A special request: songs with really clearly pronounced vocals?

This sounds a little odd, but I actually have good reason to ask this. I’ve recently been learning how to teach English to foreign-language students. One of the tools I’ve been using is music and songs.

Now a lot of songs would be difficult to understand for a foreign language speaker because the vocals are sung in a strange way or the arrangement song itself makes the song hard to understand. Some songs’ lyrics are also quite difficult or complicated too.

So I’m looking for songs where the vocals could be easily understood by a foreign learner of English. We used Beatles songs in training, and I’ve had success with Josh Groban and ABBA songs too.

Any suggestions are appreciated. Not too bothered about genre as I’m hoping to get a variety of songs. Any songs with decently simple lyrics would also be good.


Rock music I would recommend Jars of Clay and The Elms
Folk Music I would recommend Steven Delopoulus and Cat Stevens
Country Music I would recommend Jamey Johnson
The rock band Rush has some of the best lyrics around (mainly their music from the seventies and eighties although their newer music is great too just a little heavier) and you definitely can understand the lyrics with that piercingly high pitched voice (at times) of the lead singer Geddy Lee.

I would second ABBA for clear diction, which I suppose is mainly because they weren’t native English speakers

I also find Crowded House to be pretty intelligible. A warning though, they are a New Zealand/Australian group, but the accent shouldn’t be too noticeable :slight_smile:

I want to cover “Daytripper” by the Beatles with a modern tone or you should do “Respect” by Aretha Franklin…heck it’s spelled out. Sock it to me.

Thanks guys, keep 'em coming! :thumbsup:

I like this suggestion as a Rush fan. :smiley:

And Bing Crosby
The Ink Spots
Nat King Cole
Pat Boone

The Beach Boys

Now for who to stay FAR AWAY FROM:

Pearl Jam :eek: Not even their hardcore fans have ever been able to decipher Eddie Vedder’s lyrics.

Here are some that might work. Good music too.

Hall and Oates

Bobby Darin

Del Shannon

Ricky Nelson

George Miller, crazy Superman III song combining country and techno. Easy lyrics.

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