Songs To Teach ESL Topics

ESL and EFL teachers looking for inspiration to stimulate class discussions will find this list of songs to teach ESL topics we’ve compiled a useful resource.

Highlighted are songs available as complete ESL song lesson plans here on

Business & Money

Songs about jobs & work

Shania Twain / Not Just A Pretty Face (lyrics)
Dolly Parton / Nine To Five (lyrics)
The Kinks / Nine To Five (lyrics)

Songs about wealth & poverty

Travie McCoy / Billionaire (lyrics)
Barenaked Ladies / If I Had $1,000,000 (lyrics)
Gwen Stefani / Rich Girl (lyrics)
Spin Doctors / Two Princes (lyrics)

Culture & Customs

Songs for Australia Day

Midnight Oil / Beds Are Burning (lyrics)
Men At Work / Land Down Under (lyrics)

Songs for Christmas

Bing Crosby / White Christmas (lyrics)
Chris Rea / Driving Home For Christmas (lyrics)

Songs for Halloween

Michael Jackson / Thriller (lyrics)
Sting / Moon Over Bourbon Street (lyrics)

Songs for St Patrick’s Day

U2 / Beautiful Day (lyrics)
Johnny Cash / Galway Bay (lyrics)

Songs for Valentine’s Day

Barry Louis polisar / All I Want Is You (lyrics)
Linkin Park / Valentine’s Day (lyrics)
Madness / It Must Be Love (lyrics)


Songs about bullying

Nizlopi / JCB Song (lyrics)
Superchick / Hero

Songs about school

Busted / What I Go To School For (lyrics)
Alice Cooper / School’s Out (lyrics)

Environment & Natural World

Songs about the environment

Joni Mitchell / Big Yellow Taxi
Michael Jackson / Earth Song
The Kinks / Apeman (lyrics)
The Kinks / A Gallon Of Gas (lyrics)

Songs about the weather

Bing Crosby / Let It Snow (lyrics)
Madonna / Rain (lyrics)
The Beatles / Here Comes The Sun (lyrics)
Travis / Why Does It Always Rain On Me? (lyrics)

Fashion & Beauty

Songs about beauty

Bob Dylan / Ugliest Girl In The World (lyrics)
Christina Aguilera / Beautiful (lyrics)
Right Said Fred / I’m Too Sexy (lyrics)
Sugababes / Ugly (lyrics)

Songs about fashion

Paolo Nutini / New Shoes (lyrics)
The Kinks / Dedicated Follower Of Fashion (lyrics)

Food & Drink

Songs about food & drink

Beach Boys / Vegetables (lyrics)
Oliver / Food Glorious Food (lyrics)
The Kinks / Have A Cuppa Tea (lyrics)
The Kinks / Maximum Consumption (lyrics)
ZZ Top / TV Dinners (lyrics)
Weird Al Yankovic / Eat It

Songs about food shopping

B. Springsteen / Queen Of The Supermarket (lyrics)
They Might Be Giants / I Am A Grocery Bag (lyrics)

Health & Fitness

Songs about good health

Nina Simone / I Got Life (lyrics)

Songs about illness

Bon Jovi / Bad Medicine (lyrics)
Athlete / Wires (lyrics)
My Chemical Romance / Cancer (lyrics)
Flaming Lips / Spiderbite Song (lyrics)


Songs about past times

Brian Adams / Summer of ’69 (lyrics)

Media & Entertainment

Songs about fame & celebrity

Brian McFadden / Real To Me (lyrics)
Britney Spears / Piece Of Me (lyrics)
Jennifer Lopez / Jenny From The Block (lyrics)
Lily Allen / The Fear (lyrics)
Lady GaGa / Paparazzi (lyrics)

Songs about art

Vincent / Don McLean (lyrics)
Norah Jones / Painter Song

Life & Relationships

Songs about arguments

Arctic Monkeys / Mardy Bum (lyrics)
Black Eyed Peas / Shut Up (lyrics)
Deep Purple / The Spanish Archer (lyrics)

Songs about divorce

Pink / Family Portrait (lyrics)
Usher / Papers (lyrics)

Songs about feeling low

Bobby McFerrin / Don’t Worry Be Happy (lyrics)
Oasis / Stop Crying Your Heart Out (lyrics)

Songs about honesty

Beyonce Knowles / Honesty (lyrics)
Mr Hudson / White Lies (lyrics)

Songs about jealousy

Busted / Who’s David? (lyrics)
John Lennon / Jealous Guy (lyrics)

Songs about love & marriage

Barry Louis Polisar / All I Want Is You (lyrics)
Robbie Williams / Something Stupid (lyrics)

Songs about suicide

Good Charlotte / Hold On (lyrics)
Missy Higgins / The River (lyrics)

Songs about unrequited love

James Blunt / You’re Beautiful
Radiohead / Creep (lyrics)

Politics & Social Issues

Songs about conspiracy theory

Mike & The Mechanics / Silent Running (lyrics)
Muse / Rule By Secrecy (lyrics)
REM / Man On The Moon (lyrics)

Songs about homelessness

Genesis / Man On The Corner (lyrics)
Phil Collins / Another Day In Paradise (lyrics)
Stereophonics / Lying In The Sun (lyrics)

Songs about war

Black Eyed Peas / Where Is The Love? (lyrics)
Bob Dylan / Blowing In The Wind (lyrics)
Green Day / Holiday (lyrics)
John Lennon / Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (lyrics)

Science & Technology

Songs about space

Elton John / Rocket Man (lyrics)
The Killers / Spaceman (lyrics)

Songs about technology

Queen / Radio Ga Ga
Radiohead / Fitter Happier (lyrics)
The Buggles / Video Killed The Radio Star (lyrics)

Travel & Transport

Songs about driving

Chris Rea / Driving Home For Christmas (lyrics)
Madness / Driving In My Car

Songs about flying

John Denver / Leaving On A Jetplane (lyrics)
Lenny Kravitz / Fly Away (lyrics)
Michael Buble / Come Fly With Me (lyrics)

Songs about places

Alicia Keys / Empire State Of Mind (lyrics)
Elton John / Belfast (lyrics)
Stereophonics / Nice To Be Out (lyrics)
Sting / Englishman In New York
Tony Christie / Amarillo (lyrics)
Will Smith / Miami (lyrics)


Feel free to contact us with your own suggestions.

Also see our table of songs to teach English grammar.

If you found this list of songs for discussion topics useful, why not link to this page?

Tefl Tunes does not grant you permission or licence to use any songs or song lyrics in a classroom or elsewhere. Before using any of the lesson plans or lesson ideas on you must ensure you have permission to use the relevant songs and song lyrics.

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