Cue Card # 11: Describe your favourite song or piece of music

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 11

Describe your favourite song or piece of music.

You should say:

  • what music or song it is
  • how often do you listen to it
  • who is the singer

and explain why this is your favourite song/ piece of music.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer:

It was the year 1991, I believe, if my memory serves me well. I was living and studying in Cyprus. Trying to gather some war news (1st gulf war between the USA and Iraq), I was flipping TV channels one after another. Then suddenly, I stopped pushing the buttons of the TV remote controller. I stopped not because I finally found the TV channel that I was searching for, but because I heard a very distinguished musical melody in a very distinguishable musical voice, which certainly meant to transcend generations and all kinds of song genres in my opinion. Immediately, I became fond of pop music (some will call it “rock”) which, up until then, never really gained much attention from me.

Needless to say, since that day, I have heard that song, composed and sung by Phil Collins, numerous times only to rediscover its musical appeal anew with its perfect melody, rhythm and harmony.

The song titled “I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh lord” was a solo single in debut, released in January 1981. The song remains as one of Phil Collins’ best-known hits of all time. Please understand that I am no music expert by any stretch of the imagination, but, until I heard this song, I never really knew that a song could be sung from such a low pitch to high pitch in such perfect manner. I also dare to suggest, this song probably would never sound quite the same had it been sung by another artist probably because the author, singer and drummer are the same person- Phil Collins. I have heard this song probably millions of time and it still offers a sensation to my ear and heart.

Am I exaggerating my experience as far as the singer/song is concerned? Perhaps so, but then again, who says that everything has to be said in fair and square terms when you are in love with something? Don’t they say that everything is fair in love and war? Oh, talking about love, Phil Collins wrote and sang this song after a bitter divorce from his first wife if we must know the historical background of this song.

Finally, if I don’t talk about drum-beats used in this song, it will be a great injustice to one of the greatest musical feats ever achieved in the entire musical history by a singer-cum-drummer. According to some critics, this song is especially famous for his drum break towards the end, which has been described as “the sleekest, most melodramatic drum break in history” and one of the “101 Greatest Drumming Moments”. To conclude “Jai ho” (hail, Phil Collins!) in the words of another world-famous music composer and singer, A. R. Rahman.

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