Are the Beatles still popular? Who listens to their music? Who is James Corden and why is he carpooling with Paul McCartney? Let’s go on a trip around Liverpool.
WE 003: Carpool
Hi, my name is Sylvia. I’m passionate about languages, English in particular.
Welcome to my world, world of English.
Hi, hello and welcome. This is our third meeting, I am very glad that you have
decided to join me, to listen to me and I hope you will have some good time spent
You know the rule, right, so each podcast, each episode is about a different
thing, a different idea and today it will be the same just like in the very first one
and in the second podcast.
As I was preparing for this recording, and I was looking for inspiration, I
watched a wonderful programme, I watched a wonderful broadcast and that was
the basis for the podcast that I have prepared for you this time. The broadcast that
I’m talking about is called Carpool and its host is James Corden.
Some of you may know James Corden already but I guess for those of you who
don’t know him, it is advisable to introduce this person. He is a truly amazing
person, he is a British presenter, musician, actor, celebrity. He got instantly very
popular, both in Britain and in America, he got very popular with his show The late
late show. The idea of the show is quite simple, he invites different people to the
studio, actors, musicians, celebrities and conducts wonderful interviews, very
funny, bright, intelligent so it is a great thing to watch and listen to.
His recent idea is called Carpool. I have already mentioned this name of the
programme, and again, possibly, there are some of you who know the programme,
who know the idea of the programme but there are those who need a little bit of
I will start by saying what the very word carpool means. So carpool as the
verb means to go to work, most often, so that is to commute, with some other
people in one car and in this way you share the cost of driving. It is very popular in
Britain, ideally the driver also changes, so one week there is one person, another
week there is another person, the third week there is the third passenger, and
people really enjoy it, it is great fun because you not only share the cost of driving,
but you also spend some great time in good company, going to work or coming
Of course James Corden is not commuting to work with his friends or
colleagues from work, he has come up with a very great idea of a programme
where he invites, indeed he invites to his car people, but they are not just regular
people, they are the well-known persons, so they are the actors, musicians,
celebrities, people from covers of the magazines. And that is what happens this
time. So he invited a great person to his car for driving and this great person was
sir Paul McCartney.
As I was introducing James Corden, which seemed very natural for me, I
thought, preparing for the podcast, for the recording, I thought to myself, shall I
introduce Paul McCartney? The instant answer was that I shouldn’t. But then I
remembered, I remembered one of my classes when I was talking about a given
thing, and I made some reference to the Beatles, and the people, the teenagers
who were sitting in a classroom at that time with me, they looked at me a little bit
suspiciously just showing alright, we have heard the name the Beatles, but we
don’t know who they really are.
I know it seems shocking because for my generation, and for other
generations, well I don’t want to say older generations but basically this is what I
actually mean, so all the people who grew up in the 60s, in the 70s, the Beatles
were like a key word, right. They were this great band, people fell in love with
their music instantly, they listened to their music, they fell in love with their
partners for the first time dancing to their music, to their songs, people went to
discos, they went to parties, they danced all night, listened to the Beatles, it was
just a natural thing to do.
Of course times have changed and in the 21st century the Beatles are not that
great any longer, at least for the younger generation and it seems a little bit that
they have become a thing of the past but, fortunately, they haven’t as a matter of
But I’ll start with the very beginning. So, I will introduce the Beatles to all of
you who don’t know them that well. So, they are this British pop group. Some of
you may say that it is not actually pop but it is rock and roll. It is very difficulty
actually to put them into one basket so to say, into one place with their music.
Well, definitely their music was the popular music, that’s way I ventured to say the
pop music, but of course they played rock and roll, they inspired with rock and roll.
They were super popular in the 60s and this is the time when they were producing
their music. They split up in 1970 and from then on it seems that their music has
been still very popular although musically, right, the world has changed a lot, but
what has remained and this is the strength of this music, this is the heart of this
music is the message. And the message of the Beatles’ music is love, right, is
friendship, is building bridges, is making love not war, is living together, is making
the world a better place. And it seems that these ideas are very universal and
although the world has changed greatly, the universal ideas haven’t changed that
much which is great and this is what you can watch in the episode of the Carpool
series with Paul McCartney.
Why? Well, James Corden invites, as usual, Paul McCartney for a ride, they
meet in Liverpool, they are driving through the streets of Liverpool, looking at the
city, looking at how it has changed, but also showing the viewers, the most popular
places connected with the Beatles, including family homes, the schools that they
attended, churches that they frequented and all the other places that were
connected with them. There are a lot of emotional moments there, one of them
and that’s a true story, one of them was super emotional for the host, for James
because he simply started to cry. Maybe not very hysterically but yes, he shed a
tear or two because they were talking about the song Let it be.
Everybody, well all of you who know the song, they know what I am talking
about, it is a very personal song, song in which Paul McCartney sings about coming
to terms with reality, with the fate, with what is going on around in your life or in
the world. And Paul McCartney was talking about the beginnings of this song, the
origins of this song and as a matter of fact it was written on the basis of a dream
that Paul had, he was dreaming about his late mother. Unfortunately, he lost his
mother very early as a young boy and he was dreaming that his mother came to
him and said that everything would be alright, that he shouldn’t worry, that he will
be fine, and so he shouldn’t worry, just let it be, right, just live and enjoy the life
and enjoy the world.
