A Message to You Rudy – The Specials

A bit of ska this week, for Intermediate learners and above, with great little tune by Coventry-based ska revival band The Specials. This could be used for the end of the year to talk about future plans, when lessons are coming to a close and your students are moving on to bigger and brighter things, or simply play them a bit of ska on a sunny day!

Background:

  • This politically- charged band is well-known for their energetic live shoes, their sound combining ska, punk and 2 Tone. They wore 1960s Mod-style clothing such as  pork pie hats and mohair suits.
  • They were formed at the same time as the movement Rock Against Racism in 1978, their core aim being the integration of black and white people in the band. They had a turbulent time over the years and changed their members regularly.
  • A Message to You, Rudy was originally written by Dandy Livingstone but The Specials achieved much more success with their version of it in 1979. It has also been covered extensively by other bands and artists over the years.
  • The song’s overall message tells its listeners to get their life in order before they waste it by getting into trouble.
  • Rudy sounds like someone’s name, but it is in fact from the Jamaican slang term Rude Boy, a subculture of youth who are seen as being out of control and like listening to ska or reggae music.
  • Other notable songs include Ghost Town and Too Much Too Young, both reaching number 1 in the UK charts in 1981 and 1980 respectively.

Lyrics and Lesson Ideas:

A short but sweet tune containing interesting phrasal verbs and collocations, plus a shortened form of Had Better, the present continuous and infinitive forms.

Watch the video here.

(See Word Doc with pre-listening and follow-up activities below: 

A Message to You Rudy The Specials

Stop your messing around
Better think of your future
Time you straighten right out
Creating problems in town
Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
A message to you
Stop your fooling around
Time you straighten right out
Better think of your future
Else you’ll wind up in jail
Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
A message to you
Stop your messing around 
Better think of your future
Time you straighten right out
Creating problems in town
Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
A message to you, Rudy
Oh, it’s a message to you, Rudy
Yeah, it’s a message to you, Rudy
Enjoy this tune and see you again after the summer!

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s