Risultati immagini per clil

Here we are again with a very interesting work, directly written from the students of the “Liceo Scientifico Statale Luigi Cremona“. Please find below the playlist that the 5C selected for this CLIL history class 2017/2018 (How music changed history: Blues, Jazz and Rock’n’Roll).



Elvis Presley – In the Ghetto
The song In the Ghetto, sung by Elvis Presley, was composed in 1969 by Mac Davis and it was originally titled The Vicious Circle, but it seemed to Davis that the desperation in the song was similar to the one in the wartime Jewish ghettos, so he changed it.
It is one of the few socially involved songs Elvis recorded, and it’s about a boy born in Chicago’s ghetto, forced by the circumstances to go down a path of criminality: “he learns how to steal, and he learns how to fight”, “he buys a gun, steals a car” – this will ultimately lead to his death.
The song is expressing a deterministic view of life: the boy had no way to escape his destiny, which was determined by the social environment he was born in. He could have had a different life only if someone had helped him (“The child needs a helping hand Or he’ll grow to be an angry young man some day”). In the Ghetto is criticizing the indifference of the society of that time (“Do we simply turn our heads, and look the other way?”) towards black people; indifference and discrimination were what lead to the awful condition afro-americans lived in in the first place (people born in the ghetto were likely to become criminals just so they could survive), so that’s what needs to be changed in order to give black people more chances at having a normal life.
It’s interesting to underline that the song has a cyclic structure: it starts with a baby being born, and it ends in the same way (“Another little baby child is born in the ghetto, and his mama cries”). On one hand, the fact that this baby is born in the same moment when the boy dies could be seen as some kind of positive balance the universe is trying to restore; on the other hand, the new-born baby has the same destiny as the boy who died.



Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit

Strange fruit is part of a group of the so called “ difficult songs ” .
From the singer to the lyrics, this song is absolutely different from any other one of its time.
Billie Holiday, daughter of two young artists, had a difficult childhood. She moved in New York and started a prostitute career to survive. She had drugs and alchool problems, but this never stopped her. She began her story with music between a brothel walls, where she could listen to Bessie Smith and Louis Amstrong. Her singer career started when se was 15 and at 18 a big producer ( John Hammond ) noticed her and sponsored her two first albums.
She was one of the first black singer working with white women and, even if she was forced to stay in the fitting room until her show and to use a diffrent door to get into the clubs, when she was singing everyone stopped and listen to her. Or at least, this used to happen when she was not playing Strange Fruit. This song had the ability to make people feel unconfortable and. it wasn’t always the feelings that the public wanted to speriment.
Strange fruit is diffrent from her other songs and it was so intense that became an anthem for black civil rights. Out in 1939, it told the real story about black people and their life
conditions. The strange fruit that gives the title to the song is the body of a black man killed
and hanged at a tree, which is a message and a symbol of the victims of racism in the south of the united states. In fact, even if it was forbitten by law, there were a lot of people murdered and the 80% of the victims of 1940 was black, certanly not a coincidence.



John Coltrane – Alabama

John Coltrane was an acclaimed American saxophonist and composer that became an
iconic figure of jazz in the 20th-century. He turned the jazz’s world into the expression of the human need for answers: he used music to make sense of senseless acts.
“Alabama” is perhaps a masterpiece in this regard.
Coltrane wrote the song in response to the bombing that was planted by Ku Klus Klan
extremists in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham (Alabama); this tragic event
caused the death of four black girls between 11 and 14. Martin Luter King made a moving speech for these martyred children and Coltrane used King’s words as a basement for his song.
Both Coltrane’s music and King’s specchio are passionate, expressing or inducing sadness.
As Martin Luter King speech has a turning point becoming a statement of reniew
determination for the struggle against racism, “Alabama” changes his tone becoming a
Finally we think that “Alabama”s melody expresses both the sadness of that tragic event and the individual human injustice. Infact listening to “Alabama” and reading King’s words together is an incredibly moving experience.



Mahalia Jackson – We shall overcome

“We Shall Overcome” is probably one of the most influent hymn of freedom among afro-american people but also for students who wanted their voices to be listened. This song became very famous and was sung all over the world by many important artists such as Joan Baez, Louis Armstrong, Diana Ross, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger and Mahalia Jackson. Mahalia’s version was the most touching one considering that she sang it during Martin Luther King’s funeral that was a very important person to her and her people.
Due to her story she was strictly connected with this song, her voice was so moving and powerful that Dr. King Jr. himself had described her talent saying that: “A voice like this one comes not once in a century, but once in a millennium”.
Going through history this song has being changed by artists who decided to add or modify lyrics and structure. For instance, Pete Seeger gave his contribution by replacing the word “will” into “shall” in order to “make the mouth opened better”.
The roots of this song are not clear: it may come from Charles Tindley who composed a gospel song that contained the words “ I’ll overcome some day” or maybe from a following gospel song that says “deep in my heart I do believe/I’ll overcome some day”. Even if this song has ancient origins it become popular in 1960s thanks to Pete Seeger. However before the song broke through, it was an unofficial anthem of American Civil Rights Movement. It has had a social importance during the strike of 1946 in Charleston where a group of Afro-American tobacco workers were protesting for their rights. Thanks to the powerful meaning of this song, it was adopted not only by American students, indeed there is a Spanish version used by Galician students against the dictatorship in 1967-68. “We shall overcome” was also used as a rampart of civil rights by black people in South Africa against apartheid.
All in all, this song represents the voice of the whole African-American community that has struggled for ages. In particular it represents the hope for them to achieve freedom, which is an utopian outlook, that “SOME DAY” it will be utopian no more: Mahalia reminds every black people to continue the struggles and overcome this situation all together.



