7. Susan Boyle


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Hello everyone around the world, and thank you very much for downloading the podcast. I’ve had lots of downloads in lots of countries recently.

This podcast is about Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer who recently became very famous all over the world on YouTube. The feature section is about her and her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical Les Miserables. Why was it so special? Why have so many people in the world seen it? Why has she become so famous? Why do the Americans love her?

Below this text you can read a transcript of her conversation with the judges on Britain’s Got Talent (TV show), and the lyrics of I Dreamed A Dream. I explain some of the words and expressions from the conversation.

The Language Section is about some common idioms which you can use to describe people’s personality and appearance. You can read the idioms and definitions below.

What do you think of Susan Boyle? Is she famous in your country? What do you think of Luke’s English Podcast? Is it too long? Would you like me to change anything? Email me: luketeacher@hotmail.com

Here’s the transcript of the conversation from the video of Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. (The tapescript starts from 0.40 seconds into the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk&feature=related

SC = Simon Cowell AH = Amanda Holden PM = Piers Morgan SB  = Susan Boyle

SC: What’s your name darling? SB: My name is Susan Boyle SC: Ok, err, Susan, err, where are you from? SB: I’m from ??? near Bathgate in West Lothian SC: That’s a big town…? SB: It’s a sort of, a sort of collection of … (she thinks) … villages. I had to think there! SC: And how old are you Susan? SB: I’m 47… and that’s just one side of me!! SC: Ok, and what’s the dream? SB: I’m trying to be a professional singer SC: And why hasn’t it worked out so far Susan? SB: Well, I haven’t been given a chance before, but here’s hoping it’ll change… SC: OK, and who would you like to be as successful as? SB: Elaine Paige… SC: Elaine Paige SB: …something like that PM: What are you gonna sing tonight? SB: I’m going to sing “I Dream The Dream” from Les Miserables

She sings: (A presenter says: You didn’t expect that! Did you?? Did you?? No!)

I dreamed a dream in time gone by When hope was high, And life worth living I dreamed that love would never die I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid When dreams were made and used, And wasted There was no ransom to be paid No song unsung, No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night With their voices soft as thunder As they tear your hopes apart As they turn your dreams to shame.

And still I dream he’ll come to me And we will live our lives together But there are dreams that cannot be And there are storms We cannot weather…

I had a dream my life would be So different from this hell I’m living So different now from what it seems Now life has killed The dream I dreamed

She starts walking off the stage when she is finished…

PM: Come back here!! SC: All right, and thank you very much, err, Susan. Piers? PM: Without a doubt that was the biggest surprise I have had in 3 years of this show. When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said “I want to be like Elaine Page”, everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now! That was stunning! An incredible performance. Amazing! I’m reeling from the shock. I dunno about you two, but… AH: I am so thrilled because I know everybody was against you. I honestly think we were all being very cynical and I think that’s the biggest wake up call ever, and I just want to way that it was a complete privilege, listening to that. SC: I knew the minute you walked out… SB: Oh Simon! SC: …on that stage that we were gonna hear something extraordinary and I was right. Susan, you are a little tiger, aren’t you. SB: Oh, I don’t know about that. SC: You are. OK, the moment of truth. Piers – yes or no? PM: The biggest yes I have ever given anybody. SC: Amanda? AH: Yes. Definitely. Brilliant. SB: Amanda?! You too?!! SC: Susan Boyle. You can go back to the village with your head held high, because it’s three yesses! Presenter: Well! I think you enjoyed that just a little bit! PM: What a voice. AH: Incredible. Presenter: Congratulations! SB: Oh my God! Oh my God! Presenter: How do you feel? SB: …bloody fantastic! Presenter: Piers says that’s the biggest yes he’s ever given on the show… in 3 series. SB: Oh my God! PM: The most extraordinary shock we’ve ever had. SB: So emotional… Unbelievable and emotional and fantastic…

Here are some of the words and definitions: SB: “That’s just one side of me” = That’s just one part of who I am SC: “Why hasn’t it ‘worked out’ for you?” = why hasn’t it been a success for you? PM: “…with that cheeky grin on your face” = cheeky means a little bit rude, but joking too. A grin is a big smile. A cheeky grin is like a fun, rude smile! PM: “I’m reeling from the shock” – ‘reeling’ means that you’re struggling to recover from the shock AH: “Everyone was against you” = No one was supporting you AH: “We were being very cynical” – Cynical means when you expect bad things to happen because you believe the world is not a good place, you don’t believe people are good, honest, truthful, etc. AH: “It was a complete privelage” = a privilege is like a special opportunity that only a few people have. SC: “Go back to the village with your head held high” – Go back feeling very proud.

