16 present perfect songs

Nearly two years after I first put together these 16 video clips, this remains the most popular post on my blog, with thousands of views every month.

Some of the song extracts are fairly recent, such as Michael Bublé’s “Haven’t met you yet”, but others will be less familiar to younger visitors and are pretty cringe-inducing if MOR music is not your thing. Anyway, the cheesiest songs are accompanied by three warning letters: GPA (Guilty Pleasure Alert).

But I digress. This video is simply meant to remind you of / introduce you to songs containing the present perfect and, once you’ve picked the ones you like / your students might like (or have fun trashing), you can google up the lyrics and look up the video clip on Youtube, Dailymotion or Metacafé.

Have fun. By the way, the video might take about 10 seconds to load. Be patient.

1. Michael Bublé: Haven’t met you yet
And I know someday that it’ll all turn out
You’ll make me work
So we can work to work it out
And I promise you kid that I’ll give
So much more than I get
just haven’t met you yet

2. Bryan Adams: Have you ever really loved a woman?
When you love a woman
then tell her that she’s really wanted
When you love a woman then tell her that she’s the one
’cause she needs somebody to tell her that it’s gonna last forever
So tell me
have you ever really
really really ever loved a woman?

3. Rod Stewart: Have you ever seen the rain?
I wanna know
Have you ever seen the rain?
Coming down on a sunny day

4. Charlene: I’ve never been to me. (GPA! GPA!)
I can see so much of me
Still living in your eyes
Won’t you share a part of a weary heart
has lived a million lives
I’ve been to Nice and the isle of Greece
When I sipped champagne on a yatch
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed them what I’ve got
I’ve been undressed by kings
and I’ve seen some things that a woman ain’t supposed to see
I’ve been to paradise but I’ve never been to me

5. Madonna: Take a bow
I’ve always been in love with you
I guess
you’ve always known it’s true
You took my love for granted why
The show is over say good bye

6. Barry Manilow: I write the songs (GPA!)
I’ve been alive forever
And I wrote the very first song
I put the words and the melodies together
I am music and I write the songs

7. U2: Still haven’t found what I’m looking for
I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
Only to be with you
But I sill haven’t found what I’m looking for

8. Carpenters: A song for you (GPA!)
I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs
I’ve made some bad rhyme
I’ve acted out my love in stages
With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now and I’m singing this song for you

9. James Taylor: Fire and rain
I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I thought I could not find a friend
But I always thought I’d see you again

10. Paula Cole: Where have all the cowboys gone?
I will do the laundry
If you pay all the bills
Where is my John Wayne
Where is my prairie son
Where is my happy ending?
Where have all the cowboys gone?

11. Barbra Streisand: The way we were (GPA!!!)
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me would we
Could we

12. Elton John: Your song
So excuse me forgetting
But these things I do
You see
I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue
Anyway the thing is what I really mean
Yours are the sweetest eyes
I’ve ever seen
And you can tell everybody this is your song

13. SOS Band: The finest
My friends say I’m lucky
To have someone as good as you
My love’s understanding
Understanding how to hold on to you
After all that
we’ve been through

Time won’t change the way I feel about you

Out of all the loves before
You’re the finest
I’ve ever known

14. ABBA: The winner takes it all (GPA!)
I don’t wanna talk
About things
we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s
what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play

15. Rod Stewart: Have I told you lately that I love you?
Have I told you lately that I love you?
Have I told you there’s no one else above you?
You feel my heart with gladness
Take away all my sadness
Ease my troubles that’s what you do

16. Eva Cassidy: You’ve changed
You’ve changed
That sparkle in your eyes is gone
Your smile is just a careless yawn
It’s all over know
You’ve changed

Thank you!

80 thoughts on “16 present perfect songs

  1. Very nice, Luiz. I always check your website out and I always see some valuable things here… maybe you’d love to know that there are more songs. ‘Have You Ever’ by SCLUB7, ‘Bleed’ by Hot Chelle Rae (very nice one!) are just at the tip of the tong. Hope that you can check them out and hopefully enjoy them. Cheers

  2. Raul,
    Thanks for your kind words.
    There may be a “volume II” in the near future, so I’ll be sure to check them out.

