"?

c)​ Did you have a job when you were a teenager?

d) How do you like to kill time now?

6 - Listen to the song again, and this time sing along!

​If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

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