Idioms in Adele’s Songs

Are you a music lover? Do you like learning English with songs? If so, this post will definitely appeal to you. We’ve compiles a list of useful English idioms based on popular songs of Adele, a world-famous British singer and songwriter. Read the post, take notes and listen to the songs to the hear the idioms in context.

IDIOM: to count one’s blessings

MEANING: to be grateful for what one has

FROM: “Rolling in the Deep” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Count your blessings and stop complaining. 2. Count your blessings before going to sleep – it’s a great antidote to sadness. 3. We have many reasons to count our blessings. We just need to learn how to do it regularly.


IDIOM: you reap what you sow 

MEANING: your actions dictate the consequences

FROM: “Rolling in the Deep” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Parents reap what they sow. 2. You should be more attentive to the quality of your work. You reap what you sow, you know. 3. If you don’t respect your employees, don’t be surprised to see them leave your company. You reap what you sow.

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: water under the bridge

MEANING: something which is past and done with

FROM: “Water under the Bridge” (2015)

EXAMPLES: 1. There’s no point in worrying about it anymore – it’s water under the bridge. 2. It’s all water under the bridge, so let’s just forget about it. 3. I don’t care about your past. It’s water under the bridge. You’re a different man now.

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: send my love to (sb.)

MEANING: = give my love to (sb.) – give my friendly greetings to sb. (when you see them)

FROM: “Send my Love (to your New Lover)” (2015)

EXAMPLES: 1. Aunt Becky sends her love. 2. Send my love to Ben and give him a hug from me. 3. Will you send my love to mom?

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: to chase pavements

MEANING: to try to achieve something that can’t be achieved, usually as a result of blind hope

FROM: “Chasing Pavements” (2008)

EXAMPLES: 1. Stop chasing pavements! He won’t come back to you. 2. Don’t chase pavements. Move on! 3. Trying to please her, you only chase pavements.

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: out of the blue

MEANING: unexpectedly

FROM: “Someone Like You” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. I hate to turn up (come; arrive) out of the blue (unexpectedly; without warning). 2. He popped up (appeared) out of the blue.  3. He dumped (left) me out of the blue.

The lyrics are here.


IDIOMS: to get/be given the cold shoulder

MEANING: to be treated in an unfriendly way (by a person you know)

FROM: “Cold Shoulder” (2008)

EXAMPLES: 1. I’m getting frostbite from your cold shoulder. What’s wrong? 2. Why are you giving me the cold shoulder? What have I done? 3. I’ve never given you the cold shoulder. Why are you acting like that?

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: right as rain

MEANING: not ill or injured in any way

FROM: “Right as Rain” (2008)

Examples: 1. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in bed and in a couple of days you’ll be as right as rain. 2. I’ll be as right as rain in a day or two. 3. Take this medicine and you’ll be as right as rain in no time.


IDIOM: to cry one’s heart out

MEANING: to cry a lot

FROM: “Right as Rain” (2008)

EXAMPLES: 1. Stop crying your heart out. He’s not worth it. 2. Why are you crying your heart out? – My life is over! 3. She is crying her heart out, and her friends are trying to calm her.

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: to have your head in the clouds

MEANING: to be thinking your own thoughts and not concentrating on what is happening around you

FROM: “Rumour has it” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. You can’t see the world with your head in the clouds. 2. You always have your head in the clouds. You need to learn to concentrate. 3. If your head is always in the clouds, don’t expect good marks.


IDIOM: rumour has it (British English) / rumor has it (American English)

MEANING: I’ve heard (it) (but I’m not sure if it’s true)

FROM: “Rumour has it” (2011)

EXAMPLES: 1. Rumor has it, you’re leaving the company. 2. Rumor has it, they are getting divorced. 3. Rumor has is, he’s broke (he has no money).

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: to earn your stripes

MEANING: to do something to deserve a new position or a higher status

FROM: “A Million Years Ago” (2015)

EXAMPLES: 1. She earned her stripes working for the company. 2. It’s always difficult to earn your stripes. 3. She’ll earn her stripes as a singer.

The lyrics are here.


IDIOM: to wear/have your heart on your sleeve

MEANING: to make your feelings obvious to other people

FROM: “Best for Last” (2008)

EXAMPLES: 1. Do you see my heart on my sleeve? (= do you see my feelings, which are so obvious?) 2. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. If you do, you’ll get hurt. 3. I’ve always had my heart on my sleeve.


IDIOM: to take chances / to take a chance (on)

MEANING: to do something even though it involves risk; to take a risk that something would gowrong or that someone would do badly

FROM: “Best for Last” (2008)

EXAMPLES: 1. It’s not worth taking chances (= it’s not worth taking a risk). 2. You take a chance on the weather if you decide to have a holiday in London. 3. I’d never take a chance on that horse.

The lyrics are here.