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Identify and Explain Key Quotes in 'Singh Song!'

In this worksheet, students will revise key quotes in 'Singh Song!' (Daljit Nagra) as part of the 'Love and Relationships' anthology cluster.

'Identify and Explain Key Quotes in 'Singh Song!'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Love and Relationships: 'Singh Song!'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Refer to the poem 'Singh Song!' in your anthology.

 

Here's a quick recap of the poem: Written by Daljit Nagra, Singh Song! is about a British Indian man who is speaking about his life, which revolves around working in a corner shop. He often neglects the shop to spend time with his new wife.

 

The speaker states that the customers complain about the neglected state of the shop, but he doesn't care! As long as he can spend time with his wife, he's happy and content.

 

 

Thought bubble

 

 

This activity should help you revise some key quotes and deepen your understanding of the poem. In the following questions, you'll be given a quote from the poem, and you'll need to identify the poet's meaning/s behind each quote.

 

 

 Blue ballpoint pen

 

It may be helpful to write the quotes down as you do this exercise, and try to remember them for the future!

"He vunt me not to hav a break, but ven nobody in, I do di lock"

 

What does this quote imply about the speaker?

 

The speaker is responsible

The speaker is irresponsible

The speaker is going against his dad's wish

The speaker is working in his dad's shop

"Cos up di stairs is my newly bride, vee share in chapatti..."

 

From this quote, what can you infer about the couple's relationship?

 

Fill in the blank. Choose two correct answers out of the options below.

 

- They have been married for a year

- They are married

- They are newly married

- The speaker wants to spend time with his wife

- The speaker is hungry and wants to eat

 

The speaker is responsible

The speaker is irresponsible

The speaker is going against his dad's wish

The speaker is working in his dad's shop

Tick one box which correctly explains the repetition of the pronoun "vee" ('we') in stanza two.

 

The repetition of the pronoun emphasises the speaker's enjoyment in spending time with his wife

The repetition of the pronoun could suggest that the speaker is spending time with his wife

The repetition of the pronoun could suggest that the speaker doesn't like spending time with his wife

"After vee have made luv like vee rowing through Putney..."

 

Couple silhouette and heart

 

First, tick one box which names the linguistic device used.

 

Second, tick one box which correctly describes the effects of the device.

 

The repetition of the pronoun emphasises the speaker's enjoyment in spending time with his wife

The repetition of the pronoun could suggest that the speaker is spending time with his wife

The repetition of the pronoun could suggest that the speaker doesn't like spending time with his wife

Tick one box which best explains the effect of the italicised bit of the poem (which begins with "Hey Singh, ver yoo bin?")

 

It creates a song-like effect

It presents the main character as rude

It emphasises the irresponsible nature of the speaker

"On di worst Indian shop on di whole Indian road"

 

Pick three out of the options below to fill the blanks:

 

- Hyperbole
- Sad
- Tone
- Context
- Humorous
- Cultural
- Religious

It creates a song-like effect

It presents the main character as rude

It emphasises the irresponsible nature of the speaker

Pick one number from the options below, which show the correct quote: that the speaker's wife is unconventional.

 

1. "As my vife on di web is playing wid di mouse"

2. "She effing at my mum"

3. "How much do yoo charge for dat moon baby?"

4. "Ven i return from di tickle ov my bride"

"My bride, tiny eyes ov a gun and di tummy ov a teddy"

 

What are two things you notice about this quote? Pick from the options below. 

 

Tick two boxes.

The speaker's wife is not conventionally beautiful

The speaker uses the pronoun 'my' in 'my bride' to suggest that he is married to his wife

The speaker uses the personal pronoun 'my' in 'my bride', suggesting he is proud of his unconventional wife

The speaker's wife is beautiful

The speaker's wife is ugly and the speaker is ashamed of her

"Vee cum down whispering stairs and sit on my silver stool"

 

 Wooden staircase with carpet

 

Name two devices used here.

Metaphor

Personification

Sibilance

Onomatopoeia

Last one!

 

"From di stool each night I say Is priceless baby-"

 

Crescent moon in starry sky

 

Pick one word which links to the overall motif of romance/tenderness

 

(Remember - a motif is a recurring theme throughout a text.)

 

- Each

- Night

- Priceless

- Baby

 

  • Question 1

"He vunt me not to hav a break, but ven nobody in, I do di lock"

 

What does this quote imply about the speaker?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The speaker is going against his dad's wish
EDDIE SAYS
The poem starts with a little bit of cheek, as the speaker clearly goes against what his dad tells him to do and shuts down the shop in order to spend time with his newly-wed wife. Look at the dialect that Nagra uses throughout the poem. It is definitely written out to mimic the Indian accent that the speaker has. What does infusing the poem with Indian dialect suggest about the speaker of the poem?
  • Question 2

"Cos up di stairs is my newly bride, vee share in chapatti..."

 

From this quote, what can you infer about the couple's relationship?

 

Fill in the blank. Choose two correct answers out of the options below.

 

- They have been married for a year

- They are married

- They are newly married

- The speaker wants to spend time with his wife

- The speaker is hungry and wants to eat

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The adverb "newly" suggests that the couple are newly married. Think about the non-standard use of the word and what it suggests about the speaker's English. Does this non-standard use of the word add or take anything away from the speaker's loving feelings towards his wife? Also, the fact that the speaker wants to spend time with his wife is heavily inferred from the way that he sneaks out of the shop and does "di lock". He is going against his father's wishes in order to spend time with his new wife.
  • Question 3

Tick one box which correctly explains the repetition of the pronoun "vee" ('we') in stanza two.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
The repetition of the pronoun emphasises the speaker's enjoyment in spending time with his wife
EDDIE SAYS
Usually, repetition of a word emphasises... well... the importance of that very word! So the pronoun "vee" here really emphasises the fact that the speaker enjoys spending time with his wife. Pair this with his rebellious attitude of shutting down the shop that he should be responsible for, in order to spend time with his newlywed wife! Clearly the speaker enjoys being with her. So, the repetition of the inclusive pronoun "vee", solidifies the fact that Mr Singh and his wife are a couple. He is proud of being with his wife!
  • Question 4

"After vee have made luv like vee rowing through Putney..."

