El Paso

The country and western singer Marty Robbins
released “El Paso” in September 1959.

It was an instant success.

La canzone “El Paso” è il racconto in prima persona di un cowboy che ricorda il suo innamoramento con la bella Feleena e le tragiche conseguenze che ne sono susseguite. Dopo aver ascoltato il brano, anche più volte, prova a rispondere alle 15 domande di comprensione. Studenti con un po’ più di esperienza nell’ascolto potranno provare a compiere l’esercizio senza leggere i testi sullo schermo.

Comprehension Test

  1. Where is El Paso?
  2. What nationality is Feleena?
  3. Where does the singer go in the evenings?
  4. What does the singer watch Feleena doing?
  5. What colour are Feleena’s eyes?
  6. Is the singer’s love for Feleena reciprocated?
  7. What are Feleena and the stranger doing?
  8. Who reaches for his gun first, the singer or the stranger?
  9. How does the singer feel after the shootout?
  10. How does the singer get away?
  11. Where does he decide to go?
  12. Why does the singer eventually decide to go back to El Paso?
  13. Who does the singer see as he rides down the hill?
  14. How many times does the singer get shot?
  15. What does Feleena do when she reaches the singer?

Scrivi le tue risposte nei commenti!


13 comments

  1. 1. El paso is in the West Texas .
    2. Feelena is a Mexican girl.
    3. The singer goes to Rosa’s cantina in the evenings.
    4. She is dancing and casting a spell.
    5.Feelena’s eyes are black.
    6. No, it isn’t.
    7. They are sharing a drink.
    8. The singer.
    9. The singer feels shocked by the foul.
    10. The singer get away with a stolen horse.
    11. He decides to go to New Mexico.
    12. He decides to go back because his life is worthless.
    13. He sees 5 cowboys on his right and a dozen on his left.
    14. The singer got shot twice.
    15. She kisses him on the cheek.

    1. Hi Carmela.
      Your answers look good except for number 8. This one has caused the most difficulty!

      Also be careful:
      1) no article with West Texas
      9) you can’t say “by the foul”. “Foul” is an adjective and needs a noun
      10) 3°person singular: “gets away”. Also I would say “on” a stolen horse.

  2. After listening to this cowboys melodic drama 6 times I dare to say

    1 West Texas
    2 Mexican
    3 Rosa’s cantina
    4 Dancing (whirling) and casting a spell
    5 Blacker than night
    6 Not at all
    7 Drinking together
    8 The singer
    9 Shocked (just for a moment. What did I do?)
    10 He catches a horse and flees to (see next)
    11.New Mexico
    12.Life is worthless without love
    13 Off to his right 5 cowboys, off to his left a dozen or more
    14.Twice. A bullet when he is at Rosa’s cantina (somewhere at his side), another one (deep in his chest) while he’s riding to Feleena
    15 Taking him in her arms she kisses him and then (I honestly don’t know who kisses who) there is another, final, goodbye forever kiss

  3. 1. Where is El Paso? In West Texas
    2. What nationality is Feleena? Mexican
    3. Where does the singer go in the evenings? Rosa’s cantina
    4. What does the singer watch Feleena doing? Whirling and casting a spell
    5. What colour are Feleena’s eyes? Black
    6. Is the singer’s love for Feleena reciprocated? No
    7. What are Feleena and the stranger doing? Sharing a drink
    8. Who reaches for his gun first, the singer or the stranger? The singer
    9. How does the singer feel after the shootout? Shocked
    10. How does the singer get away? Riding a stolen horse
    11. Where does he decide to go? New Mexico
    12. Why does the singer eventually decide to go back to El Paso? His love was stronger than his fear of dying
    13. Who does the singer see as he rides down the hill? Five cowboys at his right-hand and more than a dozen at his left-hand
    14. How many times does the singer get shot? One time
    15. What does Feleena do when she reaches the singer? She cradles and kisses him while he is passing away.

    1. Hey Giuseppe, well done!
      I have a couple of doubts regarding your answers and a couple of language points.
      My doubts regard your answers to questions 8 and 14 – perhaps the trickiest questions here.
      Have another listen (and read perhaps) and see what you think.
      Regarding language:
      13. Either “on his left hand” and “on his right hand” or “to his left” and “to his right”. Its best to use the dash (left-hand) only when you use it as an adjective in front of a noun: a left-hand bend.

      BTW – How did you approach the exercise: just listening or reading and listening together?

      1. Dear teacher Tony, first and foremost, I am so grateful to you for your immense kindness and valuable support. The three my incorrect answers that you flagged up, has challenged me mostly. I had been listening and reading many times them, before deciding. The singer shot dead the rival, consequently, the singer grabbed the wild cowboy’s gun first. Only one rifle’s bullet was burning inside the dying singer’s chest. So, how can it be different? I am not able to understand quite nothing by listening, while I am quite confident by reading. This is my painful disappointment. Faithfully yours. Giuseppe

        1. Hi Giuseppe. Well, it’s not easy and the most important thing is to think about it and work with the English language!

          Regarding question 8, we have the following line: “I challenged his right for the love of this maiden, down went his hand for the gun that he wore”. This means that as soon as the singer asked the stranger what he was doing with Feleena, the stranger reached for his gun. So although the singer was quicker and managed to ill the stranger, it was the stranger who actually reached for his gun first. I don’t think the singer grabbed the stranger’s gun because he had his own gun. Remember that we are calling him “the singer” but in fact he is also a cowboy and would have had his own gun!

          Regarding question 14 we have two clues: “Something is dreadfully wrong for I feel a deep burning pain in my side”. This, I believe, is the first bullet which hits him in the side. After this he falls off his horse but he gets up again and then we have: “I see the white puff of smoke from the rifle, I feel the bullet go deep in my chest”. This is, I believe, the second bullet, and the one that eventually kills him.
          What do you think now?

          1. Dear Tony you have finally unveiled the discrepancies that were troubling me. I was wondering whether the meaning of “to reach the gun” was “to touch it” or “to use it
            “. Furthermore, I noticed that the singer was talking about a bullet in his side and then in his chest, but I judged it just as a poetic mistake. Now everything is clear. Thank you again

            1. Well, I hope you enjoyed it! Doing this kind of exercise isn’t as much about getting it right or wrong (although that’s always very satisfying, of course) but more about activating your acquired language resources in a specific activity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s