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Still grinning about how wery hard life was in Berlin in 1965. The German beat band, The Lords, sing and dance “Poor boy”, one of their greatest hits. Now, I’m not knocking writing and singing in a foreign language, on the contrary, it’s really great! But for an English teacher like me it’s fascinating to look closely at the errors they make. Apart from the w/v problem (Germans overcompensate, saying “wery well” to make sure they don’t say “very vell”), The Lords make the typical mistake, “she learned me (to do sth)” (instead of “taught”), and sing “the life is so hard” – using “the” for an abstract noun. Wait a minute: Why are “life” and “death” considered abstract and intangible in English? Englische Sprache, schwere Sprache.

PS: “The life is hard to go/life is very hard to stay” reminds me of the German saying about not having enough money: “zum Leben zu wenig, zum Sterben zu viel” – too little to live on, too much to die.

When I was born you know
I couldn’t speak and go
My mother worked each day
and she learned me to say.

Mother and father and son
sister and uncle are/have fun
and she learned me to say
life is so hard each day.

Poor boy you must know
poor boy the life is hard to go (?)
poor boy you must say
life is very hard to stay

When I was born you know
I couldn’t speak and go
My mother worked each day
and she learned me to say.

Poor boy you must know….