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Identify Key Themes in 'Singh Song!'

In this worksheet, students will practise identifying key themes in 'Singh Song!' (part of the Love and Relationships cluster of the GCSE poetry anthology).

'Identify Key Themes in 'Singh Song!'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Want to revise some key themes in 'Singh Song!'?

 

You've come to the right place!

 

Thought bubble

 

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

 

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

 

The activity set-up will be quite straightforward. You'll get a quote. Just identify the theme that you think is being presented.

 

 

 

It will help if you write down whatever new or important information you learn along the way! 

Tick one key theme in the poem. 

 

Death

Love

Nature

Distance

Fill in the blank in this sentence, with reference to stanza two.

 

Pick from one of these themes:

 

- Sexuality

- Fulfilment

- Separation

- Peacefulness

Death

Love

Nature

Distance

Which of these quotes best shows the theme of duty/responsibility in the poem?

 

 

"Above my head high heel tap di ground"

"She effing at my mum"

"Hey Singh, ver yoo bin?"

"Up di stairs is my newly bride"

From the selection below, write down one theme you think is presented in stanza seven (which begins with "my bride ... she hav a red crew cut ...")

 

Nature

Distance

Overcoming distance

Unconventionality

Femininity

Separation

Weather

Write down one theme out of the selection below which you think is presented in stanza nine.

 

Sexuality

Love

Separation

Peacefulness

Unity

Pain

Which of these themes isn't present in the poem?

 

Love

Culture

Peacefulness/fulfilment

Nature

Unconventionality

Let's have a go at matching the quote to the theme/motif.

 

Column A

Column B

"Dis dirty little floor need a little bit of mop"
Responsibility/irresponsibility
"Di tickle ov my bride"
Sexuality
"Vee share in di chapatti"
Love/tenderness
"My bride"
Culture

Write down one theme/motif out of the selection below which you think is presented in stanza four.

Multiple red cartoon hearts

​Calmness

Unconventionality

Nature

Sexuality

Culture

 

 

From the selection below, write down one theme you think is presented in stanza eight (the stanza that begins "when I return from di tickle ov my bride...").

 

Love

Nature

Separateness

Sexuality

Conflict

Dominance

You've reached the last question, great work! 

 

Write down what you think is one important/key theme in the poem.

 

 

Red question mark

 

On a sheet of paper, write down why you think this is the most important/key theme. This will come in handy for the evaluation activity!

 

 

  • Question 1

Tick one key theme in the poem. 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Love
EDDIE SAYS
The theme of love is huge in this poem.
  • Question 2

Fill in the blank in this sentence, with reference to stanza two.

 

Pick from one of these themes:

 

- Sexuality

- Fulfilment

- Separation

- Peacefulness

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The second stanza features the sex life of the couple, introducing the theme of sex/lust/whatever you want to call it, through the humorous simile "rowing through Putney"! We've talked a bit about the humour and extravagance of the simile, but think about the way sex is balanced with love in the poem. The marriage itself is balanced, full of excitement, lust and tenderness. The beginning bit of the poem does heavily feature the couple's sex life, the excitement of the relationship, the speaker sneaking off and spending time with his new bride. The end of the poem, as night falls, features obvious tenderness!
  • Question 3

Which of these quotes best shows the theme of duty/responsibility in the poem?

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
"Hey Singh, ver yoo bin?"
EDDIE SAYS
The theme/motif of duty being neglected is featured heavily in the poem, as the speaker is clearly more interested in spending time with his bride than actually keeping up with the shop, tidying it up, making sure everything's in stock. It seems that love is prioritised over business and responsibility, much to the disappointment of the speaker's dad!
  • Question 4

From the selection below, write down one theme you think is presented in stanza seven (which begins with "my bride ... she hav a red crew cut ...")

 

Nature

Distance

Overcoming distance

Unconventionality

Femininity

Separation

Weather

CORRECT ANSWER
Unconventionality
Femininity
EDDIE SAYS
Although unconventionality is the main theme present in the seventh stanza, you could also say femininity (or the lack of conventional femininity) of the speaker's bride is also present.
  • Question 5

Write down one theme out of the selection below which you think is presented in stanza nine.

 

Sexuality

Love

Separation

Peacefulness

Unity

Pain

CORRECT ANSWER
Peacefulness
Unity
Love
EDDIE SAYS
Peacefulness, unity and love are the themes displayed in the ninth stanza, and the idea of things settling down and becoming calmer and more tender as the night develops really contrasts with the hectic nature of the rest of the poem. It suggests that the couple have a deeper side to them than simply humorous and unconventional ... they're more than just the stereotypes they first present. They are in love and want to spend time with each other as much as they can.
  • Question 6

Which of these themes isn't present in the poem?

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Nature
EDDIE SAYS
Nature isn't really a theme in the poem, although it appears as a brief reference when the speaker and his wife mention the moon. Instead, Nagra focuses on people, relationships, stereotypes and conformity. 'Singh Song!' confronts us with stereotypes and seeks to break them down so that we see the main couple as human beings rather than the stereotypes they represent at the beginning.
  • Question 7

Let's have a go at matching the quote to the theme/motif.

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

"Dis dirty little floor need a li...
Responsibility/irresponsibility
"Di tickle ov my bride"
Sexuality
"Vee share in di chapatti"
Culture
"My bride"
Love/tenderness
EDDIE SAYS
If you can link certain quotes to certain themes, you will be able to revise the details of the poem as well as an overview of it. Linking quotes to themes will also help with analysis, where you take a wide theme and narrow it down into a small quote. Have fun with it and be creative in your analysis and interpretation of what you think Nagra is trying to present.
  • Question 8

Write down one theme/motif out of the selection below which you think is presented in stanza four.

Multiple red cartoon hearts

​Calmness

Unconventionality

Nature

Sexuality

Culture

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Unconventionality
Culture
EDDIE SAYS
Stanza four probably best represents unconventionality and culture: the unconventionality of the bride, who wears her heels and owns a dating site (think about the idea of a typical, stereotypical Indian bride and the associated personality traits she would have). Likewise, culture is probably well represented here. First, in the reference to the Sikh lover site. But, deeper still, in the way the bride defies culture, she goes against what is expected of her culture, or at least the stereotypes associated with her culture. Firstly, she is working on her own project, her Sikh lover site, welding authority and earning her own money! Secondly, she is wearing heels! She's fashion-oriented (although unconventional in her tastes) and later we discover she's also full of humour and spark.
  • Question 9

From the selection below, write down one theme you think is presented in stanza eight (the stanza that begins "when I return from di tickle ov my bride...").

 

Love

Nature

Separateness

Sexuality

Conflict

Dominance

CORRECT ANSWER
Sexuality
Love
EDDIE SAYS
The theme of sex is present here, with the words "di tickle of my bride". Love is also present. Look at the repeated use of 'my bride', the pride in the personal pronoun 'my' and the emphasis in the repetition.
  • Question 10

You've reached the last question, great work! 

 

Write down what you think is one important/key theme in the poem.

 

 

Red question mark

 

On a sheet of paper, write down why you think this is the most important/key theme. This will come in handy for the evaluation activity!

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Sexuality
Responsibility
Irresponsibility
Culture
Love
Unconventionality
Stereotypes
Humour
EDDIE SAYS
If you choose a theme that isn't on this list, that's okay, as long as you can find at least two quotes that back up the theme. If you can't, then it's probably not a theme but a one-time reference you're thinking of. The key themes are the ones written above, but you can also pick: - Peacefulness - Fulfilment - Tenderness - Unconventionality
---- OR ----

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