Understand song meanings by listening to our audio explanations in easy English. The podcast format is designed for intermediate to advanced learners and will help you appreciate the music without translations. Happy listening!

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About the project

Picture of Kiah, the creator of Explained in English

Hello! My name is Kiah and I'm an English teacher from the USA. My students love music but find it hard to understand song meanings without translating.

This project aims to help English learners feel confident in understanding and appreciating songs using only English.

Music Playlists

Every song on these playlists has an explanation file to go with it which you can find on the website. Discover new songs to learn or practice after listening to explanations.


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Questions & Answers

  • What level learner is this podcast for?
  • The podcast is mainly intended for intermediate to advanced students. If you are a true beginner many of the explanations will be challenging. I suggest that you start with the basic level ✦✧✧, where I explain more of the words, phrases, and grammar.

  • Why learn English with music?
  • I'm so glad you asked :) Music is beautiful and genuine. It speaks to our emotions, but also teaches us about people, places, history, and events (this is culture). In studying song lyrics, you get a range of vocabulary, from familiar, everyday words to poetic and highly sophisticated language. Songs can be listened to over and over without getting old, so they are a great way to review after learning.

    There is so much variety in music and it's always changing to reflect the people and society. English songs in particular have had enormous popularity around the world. They're referenced in movies, books, TV, even by other music artists. But, they're truly best when you understand what they mean. While I don't recommend learning English only through music, it's definitely a key part of becoming a well-rounded and fluent speaker.

  • What if I don't understand the explanation?
  • If you struggle then try reading along with the transcription and song lyrics. With enough practice you'll no longer need that support, but in the beginning it helps your brain form connections between the sounds and written words.

    Another method you can use is to visualize or picture the words and images in your mind as you listen. I also suggest rewinding certain parts or even listening to the whole explanation again. You'll be surprised at how much more you understand the second time.

    Finally, I should say that it's not uncommon to miss some words or phrases in the song explaination. That is, there's no need to memorize everything that I say. I purposefully use lots of synonyms to help you understand the original song lyrics and expand your vocab in a passive way. So, don't worry too much! In the end, if one or two words are really bothering you feel free to look them up in a bilingual dictionary.

  • Why not just use translations?
  • Translations are a fast way to understand the meanings of words, but intermediate to advanced students should listen to content entirely in English. This gives you the listening comprehension practice you need to understand native speakers and start thinking in English. You also learn new vocabulary and improve your circumloction (defining or explaining words you don't know), a key skill for language learners.

  • Why do you explain simple words?
  • Explained in English is a podcast for English learners all over the world, from many different linguistic backgrounds. If your native language is germanic or latin-based, many English words will be familiar, however, these same words might be completely foreign to other learners.

    If you already know the word or phrase being explained, pay attention to the synonyms and additional phrases. You can also search for advanced level ✦✦✦ songs, where I explain fewer basic words and dedicate more time to analysis and interpretation of the lyrics.

  • Can I request a song?
  • Of course! I'm always happy to take explanation requests from listeners. Click here to send me a message.

    Get in touch

    Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome! You can email me at: info@explainedinenglish.com