A BUSINESS PROFESSOR took the song Old Macdonald had a farm and reedited it: “Old MacDonald had an agricultural real estate tax abatement.”
It made students laugh while helping them understand the real reason some people kept farms.
It reminded me of a guy who teaches English by getting his class to sing Beatles songs.
His lessons are fun, but students end up with impractical phrases. If you passed them in the corridor and say: “Good morning,” they reply “yeah yeah yeah” or “nananana, hey Jude.”
The class’s favorite song is Twist and Shout, which goes like this: “Ahh, ahh, ahh, whoa, yeah, shake it up baby, c’mon,c’mon,c’mon,c’mon, baby now.”
The teacher said to me: “They can sing it perfectly, but no one really understands what it’s about.”
I told him not to worry: “No one ever understood a word of it, least of all John Lennon.”
At exam time, his class lost a few marks on the written papers, but got high marks in spoken English. “I kneejoo I kneejoo I kneeeeeeejooooo,” one student said to the examiner. (This comes from the second verse of Michelle.) Examiners were impressed by his grasp of colloquial speech and some even sang along.
But it was the college’s business classes which really needed livening up.
We made a list of ideas.
1. We recommended Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean for the business law class: “Billie Jean is not my lover. She's just a girl who claims that I am the one: but the kid is not my legal dependent.”
4. And an Eagles song, Hotel California, for the classes on income tax: “You can check out any time you like, but you must take your receipt if you want to claim anything back.”
5. Also for accounting lessons, we proposed Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen: “Open your eyes: Look down at my files and see: I'm just a poor boy, no need to audit me. Because I'm easy come, easy go; A little high, mostly low.”
6. The words from a John Denver song we thought might work for a session on offshore finance: “Take me home, country roads, to a place where I am legally domiciled.”
7. And perhaps an Elvis number could be adapted for lessons on credit and loans: “I can’t help falling in debt with you.”
8. The class on labor cost took us back to the Beatles: “It’s been a hard day’s night and I been working like a non-skilled blue collar cost-centre.”
Later, I asked my teacher friend if the song list made his colleagues in the business department laugh.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he sang
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