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Singin’ with Pleasure

yachtToday I am glad to present my favorite song Deep Purple’s ‘Sail Away’ to you. It was first released in the album “Burn” in 1974 and then reissued in 2004 on its 30th anniversary. Listen now and relish the beauty of the music and lyrics. Afterwards, we’ll discuss some colloquial patterns in English.

Sail Away

 

If you're driftin' on an empty ocean
With no wind to fill your sail,
The future, your horizon,
It's like searchin' for the Holy Grail
You feel there's no tomorrow
As you look into the water below
It's only your reflection
And you still ain't got no place to go


Time will show,
When, I don't know


Sail away tomorrow,
Sailin' far away
To find it steal or borrow
I'll be there someday yea-yea-yeah yea-ye-yeah


Oh, woman, I keep returnin'
To sing the same old song
The story's been told, now I'm gettin' old
Tell me, where do I belong?
Feel like I'm goin' to surrender,
Hard times I've had enough
If I could find a place to hide my face,
I believe, I could get back up


Time will show, when,
I don't know


Sail away tomorrow,
Sailin' far away
To find it steal or borrow
I'll be there someday yea-yea-yeah yea-ye-yeah

 

As you can see from the lyrics, the spelling pattern ng is substituted for n’. And if you listen to the song again you can hear the sound [n] instead of traditional nasal [ŋ]. This change is characteristic of informal speech and it features in some dialects of English. It happens when the word ends in –ing, mostly with verbs and adjectives, but sometimes the substitution occurs when the word sort of accidentally has the  –ing ending like in nothing – nothin’. It is not possible though to use this pattern with sing and you cannot substitute long or wrong.

Now look at the examples from the song:

driftin'; searchin'; sailin'; returnin'; gettin'; goin'.

Another word that is used in the song is AIN’T which often puzzles the students of English. What is the origin of this word? Your English teacher must have explained you already that it is impossible to use “I amn’t”, we use either “I’m not” or “aren’t I” in some cases. But today we are discussing colloquial forms – so AIN’T is widely used by ordinary people and in many dialects. What’s more, it substitutes not only for “am not” (I ain’t going to school today.) but also for “isn’t”, “aren’t” or even “haven’t” and “hasn’t” – it depends on the sentence. Have a look:

She ain’t a hairdresser.

They ain’t busy.

He ain’t got a car.

In the song we’ve got a perfect example of this structure: And you still ain't got no place to go. Here ain’t is used instead of “haven’t”, and don’t get misled by the double negation – one more feature of colloquial language.

By the way, if you come across these two phenomena while reading a novel, be sure the author wants to draw your attention to the fact that the character speaks in an informal way.

One more thing you should remember – DO NOT overuse those patterns. Make sure you use them in a due place and in due time (certainly not speaking to or emailing your boss!)

 

 

More enjoyable songs:

 

Shape of My Heart by Sting

 

 

Like a Prayer by Madonna

Денис Краликаускас(Lgroup)

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