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Phil O'Keefe

In search of the perfect rhyme? There's more to lyrics than that...

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I actually have the Pat Pattison book mentioned in this article. After learning about the various types of rhymes, it allowed me to be more creative and more flexible with my lyric writing. I find that using only perfect rhymes in lyrics can make a song too predictable and can sometimes write yourself into a corner by being too rigid with the approach. I find all types of rhymes to be very useful. I even use consonance and assonance rhymes too in my songs.

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The link isn't opening for me.

 

But for whatever it's worth, for the ends of lines, I almost always go for exact rhymes. I haven't found that it makes my words predictable. That's more a matter of the writer. If you're original, your words will be, too.

 

For internal rhyming, close is fine. I use a lot of assonance and alliteration, too. One thing folks don't mention often (but should, and maybe it's in the article) is symmetry:

 

"The sky was yellow and the sun was blue." (Robert Hunter)

"The trees began a-falling and the seas began to part." (Bob Dylan)

"I was in the right place, but it must've been the wrong time." (Dr. John)

"Big wheel keep on turning, Proud Mary keep on burning." (John Fogarty)

 

I'll try the link again later. Maybe my internet is just being squirrelly right now. Thanks for the post!

Edited by Delmont

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^^ Symmetry and 'parallel construction' are good, somewhat subtle tools that help tie a work (whether a song or an essay) together and help lead the listener or reader forward and help inform the words being used, 'formalistically' drawing correspondences through construction and flow.

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