Sam Cooke – A change is gonna come

The 1960s were years of poitical and cultural change in America, not only for the election of the first catholic president, who succeded in launching the first expedition to the moon, but mostly for the birth of the Civile Right Movement, which tried to affirm equality between black and white people using musicians’ creativity too. This is the story of many songs of that time, including “A change is gonna come” written by Sam Cooke and recorded in 1964.
Infact even if Sam Cooke is more famous for have been a play boy and for his strange death (occured when he was only thirty-three) rather than for his carrier, it’s important remember that he was sensitive to social problems and that “ A change Is gonna come” was inspired by a group of young black artist who hoped to raise awarness of their cause.
Here hope and pain coexists, because even if the string section soli at the beginning underlines how he has been struggled since he was “born by the river in a little tent” he doesn’t miss his optimistic dream of a real change.

Being considered as an answer to the questions posed by Bob Dylan in “Blowing’ in the Wind”, “A Change gonna come” recollets the frustration of all African Americans who has left their freedom since too much time and his personal Arrow for the death of his child.



Woody Guthrie – This land is your land

This land is your land is a folk song written by Woody Guthrie. It was composed based on an existing melody in 1940 and then recorded and published only in 1944-45.
it’s considered like a national anthem by the people of the United States, singed by many famous artists like Bruce Springsteen or Lady Gaga, but what most of them do not know is that it was a kind of satiric response to Kate Smith’s hit “God bless America”, indeed the original title was “God bless America for me”. Guthrie had travelled a lot around his country during his youthness and had seen many violence, hunger and prejudice that had led him to think that the heavenly endorsement was still just a dream for the US; this is why he was so bothered by Smith’s that was always playing on the radios talking about a perfect country. He did not only change the title but also some verses, which sounded to angry and ironical, like “as they stood hungry, I stood there wondering if God blessed America for me”.
In this song Guthrie puts together all the typical music of his childhood like church hymns, outlaw ballads, blues, fiddle tunes and popular music.
Personally, we do not enjoy too much this song because it sounds too country and monotonous; although we do like the lyrics and theirs modernity.



Chuck Berry – Roll over Beethoven

The song “Roll Over Beethoven”; is one of the most successful tracks composed by Charles Edward Anderson Berry, mainly known as Chuck Berry. This single belongs to rock and roll genre and, like all the songs from this kind of music, it imparts a revolutionary message. In fact, this is a reaction to classic tradition and it is clearly visible in the title and in some of the lines, such as “Roll over Beethoven // And tell Tchaikovsky the news”. The novelty of this kind of music is underlined by the association of a great composer from the past with the word roll, which reminded the name of this genre. But this is not only a musical reference, because roll is one of the main actions made in dancing this kind of songs. Rock and roll typical dance is individual and based on the absence of particular steps. The freedom of movements and the new way to express the body stress how the revolutionary contents of this music are not limited to composition or musical instruments, but they have also a social dimension. In facts, in the fifties rock and roll becomes youngers genre thanks the subversive potential it communicates with the songs texts and stars’ behavior. In this
period the main attempt of new generations is to obtain freedom and have less social limits or rules than in the past, and rock reflected these ambitions. This concept also emerges in “Roll over Beethoven”, where Chuck Berry used an entire stanza to describe how a girl dances over his track.
Finally, it is possible to say that this famous song completely embodies the soul of rock, because it contains all the main characteristics of this genre and it even recognizes the origins of this music, as clearly as it emerges in the continuous references to blues.



Risultati immagini per music and history

Un percorso CLIL nella storia sociale e musicale afroamericana – A CLIL introduction to afroamerican social and music history


Ho il piacere di inaugurare con questo post un nuovo progetto scolastico, organizzato con la collaborazione degli studenti delle classi quinte dell’Istituto di Istruzione Superiore Cremona di Milano.

Qui di seguito una breve presentazione dei materiali e degli argomenti che verranno utilizzati e discussi durante il modulo CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), a beneficio degli studenti interessati.

A seguire pubblicheremo dei brevi articoli di approfondimento, frutto del lavoro cooperativo docente-studenti.

Vi aspetto nel laboratorio di storia!






