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  1. #1
    backonstage is offline Newbie
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    "If someone would lend their ears to me"

    Hello there,
    not being a native English speaker, I'd like to know if the following chorus line for a song is grammatically correct. The words in questions are marked in bold faces.

    "If someone would listen to me
    What would I say
    If someone would lend their ears to me
    I know what I would say"


    What's making me wonder is that, back in school, we learned never to use "would" in an if-clause. So it should be "if someone listened" etc...
    However, this doesn't go with the song's meter and melody. The context of the quoted lyrics is that the narrator has a lot to say and wants to change the world with his song, but she is all on her own with a desire of being heard.

    Secondly, there might be a problem with the word order in the 3rd line. Like Ringo Starr once sang "Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song", I am asking you if the change "lend their ears to me" will be understood in the same way. (Of course, it shall not sound like "tearing off your ears and hand them over to me")

    Thanking you in anticipation!
    Thomas

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: "If someone would lend their ears to me"

    Quote Originally Posted by backonstage View Post
    Like Ringo Starr once sang "Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song"
    Thomas
    This is not to the point of your question, and I could be wrong, but I always thought it was Paul McCartney who sang those words, rather than Ringo.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is online now VIP Member
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    Re: "If someone would lend their ears to me"

    There are a three points here:

    1. It is possible to use 'would' in an if- clause if the meaning conveyed is willingness/preparedness:

    If you would only switch off that computer for a few minutes, we might be able to have a real conversation.

    2. As we so often say, you cannot use song lyrics as examples of natural language. Rhyme, rhythm and overall effect are usually more important to song-writers than grammar.

    3. 'Lend something to someone' is as clear 'Lend someone something'

  4. #4
    Amigos4's Avatar
    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
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    Re: "If someone would lend their ears to me"

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    This is not to the point of your question, and I could be wrong, but I always thought it was Paul McCartney who sang those words, rather than Ringo.
    Probus, Lennon and McCartney wrote the lyrics but Ringo was the lead vocal for this song. It is, arguably, Ringo's finest vocal with the group!

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