Listen to "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra with lyrics HERE!
Another fabulous song for learning English with is "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra, for 2 reasons:
1. This song uses lots of essential colloquial language so if you can understand the lyrics of this song you probably have the necessary level of colloquial English vocabulary needed in order to have a casual conversation with a native English speaker.
2. This song has a slow tempo and also uses lots of complete - or mostly complete - sentences which makes it easier to understand and follow.
3. This song contains a popular English idiom "to walk all over someone" which commonly has a negative feel to it and means to take advantage of someone. Interestingly though, in this particular song Nancy Sinatra uses the idiom in an unusually positive way to mean something more like to stand your ground and be assertive. This song came out in the 1960's during the women's rights movement in North America and this context is reflected in this song's use of the idiom "these boots are gonna walk all over you" as a sign of women's newfound independence and assertiveness. (see this Wikipedia article for more information on the 1960's women's rights movement)
Good vocabulary to listen for in "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra:
⭐️ Gonna (colloquial word for 'going to')
🌠 BONUS PHRASE: "You have been messing where you shouldn't have been messing" means "you have been doing things you should not have been doing". An interesting fact about this saying is that the word 'where' in this sentence does not refer to a physical location.
TIP: To understand the song even better listen for when Nancy Sinatra plays with gerunds or the 'ing' endings of a couple words in the third verse of the song:
"You keep lyin' when you oughta be truthin'
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin' when you oughta be a'changin'
Now what's right is right but you ain't been right yet"
The underlined words in bold "truthin'" (/truthing) and "samin'" (/saming) are not proper English words. Nancy Sinatra adds an 'ing' ending to the words 'truth' and 'same' - that usually can't be used with an 'ing' ending - in order to rhyme them with the other words in the verse "lyin'" (/lying) and "changin'" (/changing) - that usually can be used an 'ing' ending. Native English speakers often play around with words like this in songs, poems, and even everyday conversational English.
Thanks so much for reading! If you like this article and are looking forward to the next song on the list of Top 5 Songs to Learn English please ❤️ heart ❤️ this article! Please leave a comment too, I'd love to hear what you think of the song and what YOU think are the best songs for learning English! 💬 🎵