Teaching English with Music (Bleeding Love)

Here is a song for reviewing vocabulary and the Past Simple form of the verbs. The text is not demanding, so you can use it with pre-intermediate students. If you use this song for teaching intermediate students, you should include additional questions in order to analyze the lyrics, and thus encourage students to practice speaking.

English music lesson: Leona Lewis “Bleeding Love”

Closed off from _______ music_English_lesson

I didn’t need the _______

_______ or twice was enough

And it was all in _______

_______ starts to pass

Before you know it you’re frozen


But something happened

For the very first time with you

My _______ melts into the ground

Found something _______

And everyone’s looking round

Thinking I’m going crazy


But I don’t care what they / day say

I’m in love wit / with you

They try to / too pull me away

But they don’t know the truth / true

Mine / My heart’s crippled by the vein

That I keep on closing

You cut me open and I


Keep bleeding

Keep, keep bleeding love

I keep bleeding

I keep, keep bleeding love

Keep bleeding

Keep, keep bleeding love

You cut me open


Trying hard not to hear music_English_lesson

But they talk so loud

Their piercing sounds fill my ears

Try to fill me with doubt

Yet I know that the goal

Is to keep me from falling


But nothing’s _______than the rush that comes with your embrace

And in this world of _______

I see your face

Yet _______ around me

Thinks that I’m going crazy, maybe, maybe


___ They try to pull me away music_English_lesson3

___ My heart’s crippled by the vein

___ But I don’t care what they say

___ But they don’t know the truth

___ You cut me open and I

___ I’m in love with you

___ That I keep on closing

Keep bleeding…


And it’s draining all of me

Oh they find it hard to believe

I’ll be wearing these scars

For everyone to see

Keep bleeding…


Additional exercise: Analyze (and / or translate) the expressions and try to use them in a sentence:

  • Closed off
  • In vain
  • Pull away
  • Keep from

Seven Songs for Teaching Past Simple

I have created a list of songs, which are perfect for teaching Past Simple tense in English. All of the songs are relatively new and popular, so they would especially be suitable for teaching teenagers. While the primary goal would be teaching Past Simple, you can always add a few more exercises in order to work on vocabulary or grammar.

Coldplay – Paradise
Past Simple is often used for retelling the events that happened in the past. This song is perfect for illustrating this usage. The verbs to teach: was, expected, flew, ran, closed, etc.

Passenger – The Wrong Direction
Seeing “When I was a kid…” at the beginning of the song lyrics, you know there has to be some Past Simple in there. Some of the verbs to teach in Past Simple: believed, hid, thought, broke, made, etc. This song can also be used for teaching would (I’d love, I’d jump) as well as nouns ending in –tion (inspection, direction, selection, connection, etc.).

Katy Perry – The One That Got Away
Apart from teaching Past Simple, with verbs met, got, planned, had, made, said, etc. you can also teach would for talking about future from a time in the past (I would make you stay, I would be your girl).

Torn – Natalie Imbruglia
This song is great for teaching Past Simple, as it has a lot of verbs, both regular and irregular (thought, saw, showed, came, adored, changed, had, crawled, etc.). In the additional exercises you can focus on describing how people feel (I am ashamed, I’m torn, I’m all out of faith, etc.).

Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
Your students will definitely know this song, having in mind how popular it was for a while. Start teaching Past Simple with the verbs said, felt, found, happened, etc. After that, you can teach used to for talking about things that happened in the past. In addition, compare used to with Past Simple for talking about past.

OneRepublic – Something I Need
A very nice song with lots of different verb forms. While you can start the lesson with Past Simple and verbs such as had, woke, stayed, could, etc. you can use other verbs to compare Past Simple with other tenses in English.

The Fray – Over My Head (Cable Car)
This song is suitable for teaching Past Simple (knew, needed, wanted, etc.). Additionally, you can teach prepositions (down, around, in, over, on, etc.).

Besides teaching vocabulary and grammar, songs are good starting point if you want to engage your students in a conversation. Therefore, after the listening activity, you can come up with a list of questions to start the conversation in your class. Some general questions are: What is the song about? What did you think about the song? Does the singer speak about personal experience? On the other hand, the song can only be an introduction, so for example, if you want to encourage students to use would in their answers, Katy Perry’s song is a perfect way to do so.