"An attempt to integrate the teaching of the English language & ICT, using MUSIC as a mere pretext."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What a Wonderful World !!

"Even in difficult times
There is a reason to be positive
And hopeful for the near future".

Sit down and relax
Open your eyes
Watch the video
and Listen to the song ...

It is a wonderful video by tyhe BBC and a powerful song-
with simple lyrics (but inspiring and encouraging).

( George Weiss / Bob Thiele )

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself, What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself, What a wonderful world

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, saying "How do you do?"
They're really saying "I love you"

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself, What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself, What a wonderful world

* * * * * 

The previous song, "What a Wonderful World", is a jazz song written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss; and it was first recorded by Louis Armstrong and released as a single in 1968. 

Intended as an antidote for the increasingly racially and politically charged climate of everyday life in the United States at that time, the song also has a hopeful, optimistic tone with regard to the future. 

The song describes the wonders of simple little things in daily life. 


Now watch the video of the same song 
performed by Louis Armstrong 
before I was born...

For many people...,
"What a Wonderful World" is one of the best jazz song of all times.
It is a simple song, with simple lyrics, full of optimism,
that makes you go out to the streets ang hug everybody you meet.
What do you think?

Perhaps you think that...
This world is not a wonderful world,
but both this song and Armstrong are simply...


As an example, 
Have a look at this Social Experiment 
carried out in many countries all over the world... 

"FREE HUGS" - in English-
"ABRAZOS GRATIS"- in Spanish- or

My Italian Friend Caterina Runfola sent the following video to me
showing the mentioned experiment in Sondrio (Italy):

In my opinion, 
The video, like the song "What a Wonderful World"
describes the wonders of simple little things in daily life…

Don't you think so?

"It is amazing how one simple "free" hug 
can completely change a person's day".

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic: A Disaster at Sea

The 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster 


A disaster at sea 100 years ago

The Titanic hits an iceberg at 11:40 p.m.
(20 minutes before midnight) 
on Sunday April 14, 1912
and sinks 2 hours and 40 minutes later
into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

The sinking of the Titanic 100 years ago
is one of the biggest news stories of the last century. 
In the days after the Titanic's collision,
the tragedy dominates the pages of the many newspapers 
all over the world. However not all of them contains the same information.

On April 15, 1912, in New York City,
only 2 newspapers reports the news of the disaster of the previous night.
But they do it in a very different way. 
Today we know that one of them is right and the other one is wrong.

Have a look at the front page of the 2 mentioned newspapers of that day,
and compare the two headlines:

1) ____________________  / ___________________
2) ____________________  / ___________________

 As you can observe,
"The New York Times" is the only newspaper that publishes correctly 
that piece of news on April 15, 1912, including the list of all the passengers.

The power of music to prevent panic

Music is an important entertainment on the Titanic. 
On the night of the collision, music also figures prominently in the ship's fateful night, 
as the musicians bravely tries to calm the passengers by playing for them as they go to their lifeboats.

Apparently, the Titanic band plays until the ship goes down, 
and their last song is "Nearer, My God, to Thee".
Today, that song is the most famous and most remembered hymn 
from that tragic night, with1517 deaths -including passengers and crew.

The Heroic Musicians

 “They kept it up to the very end. Only the engulfing ocean had power to drown them into silence.”   

Although the Titanic sails from Southampton (England),
the eight members of the Titanic Band (The Wallace Hartley Band) are from Liverpool.

When the ship hits the iceberg around 11:40 p.m.on April 14,
the band has already finished playing for the night,
but they continue playing to "cheer things up a bit".

The band plays the hymn "Nearer, My God, to Thee"
 immediately before the ship sinks.

After the Titanic hits the iceberg and begins to sink,
the band starts playing music to help keep the passengers calm as the crew loads the lifeboats.

 The Titanic Band continues playing until the end;
until the ship goes down.

None of the band members survives the sinking
and the story of them playing to the end is today a popular legend.

Wallace Hartley

Mr Wallace Hartley is a violinist and the leader of the Titanic's Band of 8 musicians 
that die at their posts when the ship sinks on April 15th, 1912.

Hartley is one of the three musicians who is engaged to marry in the summer of 1912.
Sadly, like many of his band mates, his intentions are to make this his last sea voyage 
and returns home to concert work instead. 

Just to finish
let's watch a powerful scene from the film "Titanic",
listen to the song "Nearer, My God, to Thee" on violin
and Wallace Hartley's last words...


It has been a privilege 
playing with you tonight.
(Wallace Hartley's last words)


What do you think of  The Wallace Hartley Band's story?
And what about the song "Nearer, My God, to Thee"?

In my opinion, 
the song "Nearer, My God, to Thee" 
is as sad & dramatic as the story of the Titanic itself. 
Do you agree?