  • GOSPEL/SPIRITUAL: End of the Nineteenth century
  • BLUES: Beginning of the Twentieth century
  • JAZZ: ’20s-’30s
  • RHYTHM AND BLUES: ’40s-’50s
  • SOUL: ’60s
  • FUNKY: ’70s
  • HIP HOP: ’80s-’90s


Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah

Sometimes I’m up, sometimes
I’m down, ohh, yes Lord
Sometimes I’m almost
To the ground, oh yes, Lord

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Anybody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah

If you got there before
I do, oh yes Lord
Tell all my friends, I’m
Coming too, oh yes Lord

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah

Although you see me
Goin’ on so, oh yes
I have my trials, here below
Ohh yes, Lord

Oh, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Nobody knows but Jesus
Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen
Glory, Hallelujah
Ohh, glory, Hallelujah

Everyday I have the Blues

Everyday, everyday I have the blues
Everyday, everyday I have the blues
When you see me worried baby
Because it’s you I hate to lose
Oh nobody loves me, nobody seems to care
Yes nobody loves me, nobody seems to care
Speaking of bad luck and trouble
Well you know I had my share
I’m gonna pack my suitcase, move on down the line
Yes I’m gonna pack my suitcase, move on down the line
Where there ain’t nobody worried
And there ain’t nobody crying

Strange fruit

Southern trees bear a strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.


Shake rattle and roll

Get outta that bed
Wash your face and hands
Get outta that bed
Wash your face and hands
Well, you get in that kitchen
Make some noise with the pots and pans

Way you wear those dresses
The sun comes shinin’ through
Way you wear those dresses
The sun comes shinin’ through
I can’t believe my eyes
All that mess belongs to you

I believe to the soul
You’re the devil and now I know
I believe to the soul
You’re the devil and now I know
Well, the more I work
The faster my money goes

I said shake, rattle and roll
Shake, rattle and roll
Shake, rattle and roll
Shake, rattle and roll
Well, you won’t do right
To save your doggone soul
Yeah, blow, Joe

Revolution will not be televised

You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
Mitchell, General Abrams and Mendel Rivers to eat
hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.

The revolution will not be televised.
The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theatre and will not star Natalie
Woods and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia.
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal.
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs.
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
thinner, the revolution will not be televised, Brother.

The revolution will not be right back
after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised,
will not be televised, will not be televised.
The revolution will be no re-run brothers;
The revolution will be live.

Soul power

Know we need it, soul power
We got to have it, soul power
Know we want it, soul power
Got to have it, soul power
Give it to me, soul power
We need it, soul power, we need it, soul power
We got to have it, soul power
I want to get under your skin
If I get there, i’ve got to win
You need some soul, come on get some
And then you’ll know, where I’m comin’ from
I may lay in the cut and go along
And I’m still on the case and my rap is strong
Huh huh, hey
Go jump on my train, when I’m outta sight
Just check yourself, huh, and say, yeah you’re right
Huh, hit me, give me, put it there, huh
Love me tender, and love me slow
If that don’t get it, jump back for more
We gottagottagotta, get in the bracket
Brother, if you fall on the ground
Remember you’ve got to get down, down downdown…
Huh, say it again, say it
If that don’t get it, jump back for more
Huh, come on, if that don’t get it, jump back for more

Fight the power

1989 the number another summer (get down)
Sound of the funky drummer
Music hitting your heart cause I know you got soul
(Brothers and sisters, hey)
Listen if you’re missing y’all
Swinging while I’m singing
Giving whatcha getting
Knowing what I know
While the Black bands sweating
And the rhythm rhymes rolling
Got to give us what we want
Gotta give us what we need
Our freedom of speech is freedom or death
We got to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Fight the power
We’ve got to fight the powers that be
As the rhythm designed to bounce
What counts is that the rhymes
Designed to fill your mind
Now that you’ve realized the pride’s arrived
We got to pump the stuff to make us tough
From the heart
It’s a start, a work of art
To revolutionize make a change nothing’s strange
People, people we are the same
No we’re not the same
Cause we don’t know the game
What we need is awareness, we can’t get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved lets get down to business
Mental self defensive fitness
(Yo) bum rush the show
You gotta go for what you know
Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be
Lemme hear you say
Fight the power
Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne
Cause I’m Black and I’m proud
I’m ready and hyped plus I’m amped
Most of my heroes don’t appear on no stamps
Right on, c’mon
What we got to say
Power to the people no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be



  • Barack Obama (Selma’s anniversary speech, 2015)
    • We’re the slaves who built the White House and the economy of the South.  (Applause.)  We’re the ranch hands and cowboys who opened up the West, and countless laborers who laid rail, and raised skyscrapers, and organized for workers’ rights.We’re the fresh-faced GIs who fought to liberate a continent.  And we’re the Tuskeegee Airmen, and the Navajo code-talkers, and the Japanese Americans who fought for this country even as their own liberty had been denied.We’re the firefighters who rushed into those buildings on 9/11, the volunteers who signed up to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.  We’re the gay Americans whose blood ran in the streets of San Francisco and New York, just as blood ran down this bridge. (Applause.)We are storytellers, writers, poets, artists who abhor unfairness, and despise hypocrisy, and give voice to the voiceless, and tell truths that need to be told.

      We’re the inventors of gospel and jazz and blues, bluegrass and country, and hip-hop and rock and roll, and our very own sound with all the sweet sorrow and reckless joy of freedom.

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