BOY: Small numbers

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I have a bit of a soft spot for non-native speakers who use English to express themselves in their lyrics. Even when they are not particularly sophisticated, it’s the word choice and imagery referencing different languages that engages me.

BOY, a young duo comprized of Valeska Steiner from Zurich and Sonja Glass from Hamburg, have a boyant music video for “Little Numbers” that was made in beautiful Barcelona. The English geek in me picks up here on the difference between “small numbers” (those close to zero; a small number of …) and “little numbers” (little is used endearingly). And in German, to be “(nur) eine kleine Nummer” is to be of little importance. This song might become a “eine große Nummer” for BOY here: It has over a million hits on YouTube.

This came in my birthday mail from Christof. Thank you so much!

Waited for your call, for the moon
To release me from the longest afternoon
I’ve re-arranged parts of my living room
But time is hard to kill since I met you

Looking at the cars that drive on by
While spring is making promises outside
Red cars are quite rare I realize
Then I wonder which colour you like

Seven little numbers
Baby, they could be a start
Seven little numbers
Baby, I know yours by heart

Chorus: Oh, all the pretty things that we could be
Oh, I feel you in every heart beat
Oh, were you ever in a dream that could come true
These numbers could be lucky for you

Watch the sky change to a darkened blue
I can’t think of another thing to do
And every song just makes me think of you
Because the singer sounds as if she was longing,
As if she was longing, too

Seven little numbers
Baby, they could be a start
Seven little numbers
Baby, I know yours by heart
Seven little numbers
They could make a change
Seven little numbers
Make a fire out of this flame


I read your name on every wall, on every wall – tell me
Is there a cure for me at all, for me at all – tell me


song week 🙂 learning english with songwriters


3 Responses

  1. Hi Markus, glad you think so, too. They seem so likeable. I wish them lots of success. I’ll bet this song goes through some fun parodies, too.

    Small and little: The language point was turning over in my head, and there it was, suddenly, the wrong word in the published post. Sic transit gloria mundi.

    But I only have a small number of readers, so it’s ok :).

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