A very emotional moment, James Corden mentioned at that time that it also
brings back memories of his grandfather because his grandfather and his father
they were the two people who showed the Beatles’ music to him, and the Beatles
music was connected or is connected for him with his childhood, with his great
memories of his grandfather, with his happiest moments and this is what happens
very often, this is how people think about the Beatles’ music, they associate this
music with some great events in their lives, with growing up, with the best
moments of their teenage years, with some great loves of theirs, parties, best
friends. And the message of the Beatles’ music is truly fantastic here.
Enough of this emotional ideas, and now we’ll move on to the trip because
this interview is also a trip. As I said, James Corden takes Paul McCartney for a ride
and they are driving through the streets of Liverpool, Paul is showing different
places of his childhood, of his teenage years, and they also go to his family house.
He left the house as a young man, just to win the world, right, so when he left the
house the Beatles were already popular, and later on they jus grew in popularity,
they just became this worldwide sensation. For the Beatles fans and I hope that
there are the Beatles fans who are listening to me, for those of you who perhaps
know or perhaps would like to go to Liverpool to check for themselves, the family
house of Paul McCartney and also John Lennon, they are museums, they are
national museums, you can go there, of course buy a ticket, and there is this host,
who will guide you through, who will show you the great places of the house, so
the whole interiors of the house are intact, so that means that they were kept in
the same way as they were in the 60s when the Beatles were living there. And so
when you enter the room, you feel as if the time stopped simply, right, cause, you
enter the house from the past.
This is a very great adventure, a very great experience and I can tell you this
because I was the lucky one to visit these houses, both Paul McCartney’s and John
Lennon’s. Really, a unique experience, anyone who is in Liverpool and would like to
follow the steps of the Beatles, walk down their paths in Liverpool, they should go
and see this.
What is also fantastic about the programme that I am talking about is the
sense of humour, is the English, so here we come to the very core of the matter.
English is great, it is witty, the presenter is very witty, Paul McCartney is also in a
very good mood, they are singing songs, they are speaking great English, both of
them are British so if you are interested in British English it is a great lesson for you
to listen to this conversation.
As a matter of fact, I’ve got this question I was thinking about if the Beatles
are still that much popular, and I would like you to tell me if this is so. For me they
are this great band, I also associate their music with one of my best years, with my
teenage years, with some greatest moments in life. I wonder if you agree with me,
I wonder what your musical tastes are. As I said, the world has changed much but
in my opinion what the Beatles have to offer, the message that they are conveying
to the world is very universal. Although their songs are, they seem, right, to be
quite simple and light, they are also musically complex, at least in the second part
of their creation because I guess you can divide their creation into two stages,
right. So the first stage was this pop stage, for popular audience when they got
enormous popularity, like everybody knew them, right, everybody in Britain, in
Europe, and of course in America which was quite shocking when they went to
America and they saw all the crowds at the airport and all the crowds who came to
their concerts. So that was the time when they gained enormous popularity. But
later on they resigned from playing concerts, and they resigned from playing
concerts because simply that was impossible for them to play good music. They
couldn’t hear themselves, they were unable to listen to what they were singing
about because the crowds, the audiences that came to the concerts, they were
making so much noise that the concerts became actually some acts of circus rather
than some musical experience. And so they decided later on that they wouldn’t like
to play any concerts anymore, and they just went to the recording studio and they
recorded their albums.
And in the second stage of their musical creation they became a little bit
more revolutionary, they were looking for some new solutions, and there is this
saying popularised by their producer George Martin, a great figure, that if there
was a sound they couldn’t find, they would look for it under the desk or in the
closet. So we have to remember that technology at that time wasn’t that advanced
as it is now so producing some sounds wasn’t that easy, right. Now when we enter a
recording studio, we have many more opportunities, it is much easier, right, to just
press the button and try out different varieties, try out different sounds. At that
time it wasn’t. So it was real mastery to produce that kind of music.
I hope you agree with me, or actually, I wonder if you agree with me. That is
what is very close to my heart, so the Beatles are very close to my heart. I wonder
what kind of music you like, what kind of music you listen to, whether you like the
radio, whether you listen to music on your iPods, and what kind of music is your
I would like to thank you, for joining me, for being with me today again, and
as always, I hope you have learnt some new expressions, I hope you have learnt
something new, about the Beatles, for instance, and I hope you will come back
next time. Goodbye.
broadcast – audycja/ program
advisable – celowy/ stosowny/ pożyteczny
(to) conduct – prowadzić/ przeprowadzać
(to) share the cost – dzielić się kosztem
(to) carpool – podwozić się wzajemnie do pracy
instant – natychmiastowy
(to) make reference to – nawiązywać do
suspiciously – podejrzanie
(to) split up – zerwać z kimś/ przestać być razem/ rozpaść się
(to) venture – odważyć się coś zrobić
a thing of the past – być przeszłością/ niepopularnym
strength – siła
(to) shed a tear – uronić łzę
(to) frequent – być częstym bywalcem
(to) attend – uczęszczać
late – zmarły
(to) grow in popularity – zyskiwać na popularności
intact – nietknięty/ nienaruszony
core of the matter – sedno sprawy
interiors – wnętrza
(to) resign – rezygnować
(to) convey – przekazywać