Flame Trees – song by Cold Chisel

flame trees

Flame Trees” is a song by Australian pub rock band Cold Chisel from their 1984 album Twentieth Century. It is one of their best known songs, and was written by drummer Steve Prestwich and organist Don Walker.

According to the band’s official website, Walker’s inspiration for the lyrics was a combination of his memories of Grafton where he had lived as a youth, and of his romantic dreams.  It’s really a story of love, regrets about “the one who got away”, and realising that you can never go back to the way things used to be.

The song title refers to Illawarra Flame Trees which grow on the east coast of Australia and often line roads. They turn vivid red in late spring when flowering.

These song lyrics can be used to teach vocabulary and the music video shows a typical Australian country town.   Continue reading to watch music videos and read the lyrics.

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Talking about the future in English

futureI wrote this post to share a 4 page document on talking about the future.    There are many ways to talk about the future in English depending on the purpose. In this document I give reasons for using the following forms, with examples of positive and negative sentences, and questions.

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Australian and American English – 6 Confusing Words


This blog post is for sharing a short video about six words which have different meanings in Australian and American English. Enjoy!

Continue reading to see the video on YouTube and a transcript of the video.

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The Vocabulary of Mobile Phones


This article is a summary of vocabulary I have taught on the topic of smart phones.

A mobile phone a telephone with access to a cellular network  system so it can be used over a wide area, without a physical connection to a network.   Before mobile phones there were land-line phones. In Australia we call it a “mobile” and in America they call them cell-phones.

A smart phone is a mobile phone that performs many of the functions of a computer, typically having a touchscreen interface, Internet access, camera, and an operating system capable of running downloaded apps (programs downloaded from the Apple iStore or Google Play). A user needs to find a service provider and a plan of which there are many kinds – prepaid, SIM Only, or a monthly plan. Often there is a contract which includes the purchase of the phone.

The main service providers in Australia are Telstra, Optus, Virgin and  Vodaphone . Do you use another provider? Let me know in the comments.

What do you call smart phone in other languages?   keita-denwa (Japanese),  handphone 핸드폰 Handeupon  (Korean),  teléfono móvil (Spanish),  cellular (Portuguese).

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