After listening to the song "Summer Wine", I noticed that it says: Strawberries, cherries and an angel's kiss in spring My summer wine is really made from all these things Take off your silver spurs and help me pass the time And I will give to you summer wine Ohh, summer wine

I know that songs are full of these kinds of mistakes, and that the correct structure is "give somebody something", but just to be on the safe side, does this structure exist?

  • 3
    Sure it's possible, and common enough in poetic settings. In that vein, I would not characterize "give to <somebody><something>" as erroneous, but rather poetic or possibly archaic (though I'm not actually sure if early writers actually used this construction or whether modern writers use it to sound like them). In any case, the construction is employed for emphasis, as it is in "Summer Wine".
    – Dan Bron
    May 1, 2015 at 10:49
  • 1
    Let's not forget that besides "give someone something", "give something to someone" is commonly used as well. I think "I will give to you summer wine" is a variation of the latter. May 1, 2015 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


Songs sometimes hearken back to older ballads, and so we encounter in songs syntax that is a little archaic, different than we would use in contemporary conversation. These are not "grammatical errors" but stylistic features.

Compare the timeline here, for example:

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