Listen

Listen to* the rhythm, listen to the rhyme
Listen to the clock tick tock the hands of time
Ticking, tocking, constantly revolving
Listen to the problems of the world that need solving *
Listen to the child crying in the crib *
And listen to the sick act that daddy did
See daddy turned his back on all of his responsibilities
Listen how mommy copes * to the best of her abilities
Listen to the cliche * rapper that’s bragging *
Listen to the mother who is always nagging *
Her son to get up and do something with his life
Listen to the vows when you’re marrying your wife
Listen to the scream of a mother giving birth
Listen to the sorrow * of our Mother Earth
Listen to the beggarman * begging * in the street
Please can you spare some change so I can get some food to eat
Listen to the plight * of the homeless *
And if you listen to the pessimists * everything’s hopeless
Listen to your heart, listen to your soul
Listen to your conscience, let it take control
And just listen

Écoute la palombe, paisible dans le ciel
Écoute aussi la balle qui lui déchire les ailes
Qui est l’animal, l’oiseau ou le tireur ?
Ou celui qui vend l’arme, qui lui déchire le cœur ?
Écoute le dernier ‘pff’ d’un soldat inconnu
Écoute tomber les larmes d’une femme qu’on fait cocue
Écoute le consensus dans son entourage
Il était consciencieux quelle force et quel courage
Écoute plutôt le ‘bzz’ des ailes de l’abeille
Elle se fout du bizz, l’essentiel est le miel
Écoute aussi le ‘pshit’ que fait l’insecticide
Comme dans le monde actuel elle a choisi le génocide
Le Pen traîne sa haine malsaine
Écoute plutôt ton cœur, pas la flamme de la haine
Écoute plutôt le bon, pas la brute ou le truand
Écoute ce qui apaise

Écoute moi ce son

Listen to the fascists looking for your vote
Listen how he gets some with a scapegoat *
He sees your tears and plays on your fears
Till * his promises become music to your ears

Écoute le clic-clac d’une paire de menottes
Le système est malade mais est-ce bien l’antidote ?
Écoute la sirène qui file dans le domaine
La haine est la même, même dans ce domaine

Listen to the horrors my people saw
Listen to the politics of the gulf war
Place all the blame and name Hussein insane
Listen how he said two can play the same game *

Écoute le chant du coq, le solfège s’en moque
Écoute le chantage des rois du bavardage
Écoute le tonner, près vert, guerre à la guerre
Écoute le croyant quand il fait sa prière

* Listen – listen to
Careful careful! I often hear students say: I listened *___* the radio.
NO NO NO! => I listened to the radio.In English, you listen TO something. However, if there’s no object – in imperative sentences, for example – don’t use ‘to’:

  • Are you listening?
  • Listen!

Spanish-speaking people also have difficulty differentiating between hear and listen.

If there’s some noise, you hear it because it’s there, you don’t really focus on it. It’s more passive. (oír)

You listen to something because you’re interested in it. It’s more active. (escuchar)

For instance, I constantly hear my neighbours fight. I just hear them because I’m really not interested in their fights, the reason why they argue… It’s just noise.

However, if you like gossip and you hear some colleagues talking about Mike and Bertha, you might want to listen to what they’re saying.

So, never tell someone ‘I’m not listening to you‘ if you simply don’t hear them because there’s noise. It sounds rude. Tell them ‘I don’t hear you (well)‘.

Urban Species is a British hip-hop band that mostly got famous in the 1990s. Their most famous song is Spiritual love

MC Solaar is a French rapper born in Dakar. He also became famous in the 1990s with songs such as Bouge de là et Caroline.


Listen 
was released in 1993 but weirdly enough, the topics addressed in this song are still present in 2017:
“Le Pen traîne sa haine malsaine” = here, MC Solaar is not talking about Marine Le Pen (who ran for president in the last French election) but about her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who was becoming really popular at the time. He actually made it to the second (and final) round of the French presidential election in 2002, like his daughter this year. 

“Listen to the fascists looking for your vote” = still so true now, maybe even more than in the past, as we witness the rise of far-right parties in many countries.

At the time, we talked about the Gulf War, but since then, the Middle East has never been at peace.