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    #1

    video killed the radio star

    Hello, teachers
    I downloaded the lyrics of this song and I can gather the general meaning (it's basically in the title).
    But my question is particularly about the first three lines.
    I heard you on the wireless back in fifty two
    Lying awake intent at tuning in on you
    If I was young it didn't stop you coming through

    1) LIne one: Does "the wireless" refer to the radio, and "52" to the year?
    2) Line 2: What is the meaning of "I intent at tuning it on you?"
    3) Line 3: No idea what it means. Can anybody tell me, please?
    Thanks a lot, teachers

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: video killed the radio star

    Quote Originally Posted by ana2005 View Post
    Hello, teachers
    I downloaded the lyrics of this song and I can gather the general meaning (it's basically in the title).
    But my question is particularly about the first three lines.
    I heard you on the wireless back in fifty two
    Lying awake intent at tuning in on you
    If I was young it didn't stop you coming through

    1) LIne one: Does "the wireless" refer to the radio, and "52" to the year?
    2) Line 2: What is the meaning of "I intent at tuning it on you?"
    3) Line 3: No idea what it means. Can anybody tell me, please?
    Thanks a lot, teachers
    Re: 2 and 3, you have to imagine a teenager secretly listening to a small radio under the bedclothes. Was it before the invention of the transistor? Even if not, transistor radios weren't common, and there were two other sorts:
    • A valve radio - much too big for listening in bed. There was usually one in a household (if that), in pride of place in the living room (not a child's bedroom).
    • A crystal set - very small, and with no power source. The power for the earphones came from the signal itself, so the sound was very faint and fluctuated. The user had to 'tune in' - adjust the tuning dial - constantly.


    That gives the background; but the actual words sound rather strange. Internet lyrics are notorious. 'I intent at' is a form of words I've never met before; perhaps it means 'I was intent on' [that is, I was trying hard].

    b

    PS This (Regency TR-1 Transistor Radio Facts and Figures) dates 'the world's first pocket radio' (using transistors) to 1954, so in 1952 the singer must have been using a Crystal radio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Last edited by BobK; 22-Feb-2007 at 19:23. Reason: PS added

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    #3

    Re: video killed the radio star

    Thank you very much BobK!

    Your hint about the situation is very clarifying. I had never heard of a crystal radio! (... and I must confess the explanation in Wikipaedia was rather obscure to me)

    So I suppose line 3 is something like "Even though I was young, I was determined to listen to you" or something like that. The point is, I couldn't see a connection between that conditional at the beginning of the sentence and the second part of it.

    Thanks again

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: video killed the radio star

    Quote Originally Posted by ana2005 View Post
    Thank you very much BobK!
    Your hint about the situation is very clarifying. I had never heard of a crystal radio! (... and I must confess the explanation in Wikipaedia was rather obscure to me)
    So I suppose line 3 is something like "Even though I was young, I was determined to listen to you" or something like that. The point is, I couldn't see a connection between that conditional at the beginning of the sentence and the second part of it.
    Thanks again

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