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Thread: downtown


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #1

    downtown

    Hi there.

    1. Is the term 'noise and hurry' singular or plural? Is it common?

    2. What does 'hang around' mean? Is it a common usage? Is it the same as 'hang out'? What are the differences if they are not the same?

    3. "You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over."
    Does them refer to the people there?

    Thanks in advance.

    _______________
    The Song

    When you're alone, and life is making you lonely
    You can always go
    Downtown

    When you've got worries, all the noise and hurry
    Seems to help, I know
    Downtown

    Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city,
    Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
    How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there...
    You can forget all your troubles; forget all your cares, and go
    Downtown -- things will be great when you're
    Downtown -- you'll find a place for sure
    Downtown -- everything's waiting for you

    Downtown .... Downtown...

    Don't hang around, and let your problems surround you,
    There are movie shows
    Downtown

    Maybe you know some little places to go to
    Where they never close
    Downtown

    Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle Bossa Nova
    You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over,
    Happy again...
    The lights are much brighter there,
    You can forget all your troubles; forget all your cares, and go
    Downtown -- where all the lights are bright
    Downtown -- waiting for you tonight
    Downtown -- you're gonna be all right now...

    Downtown...Downtown...Downtown...

    Downtown!

    Downtown!

    And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you;
    Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
    Guide them along...
    So maybe I'll see you there,
    We can forget all our troubles; forget all our cares, and go
    Downtown -- things will be great when you're
    Downtown -- don't wait a minute more
    Downtown -- everything's waiting for you...

    Downtown...Downtown
    Downtown...Downtown
    Downtown...Downtown
    Downtown...Downtown
    Downtown...Downtown (fade)


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: downtown

    1. Is the term 'noise and hurry' singular or plural? Is it common? There are two things being referred to: noise and hurry [bustle]. It is not an idiomatic phrase in itself.

    2. What does 'hang around' mean? Is it a common usage? Is it the same as 'hang out'? What are the differences if they are not the same? Don't loiter - don't just stand about. No, it is not the same as "hang out" which means to socialise.

    3. "You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over."
    Does them refer to the people there? probably.


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    #3

    Re: downtown

    Hi, Anglika.

    "When you've got worries, all the noise and hurry seems to help."

    There are two things being referred to: noise and hurry [bustle]. It is not an idiomatic phrase in itself.



    I wonder why a singular form of verb seems is used if noise and hurry mean two things? Why not noise and hurry seem to help?

    Thanks for the reply.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #4

    Re: downtown

    "All" is the important word. "All the noise and hurry" is being used as a portmanteau phrase so it takes the singular verb.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
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      • English
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      • UK
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      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #5

    Re: downtown

    A couple of asides:

    In my memory of the song (as sung by Petula Clarke back when I had a crush on her , so I'm talking about something I haven't heard for a good few years) it was 'All the noise and the hurry' (repeating the rhythm of 'life is making you lonely').

    "with 'em" is an internal rhyme with "rhythm". As the scene evoked is some kind of night-club, the 'them' probably refers to other patrons dancing. At a push, one could say that the 'them' might refer to the instruments or the musicians who were playing the bossa nova - which would make the 'them' refer to something that had at least been mentioned in the previous line - but I don't think it's worth worrying too deeply about the sense; the lyricist was just looking for the rhyme, and probably didn't know what he or she meant anyway.

    b

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