  3. Hey Teacher, I was looking for some present perfect tips, when I asked to my friend and my teacher Elizabeth Berkkis, where I could find it? So, She gave me your blog adress. It was amazing, because when I made my access I could see that your first hint was Listening some music that has present perfect its lirycs. Look I could see almost all lyrics which were recomended by you. Man, it was fantastic! I’ve already used almost every lyric to understand this verb tense. Didn’t you forget the Elton John lyric” Blessed”? It is magic, too!. Thanks a lot teacher. Sorry my poor english.
    Best regards,

  4. Hey Luiz!!

    Thank you so much for this blog!!! I found it yesterday and going through your stuff is just amazing! You have wonderful tips and topics that helped me a lot in my new teaching fase. I hope you keep it up because i’ll always stop by.

    Best Regards!

  5. Hi Luiz,
    just wanted to thank you for this post! It’s fabulous!
    I’m sure my students will love learning about the present perfect:
    greetings from Croatia

  6. Hello, sir,
    I widely appreciate your help with this page, It´s been of so much help to me! I´m going to use the songs in some of my courses, in both schools where I teach, THANKS AGAIN FOR THE WORK YOU DO to help us teachers in despair. Mary (English teacher from Argentina)

  7. Hello, sir
    Thanks again for your help to aid us “teachers in despair” to make our classes more interesting with such a motivating blog, an Argentinian teacher in several schools, Mary

  8. Hello Luiz,
    I just love the list of the songs, it will make my life so much easier.
    Here’s one more for your volume II: Lionel Richie – Hello (I’ve been alone with you inside my mind, And in my dreams I’ve kissed your lips a thousand times …)
    Greetings from the Czech Republic,

  9. Hi. It was such an inspiring blog with lots of good ideas and suggestions. I am an Iranian teacher and I accidentally found your blog. Another suggestion for this tense would be “Where have all the good times gone?” By Elton John. Good luck and keep up the good work. 😉

  10. Luiz, you are simply TERRIFIC. I stumbled on your blog today while looking for great stuff to use in advanced English classes and VOILA! Trust me. You are now book marked!

  11. Luiz is the first time I read your website and it´s amazing, thanks a lot for all this material and for your time!
    Patty (from Peru)

  12. Hi, Luiz Otávio! Long time no see! Your tips are just amazing! I´ve been using your ideas for songs and my students really enjoy the actiities whichare proposed! Thanks a lot for helping us improve our english classes!

  13. Congrats on your amazing compilation, Luiz!
    Let me just add another one to your list.
    Whenever I teach Present Perfect to my students, I play ‘Glitter in the Air’ by Pink!
    It’s got loads of ‘have you ever…’ questions, and I always take the chance to play the video of her outstanding live performance of that song in the Grammys 2009.
    That’s it.
    I hope u like it.

  14. Hi, Vitor!
    Thanks for stopping buy.
    I’ll be sure to include the Pink song in the next version of this post.

  15. Hi, I really like what you’ve done. How about “Nothing compares to you”, by s. O’connor? It’s a very depressing song, but it helps teaching the present perfect tense. sadness changes a bit when you tell students it was not written for a lost man, but for a lost son.

    Mariana, from Venezuela.

  16. Just stumbled across your blog – thanks so much for doing all the leg work for present perfect songs! Perfect for an end of term lesson.

    Much appreciated.


  17. Amazing! :) Thank you! It is so nice you still can find time for nice an useful thinks and also have the pleasure to share with others 😉 I would suggest Westlife with ” Have you ever been in Love? ” I like this song :)

    1. Hi Miruska,
      If you use firefox and the video download helper extension, you’ll be able to download it.

  18. Hello, I wanted to use your video in my class, how can I download it as I don’t have internet access in class being a teacher in a public school in the rural area.

  19. Hi Luiz,

    The two Rod Stewart songs are covers of classic tracks by other artists. If you don’t know them already, you might be interested to hear the original versions (even if our Rod does do a pretty good job on both covers!):

    “Have I Told You Lately” – Van Morrison
    “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

    PS Nice to see “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?” by Paula Cole in the list!

  20. Wow! This is so amazing! I have learned a lot from your blog Luiz. Thank you for putting these all here! Best wishes to you ^_^

  21. this is a great idea..why don’t you consider putting the words on the videos like a karaoke? it would be easisest for the students to read the sentences and think over the various uses of the present perfect… that’s just an idea.. :-)

  22. Great work! Is there a way for me to download it so I can show it to my students? No net access in my school. :(

    Thanks for your work!

  23. Hello, this is a good and amazing material for my class, you really knows the teacher´s needs. Thanks for your help.

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