Saturday, April 9, 2011

Song - 'America' from 'West Side Story'

America is one of the greatest songs ever from possibly the greatest musical ever, West Side Story.
A distinctive characteristic of this song is its rhythm, which mixes 6/8 time with 3/4 time (see Wikipedia link below). Some cover versions see fit to remove this feature, in my opinion totally ruining the song.
"In the 1961 film version of the musical, Anita (played by Rita Moreno) sings in favor of the United States, while Bernardo responds to her praises with corresponding criticisms satirizing latent racism in American society, especially towards Puerto Ricans"- Wikipedia

The song uses a lot of rhyme, both at the end of lines and internally (inside the lines). Use this to help you to choose the right answers to fill the gaps. Then listen to the video to check.

Click and Drop - In each section click on one of the words in the box and then on an appropriate gap. If you change your mind just repeat the process.

America from West Side Story

Music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

money   ·   population   ·   heart   ·   sunlight
natives   ·   hurricanes   ·   sink   ·   pipe
ANITA (spoken)Stop it
BERNANDO (spoken)She's given up Puerto Rico, and now she's queer for Uncle Sam
ANITA (spoken)Oh, no! That's not true
ANITAPuerto Rico . . .
My (1) 's devotion
Let it (2) back in the ocean
Always the (3) blowing
Always the (4) growing
And the (5) owing
And the (6) streaming
And the (7) steaming
I like the island Manhattan (I know you do)
Smoke on your (8)
And put that in!
boom   ·   charge   ·   bloom   ·   zoom
credit   ·   clean   ·   fee   ·   room
GIRLSI like to be in America!
O.K. by me in America!
Ev'rything free in America
BERNANDOFor a small (1) in America!
ANITABuying on (2) is so nice.
BERNANDOOne look at us, and they (3) twice.
ROSALIAI have my own washing machine.
INDIOWhat will you have, though, to keep (4) ?
ANITASkyscrapers (5) in America,
ROSALIACadillacs (6) in America,
CONSUELOIndustry (7) in America.
GUYSTwelve in a (8) in America!
slamming   ·   fight   ·   all-white   ·   housing
bright   ·   accent   ·   terrace   ·   alright
ANITALots of new (1) with more space.
BERNANDOLots of doors (2) in our face.
ANITAI'll get a (3) apartment.
BERNANDOBetter get rid of your (4) .
ANITALife can be (5) in America.
GUYSIf you can (6) in America.
GIRLSLife is (7) in America.
GUYSIf you're (8) in America.
GUYSla-la-la-la-la America
... America
la-la-la-la-la America
... America
choose   ·   crime   ·   pride   ·   shoes
side   ·   boat   ·   I'm   ·   time
GIRLSHere you are free and you have (1) .
GUYSLong as you stay on your own (2) .
GIRLSFree to be anything you (3) .
GUYSFree to wait tables and shine (4) !
BERNANDOEverywhere grime in America,
Organized (5) in America,
Terrible (6) in America.
ANITAYou forget (7) in America.
BERNANDOI think I'll go back to San Juan.
ANITAI know a (8) you can get on.
GIRLSbye bye! BERNANDO - uh-huh
BERNANDOEveryone there will give a big cheer!
ANITAEveryone there will have moved here.


In the introduction there's a line about a pipe. This has intentionally mixed up a particular idiom and is 'a rude way of telling someone that they must accept what you have just said, even if they do not like it' (Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary). See if you can complete the idiom by entering the remaining words in the right order.
smoke and it pipe in your
Put that

Now enjoy the video


Printer friendly post

You can make a teacher copy with answers by clicking on 'Show All'. Make sure you 'Clear All' before printing student copies. I strongly recommend doing a Print Preview first. You might want to change your margins and you probably won't want to print every page. The song goes from Pages 2 -5


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