Relax and Learn with Some Music

Hey there! We’ve got a collection of classic songs from the past for you. These tunes hold a special place in people’s hearts - they’re sung when they’re happy, and they’re sung when they’re feeling down. It’s amazing how they’ve become an integral part of our culture.

Let’s start with the French song “Amsterdam” by Jacques Brel. Legend has it that one morning at six o’clock, Jacques Brel read the lyrics of the song to his friend Fernand, a restaurateur who was about to go fishing. Fernand was so moved by the words that he broke out in sobs and even had to cut open some sea urchins to cope with his emotions. Originally set in Zeebrugge, the song was later moved to Amsterdam because “it sounded better to the ear.” Interestingly, even David Bowie made his own cover of this iconic song years later.
You can listen to it here:
(Level: Intermediate 1)


Next up, we have the Italian anthem of the resistance movement during World War II. Interestingly, it wasn’t very popular among Italian partisans during the war, but it gained immense popularity right after the war ended. However, its origins date back to the 19th century when it was sung by paddy field workers who protested against harsh working conditions.
Check it out here:

(Level: Beginner 2)

Moving on to the lively Spanish song “Guantanamera.” This song is not only a massive hit worldwide but is also considered an unofficial anthem in Cuba. It gained fame through a talented Havana singer named Joseito Fernandez, who performed it on his radio show back in the 1930s.
Give it a listen here:
(Level: Beginner 2)


Lastly, we have the Russian classic “Million Roses,” a song that perfectly captures the essence of Soviet pop culture. It was inspired by the life of Georgian painter Niko Pirosmani, who, in a romantic gesture, filled a hotel square with flowers for the French actress Marguerite de Sèvres, whom he admired. Surprisingly, the singer Alla Pugacheva initially disliked the song, but as fate would have it, the more she disliked it, the more popular it became. Funny how things work out sometimes, right? Check out the song here:
(Level: Beginner 2)


Do you have any suggestions for Arabic here? Levantine or Khaleeji specifically?

Not this week, but we have different recommendations each week on various topics and languages.

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