michelle obama’s energetic carpool karaoke

carpool karaoke is a popular segment on the late, late show, a talk show on american tv.  host james corden chauffeurs an improvised carpool of famous singers and/or celebrities who chat and sing along with him while he drives.

james corden carpool karaoke
james corden singing a carpool karaoke with justin bieber. (cbs)

the concept has generated hundreds of millions of views on youtube. the most recent episode features the first lady of the united states (flotus), michelle obama.

at 1:07 on the video,  ms obama gets in the car and remarks

i hear you’re here for a 1:45 tour and i have a little time on my hands. so u wanna go for a spin?

a surprised corden agrees and answers

let’s take a spin, then.

a spin is a ride, but usually indicates a recreational ride. a carpool, on the other hand, is used to describe a group that rides to work or school together, to save money on gas and other expenses.  in other words, corden’s carpool karaokes are not really carpools.

carpool lane sign








at 1:40 after michelle points out the oval office,  james asks if her husband is there right now.  she replies

he better be. that’s where he said he was.

better in this context is a kind of good-natured threat NOT a comparison.

fun esl practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

obama in the oval office
president obama in the oval office

around 8:10 we hear the real reason michelle obama decided to ride around in a car with james corden: to talk about her let girls learn initiative. at 8:25 she breaks it down (explains)

so much could be corrected in the world if girls were educated and had power over their lives. my message to kids here is don’t take your education for granted because there are girls around the world who would die to get the education we have. they would do anything. they would move mountains.

if girls were educated and had power over their lives is an unfortunate example of a hypothetical situation. were and had indicate that this is not a reality. take for granted means not appreciate. move mountains is an expression that implies a great effort or accomplishment.  it is common in popular music  such as this inspirational 90s track by the shamen…..

this song by usher that compares trust issues after infidelity in a relationship to moving mountains….

and this hippie anthem by the rascals.  the lyrics at 2:20 say

love can move a mountain, make a blind man see.

most of the on-line reporting about michelle obama’s carpool karaoke emphasized that she sang beyonce’s song single ladies, but the surprise appearance by missy elliot was the biggest highlight. she raps her contribution to the first lady’s song, this is for my girls and at 11:05 in the carpool vid the first lady says…

we’re talking about education. education is what we’re talking about. all over the world. we are blessed to have missy on this song.

missy replies that she is blessed to be on the song. blessed means she feels fortunate, or favored by a higher power.

first lady michelle obama and missy elliott
michelle obama & missy elliott feel blessed to know each other. (drew anthony smith/getty)

the finale of the carpool is missy’s song get your freak on,  which is also an expression that means go crazy, have a great time or do it with intensity.

at 13:40, as the carpool concludes, ms obama refers to the tour as a joy; i.e, she really enjoyed it.

michelle obama letgirlslearn
michelle obama talking about let girls learn. (mark wilson/ getty)

do u have an opinion about first lady michelle obama or her objective to educate girls around the world? was it a joy watching her sing karaoke in a carpool? share your opinions under leave a reply


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