A song with Collocations and Idioms


                          Making friends                                      Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash.com

Photo by Bùi Thanh Tâm on Unsplash

        This university graduate has high hopes.           Photo by Bùi Thanh Tâm on Unsplash.com

The English language is full of collocations and idioms.

By collocations, I mean words that naturally go together like high hopes,heavy rain, and ‘make friends. We don’t say ‘tall hopes’, ‘huge rain‘ or ‘produce friends‘. 

Idioms are expressions whose meaning cannot be predicted by the words in the expression; for example, to kick the bucket which means ‘to die’; and to be under the weather(‘to feel sick’).

Today, I’m focusing on a song which contains numerous collocations and idioms. This means that you can enjoy fabulous music and improve your English vocabulary at the same time. Too easy!

Have a look below at the lyrics to the song High Hopes by Panic! At the Disco. 

The collocations are shown in pink and the idioms are blue. Sometimes, it’s not clear whether a group of words is a collocation or an idiom. Don’t worry. Think of them all as expressions that need to be remembered as a fixed chunk. The idioms are linked to an online idioms dictionary. As always, you can listen to the song on YouTube. Click here for the official video. Click here for the video with lyrics. 

Song: High Hopes by Panic! At the Disco. 

Had to have high high hopes for a living;
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing.
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision;
Always had high high hopes.
Had to have high high hopes for a living;
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was *gonna be that one in a million; (*going to)
Always had high high hopes.


Brendon Urie

[Verse 1]
Mama said                             
Fulfill the prophecy.
Be something greater.
Go make a legacy.
Manifest destiny.”
Back in the days,
We wanted everything.

Mama said
“Burn your biographies.
Rewrite your history.
Light up your wildest dreams,
Museum victories.”
We wanted everything.

Mama said
“Don’t give up; it’s a little complicated.

All tied up, no more love and I hate to see you waiting.”


[Verse 2]
Mama said
“It’s uphill for oddities,
The stranger crusaders
*Ain’t ever **wannabes.  (*aren’t / **want-to-be)


“No matter how hard your dreams seem, keep going. You might even have to climb up the side of a building in downtown LA, but it’ll all be worth it at the top.
Stay up on that rise … ” Brendon Urie

The weird and the novelties
Don’t ever change.”
We wanted everything.

Stay up on that rise.
Stay up on that rise.
Never come down.
Stay up on that rise.
Stay up on that rise.
Never come down.


[Pre-Chorus 2]
They say it’s all been done but they haven’t seen the best of me,
So I’ve got one more run and it’s gonna be a sight to see.


This entry was posted in Advanced (Level 6+), Intermediate (Level 4), Listening, Songs, Upper Intermediate (Level 5), Vocabulary, Writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A song with Collocations and Idioms

  1. Pingback: A song with Collocations and Idioms — Mary’s English Blog – Online English Teacher & Voice Coach

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