Coldplay in concert

Songs to Learn English – Used to and Would for Past

How can songs help you learn English? Read this blog post!

Used to by Chris Daughtry

Released in 2006 by the American pop rock singer

Theme: Lost love


This Used To Be My Playground by Madonna

Released in 1992 by the American pop singer

Theme: Childhood


Viva La Vida by Coldplay

Released in 2008 by the British pop group,

Theme: Revolution

Expressions: ‘Viva la vida’ (Spanish for ‘Long Live Life’), Christian imagery.


Used To Love Her by Guns n’ Roses

Released in 1998 by the American rock band.

Theme: Death

Expressions: Bitching, Fussing, Cussing, ‘to drive someone nuts’ (‘crazy’)


Cry, Cry, Cry by Oceana

Released in 2009 by the British pop R&B group.

Theme: Friendship

Note: ‘We were inseparately’, should be ‘we were inseparable’ – it’s not dialect, it’s just wrong.


The Way It Used To Be by The Pet Shop Boys

Released in 2009 by the British pop duo.

Theme: Lost Love

Expressions: ‘To be set in stone’, ‘water under the bridge’


Just My Imagination by The Cranberries

Released in 1999 by the Irish pop group.

Theme: Youth

Note: Also uses ‘would’ for past actions.



The River by Bruce Springsteen

Released in 1980 by the American rock singer.

Theme: Life/Jobs/Memories

Note: Non-standard English ‘like your daddy done’ in standard English this would be ‘like your daddy did’.