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The Rhyme.. The Reason..

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  • The Rhyme.. The Reason..

    I took a creative writing class once and among the forms we studied there was a poetry assignment. We were instructed to not rhyme. Coming from a songwriting back ground I sort of did anyway - I broke it down three quarters through as it was relevant to the subject.. but anyway..

    Obviously it serves a rhythmic function but I'm curious if any of you have tried to write lyrics and consciously avoid a rhyming scheme? If not entirely devoid of rhyme, how far away have you gotten?
    Know of anyone that does it particularly well?


    Anyone want to attempt a verse and a chorus with that in mind (sung with accompaniment)?
    It's the middle of the night and I've got neighbors, but I'll post something in the next couple days..
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://shadowsofbirdsmusic.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Aaron McDonald | Comic Book Music</a> (and not comic book music)</div>

  • #2
    I looked back at a load of my old songs and have realised pretty much ALL of them rhyme!

    I think this is the closest I have to a non-rhyming song

    http://soundcloud.com/stickboy/a-blanket-for-the-lonely

    Sometimes there's people hiding underneath the floorboards
    They're laughing at you as you eat your breakfast
    And wondering what you're gonna do with your day

    I hope you feel better in the evening

    As day goes, and turns into a blanket for the lonely
    If only you'd come underground and hold me
    and tell me things got better in the morning

    I hope that you feel better in the morning

    But nothing feels better in the morning
    It's funny but it never really does.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here's my shot at a non rhymer...

      Thomas Jefferson said... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." hmmm...

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmm, interesting.
        To me it sounds more organic without a rhyming scheme. Yet the vast majority of stuff I've written has been based on rhyme schemes.

        After thinking about it a bit, I suppose it has to do with Pop and Rock music generally being based on Rhythms played on the Root Chord.
        Without Cadence chord progressions to give it structure, it relies largely on Rhyme for structure.

        Molly
        http://soundcloud.com/shadowsofbirds/molly

        Molly's a pretty girl
        But every time she hears a window close
        she feels an awful fright
        her thoughts get away from her
        where they go it's really hard to say
        somewhere where the walls aren't so thick

        She tries to go to sleep that night
        she's certain she can hear the ceiling breathe
        and the walls, they salivate
        she hides beneath her pillow
        and she imagines the room painted red
        Molly's far too young to die

        Molly's going to get eaten by her room
        and deep inside she knows..
        she's not going to take LSD again.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://shadowsofbirdsmusic.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Aaron McDonald | Comic Book Music</a> (and not comic book music)</div>

        Comment


        • #5
          Hmm, interesting.
          To me it sounds more organic without a rhyming scheme. Yet the vast majority of stuff I've written has been based on rhyme schemes.

          After thinking about it a bit, I suppose it has to do with Pop and Rock music generally being based on Rhythms played...


          Sorry, can't listen right now but, your point about "rhythm"... I'd argue to your point, the rhythm of the lyric. And more specifically, in my example, the rhythm,and implied rhythm of parallelism. Look at King's I Have a Dream speech. There is so much parallelism in those words that it enables a pop song-like kind of cadence.

          He starts wide...

          But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free.

          One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.

          One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.

          One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

          And three paragraphs later:

          This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

          Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.

          Now is the time to
          lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

          Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.


          There's a rhythm. I used this model for my song above. And again soon following....

          We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.
          We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.
          Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.


          That rhythmic push. I encourage anyone interested to ge seek out that speech. The cadence, the rhythm, the push... pop song can only hope tap into some of that. I certainly tried.

          When applied in a song, you hardly miss the lacking rhymes.
          Thomas Jefferson said... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." hmmm...

          Comment


          • #6
            That doesn't sound unreasonable - but given that, why do you suppose rhyme has become par for course?
            <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://shadowsofbirdsmusic.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Aaron McDonald | Comic Book Music</a> (and not comic book music)</div>

            Comment


            • #7
              That doesn't sound unreasonable - but given that, why do you suppose rhyme has become par for course?


              Because it is the most effective way of making your lines sound like they have always existed. Like they belong. When done with some savvy, we don't notice the rhyme as much as hear the points being made and feeling they have weight and substance. Rhymes are powerful. Just as rhythm and attitude and provocative word choice and prosody and whatever other device we can use to drive our point home.
              Thomas Jefferson said... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." hmmm...

              Comment


              • #8
                Interesting you say that - One of the first things I noticed when writing my little no-ryhm experiment is a sense of the words standing out more. Sort of demanding more attention.
                The feeling of "like they belong" doubles as a bit of camouflage.

                One of the most important, if not THEE most important aspect of music is the balance of what belongs and what doesn't. The expected and unexpected. Be it dissonance or syncopation.
                It's a wonder there hasn't been more mainstream variety in the lyric department.

                Something to explore further.

                I'd love to hear anyone elses doodlings in this regard too.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://shadowsofbirdsmusic.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Aaron McDonald | Comic Book Music</a> (and not comic book music)</div>

                Comment


                • #9
                  Looks like you've only got me for now.

                  The other thing I see, is that, love it or hate it, some of the current pop songwriters have a real knack for rhythmic lyric writing. I'm fully aware that the common opinion on the state of current songwritng is that it lacks in a major way. I agree with that, but... I'm not going to let that stop me from digging what does work currently. And what is working with a lot of the current writers, is lyric rhythm. Just as these guys program their synths to work in certain ways, they write lyrics to fulfill a similar function. To sound musical and right.

                  Are they on par with Jimmy Webb, Paul Simon and Hal David? No. But... they are writing for a different paradigm. I, me... learn from where I can learn. Ideas and techniques are everywhere. For me at least.
                  Thomas Jefferson said... "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." hmmm...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Looks like you've only got me for now.


                    by doodlings, I meant songs not necessarily conversation.


                    Assuming by Pop you mean anything permeating pop culture, I'd measure Conor Oberst against anyone from the last century:
                    <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://shadowsofbirdsmusic.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Aaron McDonald | Comic Book Music</a> (and not comic book music)</div>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I looked back at a load of my old songs and have realised pretty much ALL of them rhyme!

                      I think this is the closest I have to a non-rhyming song

                      http://soundcloud.com/stickboy/a-blanket-for-the-lonely

                      Sometimes there's people hiding underneath the floorboards
                      They're laughing at you as you eat your breakfast
                      And wondering what you're gonna do with your day

                      I hope you feel better in the evening

                      As day goes, and turns into a blanket for the lonely
                      If only you'd come underground and hold me
                      and tell me things got better in the morning

                      I hope that you feel better in the morning

                      But nothing feels better in the morning
                      It's funny but it never really does.


                      Ooooh, I LOVE that song!!!

                      And yeah, it'd make sense that your songs mostly tend to rhyme because you write incredibly catchy songs, and most of those types of songs rhyme. It kind of goes with the territory.
                      All things must pass...

                      Comment

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