Listening exercise: Popular song
Desperado
by The Eagles
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDNtqy0zjJA

Vocabulary:
to come to one's senses
to ride fences
a hard one
reasons
pleasing
to hurt
to draw (= to pick a card)
diamonds, hearts, spades, clubs (the four suits in a deck of playing cards)
to beat
best bet
to seem

 

 

 

 
fine things
to lay s.t. upon a table
ain't = aren't (isn't, am not, hasn't, haven't)
pain
hunger
to drive
prison
to snow
highs and lows
funny = odd, strange
gate
rainbow

(I) Transcription: Listen to the song until you think you understand as much as you are able, checking the vocabulary where needed, then transcribe the lyrics. Next, find the lyrics online (be careful — there are mistakes in many of the online versions!) and mark and correct your mistakes in red pen, counting up the total number of errors and noting it in the upper right-hand corner of the page. Then answer the questions below.

(II) Questions:
1. Who do you think is speaking to whom in this song, and why is the speaker saying these things to this person?
2. What do you think the "fences" represent?
3. What do you think the "queen of diamonds" and "queen of hearts" represent, respectively?
4. Identify an example of antithesis (a placing side-by-side of opposite or contrasting ideas) and paradox (¶ŁęD¶”¨O ) in the third stanza of this song, and explain its meaning.
5. Explain the state of mind or mood described in the fourth stanza, and under what circumstances one might be in such a state of mind.
6. Give examples of "bad grammar" in the song and say why you think more correct forms weren't chosen instead.


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