Crime and the Law- related music, books, films and TV shows

If you want to increase your vocabulary to talk about crime and the law, you can listen to the songs on this playlist (or any others):

You can also watch any of these films:

  • Witness For The Prosecution (Billy Wilder 1957) [Good depiction of the British legal system, based on a play by Agatha Christie]

  • Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock 1954) [Alleged murder]

  • To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock 1955) [romance / thriller about a retired thief / cat burglar]

  • Take The Money and Run (Woody Allen 1969) [hilarious comedy about a petty thief who always gets caught]
  • A Few Good Men (Rob Reiner 1992) [courtroom drama about the US Marines in Guantanamo]

TV SHOWS:

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (BBC 1969-1974)- They had many different sketches dealing with crimes and criminals, among which you can watch:

Blackadder Goes Forth (BBC 1989)- Court Martial

Sherlock (BBC 2010-2017). Excellent show. Can’t comment any more.

https://ororo.tv/en/shows/sherlock

Finally, Roald Dahl wrote several short stories for adults, some of which have to do with crimes. You may read “Lamb to the Slaughter“, for example, or “The Landlady“. You can also watch TV episodes based on the stories.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents- “Lamb to the Slaughter” (directed by Alfred Hitchcock, script by Roald Dahl based on his own short story):

Tales of the Unexpected (Anglia Television)- The Landlady (introduced by Roald Dahl):

Recent TV shows related to crime:

Big Little Lies (HBO):

13 Reasons Why (Netflix):

 

SoundHound: music discovery, lyrics finder…

For quite some time, Musixmatch was one of my favourite apps, as it allowed you to play a song on a mobile device and display the lyrics to it (more about it here). Sadly, with the passing of time, the free version of the app lost many of its functionalities (although the extension for YouTube still works, and I still recommend it). Fortunately, I have found something which might replace Musixmatch, and add something extra.

The free app SoundHound (iOs, Android, Windows, Blackberry) is a mixture of the popular app Shazam + Musixmatch…with an extra twist. Just like Shazam, if you want to know what song is playing, you need to tap on the app and it will yield information about singer, song title, and album (in most cases, anyway).

The extra feature that SoundHound offers compared to Shazam is that you can also sing or even hum the song you’re looking for. The likelihood of the app recognising the song may depend on the user’s singing voice, maybe even pronunciation, and the degree of accuracy may not be as high as that of the original, granted, but it is well worth a try (even as a challenge or a competition among friends / students?).

Once the song has been identified, you can choose to play the song from Apple Music / Google Play, if you have a subscription; from Spotify, if you are a Premium user; or go to good old free YouTube (this can be set as the default option in the settings). As the song starts playing, the lyrics will come up, so you can listen and read.

I have tested it using songs in English, French and Spanish, and it seems to work. You can try it for free, anyway, for your own personal use, or as a recommendation to students. If you try it out, why not review it by leaving a comment below?

Holding Out for a Hero

You can listen to the full song with lyrics below (“Holding Out for a Hero”, as sung by Jennifer Saunders in Shrek 2):

And this is the original version sang by Bonnie Tyler:

literary devices in pop songs (2)

Do you remember these literary devices?

Personification:

Oxymoron:

Hyperbole:

Alliteration:

Anaphora / simile:

Antithesis / Anaphora:

Simile / Anaphora:

Now, over to you. How many literary devices can you find in these songs?

literary devices in pop songs

We’ve been discussing some of the literary devices you can find not just in literature, but also in pop music. You can watch the videos again to help you remember them:

Antithesis:

Allusion:

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Anaphora:

Alliteration:

Hyperbole:

Oxymoron:

Personification:

Simile:

Watch the whole song (Full of similes):