Language Section: Idioms to describe character & appearance

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” – You shouldn’t judge people by appearances only. You need to get to know them first before you judge them. “There’s more than meets the eye” – There is more to a person/situation than just how it looks. “A class act” – if someone is a class act, they are excellent at what they do. “A laughing stock” – Someone is a laughing stock if they’ve done something stupid in public, and then everyone is laughing at them and thinks they are stupid. “Moral fibre” – Moral fibre is the inner strength to do what you believe to be right in difficult situations Example: He lacked the moral fibre to be leader . “To have the courage of your convictions” – If you have the courage of your convictions, you are brave enough to do what you feel is right, despite any pressure for you to do something different. “To be bold as brass” – Someone who is as bold as brass is very confident and not worried about how other people will respond. “His bark is worse than his bite” – Someone who’s bark is worse than their bite may well get angry and shout, but doesn’t take action. “A barrel of laughs” – if someone’s a barrel of laughs, they are always joking and you find them funny.

11 responses to “7. Susan Boyle

  1. Thanks alot Sir. I really enjoy your lesson. I watched SuSan’s performane long time ago but it i didn’t understand completely what judges and SB said, and now i get it!! so great.

  2. By the way, I was watching the stand up comedy of Jack Carroll last night, and I really couldn’t get any of his jokes other than the last one “funny bones – a serious decease”. I would be interested to hear a full explanation of this obviously great comedy clip on Luke’s English Podcast one day.

  3. I am feeling that most of us hope to be famous, but once we get there, and we face the downside of fame, we start looking at it from a different view. Yes, all of a sudden the person feel loved by millions of people, but again this love is so superficial and can dissapear at any moment.

  4. I think Susan Boyle has really become the next Big Thing. Do you agree?

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  6. Comment archive from podomatic.com

    hello your podcast was amazing I listen to it more than ten times.as far as I am concerned you are the best. kamran (147 days ago)
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    thank you so much for your legitimate podcast. it not only teaches how to listen, but also does give new knowledge about new things. Serkan Akkose (337 days ago)
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    Thank you, Luke. This one really was interesting for me. Not only interesting but also contemplative. I am looking forward to your podcasts. Thank you so much. I did not expect to find such interesting stuff in the internet. Christa Bartels (376 days ago)
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    Hi (407 days ago)
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    You are fantastic. This is (all your posts) more than learning english. Thanks man! Siniša Kuzmanović (430 days ago)
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    Enter your comment (513 days ago)
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    Thank you Luke,now it works. Tommy (640 days ago)
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    Hi Tommy, the link should work correctly now. Luke Thompson (643 days ago)
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    Hi Luke. If I click to read the transcription and the idioms of this podcast,it doesn’t work. I’d like to get your answer and so being able to read the episode. Thank you very much! Tommy (643 days ago)
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    I might appear to be a lauphing stock in your eyes,but I first heard Boyle singing only 1 month ago.It was her interpretation of Should Auld Acquaintance,I got absolutely mesmerized by her voice,looked for more on the You Tube,found Autumn Leaves,Just a Perfect Day – and cried…Her angelic sounding really moves something inside and – purifies.Since I am new on your Podcast,a lot is still awaiting me,and I am really looking forward to it.Thank you,Luke….Lena from Russia. (644 days ago)
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    I liked very much and I’m learning a lot (757 days ago)
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    Her fame still lasts!
    From Wikipedia:
    Boyle’s debut album, I Dreamed a Dream (2009) remains as the UK best-selling debut album of all time, beating previous record holder, Spirit by Leona Lewis. I Dreamed a Dream is ranked fourth in its first week sales according to the Official Chart Company in the United Kingdom. In her first year of fame, Boyle made a fortune of £5 million with the release of I Dreamed a Dream and its lead off singles, “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Wild Horses”. The success was continued with her second album, The Gift (2009), and this is expected to be followed by Boyle’s third album, Someone To Watch Over Me, expected to be released in November 2011.

  7. Pingback: Teacher Luke’s lessons | Notes

  8. Thanks Sir, I love too much your podcasts and I consider you an extraordinary teacher… because for my believe you give and spread freely with your heart all your knowledge without selfishness!!! keep it up please , you do a great jobbbb….

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