Beat It - Michael Jackson

Let's resolve our differences in peaceful ways, fighting is not the answer.  

This is the actual message of the Michael Jackson song, Beat It. For those unfamiliar with American English phrases and slang, "beat it" means "get out of here" or "leave." Michael Jackson had a lot of songs with good and inspiring messages. The other song I really am inspired by is Man in the Mirror, which basically means if you want to see change in this world, have it come from you first. You be the change you want to see in this world! 

This post is not about that, although thinking about those concepts does leave a feel-good feeling, don't they? This post is about how we can improve our listening comprehension through listening to American songs. In previous posts, I have shared songs by Kenny Rogers, Guns 'n Roses and Jim Croche

For this post, I suggest you to take a listen to the Michael Jackson song, Beat It without following the lyrics. Unlike the songs in the other posts that may be closer to how Americans speak when speaking fast, the lyrics in this song are much faster. Due to this, the words in many sections get combined in ways that make them unrecognizable. Yes, even native speakers do not always follow the lyrics, either! 


They told im don|chu eva come around here
Don't wan|na see yer face, you bet|ter
dis|ap|pear
The fire's in their eyes and their words are real|ly clear

So beat it, just beat it

You bet|ter run, you bet|ter do wha|chu can
Don't wan|na see no blood, don't be a ma|cho man
You wan|na be tough, you bet|ter do wha|chu can
So beat it, but|chu wan|na be bad

Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it
No one wants to be de|fea|ted
Show|in' how fun|ky and strong is yer fight
It doe|sn't mat|ter who's wrong er right
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it

They're out|ta gec|hu, bet|ter leave while you can
Don't wan|na be a boy, you wan|na be a man
You wan|na stay a|live, bet|ter do wha|chu can
So beat it, just beat it

You have to show ‘em that you're real|ly not scared
You're pla|yin' wich|yer life, this ain't no truth er dare
They'll kick you, then they bea|chu,
Then they'll tell you it's fair
So beat it, but you want to be bad

Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it
No one wants to be de|fea|ted
Show|in' how fun|ky and strong is yer fight
It doe|sn't mat|ter who's wrong er right
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it
Just beat it, beat it
Repeat this chorus until the end

Jennifer Kumar is an American expat living in Kochi, India. She is the Managing Director of Authentic Journeys, a consultancy specializing in providing cross-cultural and business communication strategy sessions to help Indian US-facing counterparts bridge the US culture gap with their onsite American clients and counterparts.

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