Saturday, April 2, 2011

Song lesson - These Boots Are Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra

Written by Lee Hazlewood and recorded by Nancy Sinatra, this record was released in February 1966 and was a Number One hit in the US and UK Pop charts.
There have been many cover versions in a range of styles: metal, pop, rock, punk rock, country, dance, and industrial. (Adapted from Wikipedia)
  • Simple song vocabulary exercise
  • Vocabulary - different meanings of the verb mess

Click and Drop - Where you see this button mouse over for instructions

Look at the song lyrics:

  1. What do the words oughta (7) and ain't (10) mean? What else can ain't mean?
  2. Find the two 'invented' words in the lyrics
  3. What do you think the singer means by messin' in line 3
  4. Show comments

  5. Now fill in the gaps
  6. Listen to check

These Boots Are Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra

shouldn't   ·   love   ·   matches   ·   losin'   ·   learn   ·   lyin'   ·   thinkin'   ·   walkin'   ·   walk   ·   best   ·   shouldn't 've   ·   changin'
1 You keep sayin' you got something for me
Something you call (1) but confess
You've been a'messin' where you (2) been a'messin'
And now someone else is gettin' all your (3)
5 These boots are made for walkin', and that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna (4) all over you (YEAH)
You keep (5) when you oughta be truthin'
And you keep (6) when you oughta not bet
You keep samin' when you oughta be a' (7)
10 Now what's right is right but you ain't been right yet
Chorus repeats
You keep playin' where you (8) be playin'
And you keep (9) that you'll never get burnt (HAH)
Well, I've just found me a brand new box of (10) (YEAH)
And what he knows you ain't had time to (11)
Chorus repeats
Are you ready, boots?
Start (12)

Different meanings of the verb mess.
Decide which meaning or use suits each sentence best

1. I'm tired of being messed around by my bank.
2. They spend their weekends messing around on their boat.
3. Stop messing about and listen to me!.
4. I don't want him coming in here and messing around with our computers.
5. She found out that her husband was messing around with his secretary.
6. Who's messed up the bookshelf?
7. He says that his divorce has really messed his life up.
8. Finished already? You don't mess around, do you?
9. You shouldn't mess with drugs. Nor with drug dealers!
10. I've really messed this exercise up big time!
a)treat badly
b)have a (sexual) relationship with someone you probably shouldn't
c)to spoil something or do it badly
d)spend time, pass the time doing something enjoyable
e)to cause someone to suffer emotional and mental problems
f)to use or treat something in a careless or harmful way
g)to use or become involved with something or someone dangerous
h)behave stupidly or in an annoying way, waste time
i)to do quickly and easily
j)to make something untidy or dirty

Is there any significance in the boots, and the fact they are walking?

I've just come across a language learners' forum where someone asked what the significance of the boots was. Im not sure about the boots, except this was 1966 and boots were all the rage.
But there might be something in the fact they are walking. There are two possible references here. To walk, can simply mean to leave someone. But she also says 'One day these boots are going to walk over you'. Taken literally that could be quite painful, but there is also an idiomatic meaning - to walk (all) over someone - which has two possible meanings -
  1. to treat somebody badly, without considering them or their needs
    She just lets him walk all over her
  2. to defeat somebody easily
    Liverpool walked all over Manchester last week.
In this case I think she means the second.

Show answers

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 is on Page 2 and the mess exercise on Page 3
Now open the video on YouTube. It will open in a new tab (or in IE a new window. Best Right Click and choose Open in New Tab). You can either start it and come back to check your answers, or you can watch it there. The lyrics are there as well. Just click on 'Show more'

Legal stuff

Copyright of the lyrics and the video naturally belong to the owners. They are used here for educational purposes only.


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