 

Couple silhouette and heart

 

First, tick one box which names the linguistic device used.

 

Second, tick one box which correctly describes the effects of the device.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The simile invokes humour here, as it is quite a far-fetched way to describe sex. Think about the way tone is established in this poem.
  • Question 5

Tick one box which best explains the effect of the italicised bit of the poem (which begins with "Hey Singh, ver yoo bin?")

 

CORRECT ANSWER
It creates a song-like effect
EDDIE SAYS
The song-like nature of the poem is really emphasised by the italicised bit of the poem. Think about how its structure is repeated, kind of like the chorus of a song. Does this change the way you view the poem? It makes the poem seem more lighthearted and gives it some kind of rhythm.
  • Question 6

"On di worst Indian shop on di whole Indian road"

 

Pick three out of the options below to fill the blanks:

 

- Hyperbole
- Sad
- Tone
- Context
- Humorous
- Cultural
- Religious

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
First off, we have a range of voices all joining together to form a humorous, slightly accusing tone in which customers emphasise how the speaker is neglecting his duties (but doesn't really care as long as he gets to spend time with his wife). The refrain and chorus-like nature of the poem emphasise the humorous tone of the poem. Alongside this, we have some hyperbole with the word 'worst' suggesting exaggeration.
  • Question 7

Pick one number from the options below, which show the correct quote: that the speaker's wife is unconventional.

 

1. "As my vife on di web is playing wid di mouse"

2. "She effing at my mum"

3. "How much do yoo charge for dat moon baby?"

4. "Ven i return from di tickle ov my bride"

CORRECT ANSWER
2
EDDIE SAYS
Option number two reflects the unconventionality of the bride. Think about the way that 'Indian culture' is presented in the poem through the dialect and the references to cultural things for example "sari", "Punjab" "Singh" and "chapatti", to name a few. Is there some contrast, do you think, between the way Indian stereotypes are used within the poem? On the surface, the poem seems to be incredibly stereotypical, with well-known references to Indian culture! But then, we have this incredibly unconventional bride with her "effing" and "red crew cut".
  • Question 8

"My bride, tiny eyes ov a gun and di tummy ov a teddy"

 

What are two things you notice about this quote? Pick from the options below. 

 

Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
The speaker's wife is not conventionally beautiful
The speaker uses the personal pronoun 'my' in 'my bride', suggesting he is proud of his unconventional wife
EDDIE SAYS
The possessive pronoun 'my' paired with the noun 'bride' emphasises that the speaker is proud of his wife. The repetition of the phrase enhances this sense of pride. But, she is not conventionally attractive! Think about the metaphor "eyes ov a gun"- the imagery of violence it presents, which contrasts with "tummy ov a teddy". Presenting the wife as quite dangerous but with a sweet side perhaps? Maybe she has a violent streak? She is definitely quite boisterous and humorous. Whatever your interpretation of the language that Nagra uses, look at the speaker's attitudes towards his unconventional wife. How do these attitudes match up with conventional Indian culture?
  • Question 9

"Vee cum down whispering stairs and sit on my silver stool"

 

 Wooden staircase with carpet

 

Name two devices used here.

CORRECT ANSWER
Personification
Sibilance
EDDIE SAYS
The two devices here are personification of the stairs, which are "whispering" and the sibilance of "stairs", "sit", "silver" and "stool". Effects? Think about the way that Nagra presents tone and sound. We have the imagery of hushed voices, peacefulness and calmness - a change of tone from the boisterous lovemaking and "effing"/"stumble"/"pinching my sweeties" nature of the speaker's bride. There is a quiet, whisper-like tone to the second half of the poem which emphasises the contrast between the speaker's night and day. The speaker spends all day trying to get away from his duties and spend time with his wife. At night, he is given the opportunity to spend time with her without interruption, and without shoppers pointing and crying at him. What do you think Nagra is suggesting about the speaker's desires? What about the contrasting themes of the poem?
  • Question 10

Last one!

 

"From di stool each night I say Is priceless baby-"

 

Crescent moon in starry sky

 

Pick one word which links to the overall motif of romance/tenderness

 

(Remember - a motif is a recurring theme throughout a text.)

 

- Each

- Night

- Priceless

- Baby

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Priceless
Baby
EDDIE SAYS
The repetition of the endearment "baby" is definitely the marker for romance and tenderness in this last bit of the poem. "Priceless" is also an acceptable answer in this context. Look at the way the word is used: it shows that the speaker believes his wife is "priceless". She is valuable to him ... more so than the moon! Think about how the end of the poem coincides with the theme of responsibility and consumerism (I know ... bear with me). The couple are discussing the price and cost of the moon. In order to express his love for his bride, the speaker implies that the moon costs half the price of his priceless bride. Remember, the speaker runs a shop, so he probably deals with prices and rates of things all the time. So, what do you think Nagra is trying to show about the speaker's priorities and true responsibilities? Why do you think the poem ends with this romantic and tender moment discussing costs and prices? What really matters to the speaker, and what doesn't?
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