Hey there, this is Teacher Ola Podcast episode 74. Learn English With Gloria Gaynor ‘I Will Survive’

My name’s Ola and I am an online English teacher, I teach through one to one classes and I want you to know I believe you can eliminate your language blockade. I’ve overcome a massive blockade myself and I know how to do it. This podcast is for you if you’re an English learner who wants to speak English with more confidence and get rid of speaking barriers. You’ll boost your vocabulary, brush up your grammar, improve your pronunciation.  Go to my website for full transcripts and worksheets to each episode. Happy learning!

Hello again, thank you for tuning in! Today we’re learning English with Gloria Gaynor ‘I Will Survive’. Good message for 2021. Ok, let’s see what you’re going to learn in this episode. 

First of all I’ll give you a few song facts. Then we will go through the whole text of ‘I Will Survive’ and you will learn what does ‘petrified’ mean. What does it mean ‘to do somebody wrong’. We’ll have a few phrasal verbs, for instance: to get along, to lie down, to fall apart, to drop by and to pop in. There’s one idiom with the word ‘crumble’, and a phrase ‘as long as’. How to use it, what tense goes after ‘as long as’. What’s the difference between ‘lie’ and ‘lie’? STay till the end, because we will practice. These episodes are actionable. So you will have time to repeat 23 sentences with all the phrasal verbs and other words you will have learnt by then. Let’s begin.

Song facts. This female-empowerment anthem is about moving on after a bad relationship. The song has taken on meaning for people who have overcome just about any difficult situation. ‘I Will SurThis song became an anthem in the gay community, but its reach extends much farther – it has been reproduced in 20 languages, including Arabic. Predictably, it is also one of the most popular songs to be sung on Karaoke.vive’ won the 1979 Grammy for Best Disco Recording. It hit number one on many charts. TV series fans, listen to this:  In 1999, Gloria Gaynor performed this on an episode of That ’70s Show. She played the music teacher Mrs. Clark, and sang this at the prom.

At first, I was afraid, I was petrified

Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side

But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong

And I grew strong

And I learned how to get along

I was petrified – petrified means: extremely frightened. 

By my side – that means: next to me, close to me. 

You did me wrong – to do somebody wrong. To treat somebody badly and unfairly. You did me wrong, you mistreated me. 

To get along –  here, it means to deal with a difficult situation. I learned how to get along. It also menas, to leave a place. 

Ok, next verse:

And so you’re back

From outer space

I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face

I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key

If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me

Outer space – outer space is the area outside the earth’s atmosphere where all the other planets and stars are located. So he is back from far away. From outer space. 

Sad look upon your face – upon. The accent falls on the second syllable, the first one is just the schwa sound. /əˈpɒn/, /əˈpɒn/. ‘Upon’ means ‘on’. A sad look on your face. ‘Upon’ is a bit more formal than ‘on’. It’s also used in the phrase: once upon a time. You can use it at the beginning of a story. Then it means: ‘a long time ago’

I should have changed that stupid lock if I had known you’d be back to bother me – This my dear is an example of the third conditional sentence. If I had known about it, I would have done that. Well, in fact, I have a whole episode on the third conditional so I’ll link it in the show notes. That was episode number 44. Teacherola.com/44. She regrets she hadn’t changed the locks and she hadn’t asked him to return the keys. But, it’s too late. He’s here, he’s in her house. He used his own keys.

Time for the chorus. Listen and repeat:

Go on now, go, walk out the door

Just turn around now

‘Cause you’re not welcome anymore

Weren’t you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?

You think I’d crumble?

You think I’d lie down and die?

Crumble – to break into small pieces. Here, it’s not literal. She assumes he thought she would have a breakdown. This word reminds me of an idiom I like and it’s: that’s the way the cookie crumbles. It means this is a situation we can’t control. That’s just the way it is. 

