Dangerous – The XX

I saw this brilliant band at the weekend and just had to post something about them!

The XX are three old school friends from London who have released 3 albums to date whilst still only being about 25 years old. Romy and Oliver sing with deep, husky and haunting voices about love and relationships over great guitar riffs and bass lines, while  Jamie plays all kinds of drums in the background (he’s also got his own stuff out under the name… Jamie XX) .

A few of my Swiss teens have heard of them and I think their lyrics and the music would appeal to teenagers, but there’s no reason why this can’t be used with adults, too. This is the first song off the new album and I love it!

Here are the lyrics and a clip from one of their gigs so that you can hear it (if it stays on Youtube for long enough!)

Dangerous

They say we’re in danger

But I disagree
If proven wrong, shame on me
But you’ve had faith in me
So I won’t shy away
Should it all fall down
You’ll have been my favourite mistake

They say
You are dangerous, but I don’t care
I’m going to pretend that I’m not scared
If this only ends in tears
Then I won’t say goodbye
‘Cause I couldn’t care less
If they call us reckless
Until they are breathless
They must be blind

There are voices ringing over
They keep saying, “Danger, danger”
I can’t make them take you under
Makes no difference
No one can take this away
Should it all fall down, I’ll treasure each day

They say
You are dangerous, but I don’t care
I’m gon’ to pretend that I’m not scared
If this only ends in tears
Then I won’t say goodbye
‘Cause I couldn’t…
‘Cause I couldn’t care less
If they call us reckless
Until they are breathless
They must be blind

Let them say there are warning signs
They must be blind
They must be blind
They say

If this only ends in tears
Then I won’t say goodbye

This tune in particular is rich with teaching points and the music is very catchy. Grammatically. there’s the present perfect, futures with going to and the present simple, future perfect, first conditional, negatives… and then there’s the vocabulary such as adjectives, collocations and phrasal verbs (another reason to convince your students to learn some!)

This could lead to general discussion of the song’s meaning, who the song is written for, who “they” are (my guess is family members or friends), why is the person dangerous?

Maybe get them to write short emails or make phone calls between parents/friends and the young person in the relationship, focusing on the language of disapproval, worry and convincing (with plenty of support for lower levels).

With higher level classes you could do something similar, but go deeper with the theme of family relationships, talk about whether they have experienced disapproval of a relationship by parents or friends or if they know of any situations, get them to create role plays with typical issues where one student is the young person and the other a family member or a friend who is worried about them.

For a really creative class, you could get them to really imagine the character The XX are singing about: Why is he dangerous? What has he done? What happens to the couple in question? Do they stay together or did he do something terrible and they broke up?

You could even use Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as a famous example of disapproving relationships. Maybe that’s what this song is actually about?!

Have fun with it, let me know what you did and tune in next week for another lesson idea 🙂

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