From folksy classics and ballads to contemporary club music, foreign language teachers shared their favorite songs from around the world. Take a trip to Russia’s frosty winters or East Harlem’s joyous streets in this week’s edition of The Phillipian playlist, courtesy of Andover’s language department.
Huiying Zhao, Chinese instructor: “存在” (Cun Zai) by Wang Feng
“My favorite song is ‘存在’…by Wang Feng. He is a Chinese rock and roll singer… The artist sings very positively, gives a lot of encouragement, and inspiration, especially for the [lower] class people in China. When they sing his songs they feel the power, and it makes [them] feel stronger and heard. I like the melody, the lyrics, and the sounds of the words themselves, together. It’s really beautiful.”
Claire Gallou, French instructor: “Papaoutai” by Stromae
“Stromae is from Belgium. He’s a very popular singer and song-writer with really interesting lyrics too. There are a lot of social justice aspects in his lyrics. He has worked with other bands and singers. He’s been around for quite a long time. He took a big break at some point. A new record came out around a year ago which I highly recommend.”
Lisa Svec, German instructor: “Lieblingsmensch” by Namika
“One of my favorite songs is called ‘Lieblingsmensch’ by Namika. She is a new artist that one of my students last year brought to my attention. And, it means ‘favorite person,’ so it is just a tribute to anyone who might be your favorite person, or someone that you really appreciate.”
Kassie Archambault, Russian instructor: “Ой, мороз мороз” by Pavel Yatsyna
“My favorite Russian song is ‘Ой, мороз мороз,’ which means, ‘Oh, frost,’ which is probably timely, considering how cold it is going to be this weekend… It’s about this man traveling home on his horse, and he doesn’t want the frost to freeze him.”
Elizabeth Meyer, Chair of Classics Department: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen
“One of my favorite songs is Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ or maybe it’s a tie with ‘Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy.’ I like the band Queen because much of their music has a vibe of exuberance. Freddy Mercury’s joy of making music and his joy of life are palpable in his music, and that makes me happy. I also like that the lyrics referencing sex are full of positive energy and excitement, without any sense of shame or power differential.”
Edwin Escobar, Spanish instructor: “Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony
“[I like] ‘Vivir Mi Vida’ by Marc Anthony. It reminds me of my youngest son, Xavi, singing it when he was about three… I like [Anthony’s] passion when singing. I like songs that lift you up. This song is one example of that. Those two songs remind me of my boys and the beauty of life.”
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