Lie down and die – in fact, it’s an idiom. Quite straightforward, I think the meaning of this idiom is rather clear. It means to quit, to resign. To give up hope and ambition. So, lie down means to put yourself in a position in which your body is flat on the floor or on a bed. Now. Be careful, because the verb ‘lie’ has two meanings. ‘Lie’ means to put yourself in a flat position so that you are not standing or sitting. The second ‘lie’ spelt in the exact same way, means: to say something that you know is not true.  The confusion is real because the past forms differ. Lie – lay – lain. This verb means to put yourself on a flat surface. And to tell lies, things which aren’t true: lie – lied – lied. This one is regular. 

Let’s move on:

Oh no, not I, I will survive

Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive

I’ve got all my life to live

And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive

I will survive, hey, hey

Survive – to continue to live or exist. 

As long as – We use as long as to refer to the intended duration of a plan or idea, most commonly referring to the future. So to predict how long something will take. We always use the present simple to refer to the future after as long as. As long as or so long as also mean ‘provided that’, ‘providing that’ or ‘on condition that’. Shortly there will be a practical part of this episode. In that part, you’ll hear examples, so these phrases we talk about now put into practice. I’ll give you time to repeat the sentences to enhance your memory for instance. 

It took all the strength I had not to fall apart

Kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart

And I spent oh-so-many nights just feeling sorry for myself

I used to cry

But now I hold my head up high and you see me

To fall apart –  to be in very bad condition so that parts are breaking off. Like a car.  Another meaning is to have so many problems that it is no longer possible to exist or function. Like a marriage.

To mend the pieces of my broken heart – to mend means to repair, to fix. 

Finally, the last few lines:

Somebody new

I’m not that chained-up little person still in love with you

And so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free

Well, now I’m saving all my lovin’ for someone who’s loving me

So you felt like dropping in – to drop in means to ​to pay an informal visit to a person or a place. Pop in is a popular phrasal verb in the UK, so people pop in, pop out, pop on.  It means the same, to visit some place briefly.

Well, these are all the phrases I picked for you from this song. Now, time to work my dear. You will hear 23 sentences and you’ll have a moment to repeat. Well, this is real. Please repeat out loud. Trust me, it is necessary. Your blockade is here to stay if you don’t start speaking. I’m not asking you much, just repeating the sentences. 

The child stood petrified with fear.

Stay by my side

Didn’t you say you will be by my side?

How’s Sam getting along at university?

It’s time we were getting along.

Her ex-boyfriend did her wrong.

Is there life in outer space?

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess.

I’m sorry, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Rice flour makes the cake less likely to crumble.

Don’t give up! You failed but it doesn’t mean you should lie down and die. 

Just lie down on the bed.

Don’t lie in the sun for too long.

He lied about having a university degree.

He was lying naked on the bed.

She lay on her back and looked up at the sky.

Many birds didn’t survive the severe winter.

He was the last surviving member of the family.

You can borrow the car so long as you don’t drive too fast.

I’ll remember you as long as I live.

My car is falling apart.

Their marriage finally fell apart.

He mended shoes for a living.

Drop by sometime.

He popped in for two minutes

Well done! See? Wasn’t that bad, right? The most difficult part is to show up. Thank you for showing up, for doing this for yourself. Is that it? No. There’s homework. Try yourself in a practical, hands-on exercise. Repeating sentences is one thing but creating your own is another. If you make your own sentences, you create the language, you use the language, you learn actively. 

The worksheet is in your inbox. Check all the folders, maybe even spam. Open that email and download the worksheet. If you’re not a member of TOPeople, that’s a shame. Please go to teacherola.com/74 download the worksheet and become a member of TOPeople. The next worksheet will be delivered to your inbox. It’s all free. Teacherola.com/74. 

If you know someone who likes learning English with music let them know about this podcast. 

And next Wednesday, grammar. Please don’t miss it! Till then, take care. See you really soon, happy learning. Bye bye!