Rhyming

I love a good rhyme.

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Eminem is the king for me – check out this verse from Lose Yourself.

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti
He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready
To drop bombs, but he keeps on forgettin”.

You have the end-line rhymes of heavy, spaghetti, ready, forgettin’, but also sweaty and already from mid-line. Also the internal rhymes of palms, arms, mom, vomit, calm, bombs and on, and then nervous and surface. That’s 15 rhymes in 4 lines. Genius.

Less dense rhymes can be just as effective though, especially if they are unusual. Here’s a great one from Joni Mitchell’s The Last Time that I saw Richard.

“Richard got married to a figure skater
He bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolator”.

The world of musical comedy is also full of clever, funny rhymes. Victoria Wood’s Let’s Do It is one of my favourites in this genre.

“I’m on fire,
With desire,
I could handle half the tenors in a male voice choir”.

However sometimes I also love a bad one – at the very least they are certainly worth pointing out!

2 songs that have stood the test of time for different reasons are Africa by Toto and Happy Together by the Turtles.

This is despite Toto shoehorning one of the most bizarre lines in pop history – “Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti” – into the second verse to rhyme with ‘company’ in the second line.

Also in spite of the non-sensical use of the line ‘how is the weather’ into the ending of the Turtles hit just because it rhymed and it seemed like they were tired of singing the line ‘So Happy Together’!

Finally, the romantic world is full of both good and bad ones. Hallmark have made a lot of money from dodgy Valentines Day rhymes. Here’s one that always made me simultaneously smile and cringe…

“I love you I love you I love almighty
I wish your pyjamas were next to my nightie.
Don’t be mistaken, don’t be misled –
I meant on the clothes-line, not in my bed”!

That’s it for today – I’m just spending time chiming about some crimes and punch lines of prime rhyming.

If anyone has any more examples I’d love to hear them…

3 thoughts on “Rhyming”

  1. Hi Kieran,
    Here’s one of my favourites, from the great Guy Clark:

    Anyhow, I Love You
    ——————————-
    I wish I had a dime for every bad time
    But the bad times always seem to keep the change
    You been all alone so you know what I’m sayin’
    So when all you can recall is the pain
    Just you wait until tomorrow when you wake up with me
    At your side and find I haven’t lied about nothin’
    I wouldn’t trade a tree for the way I feel about you
    In the mornin’, anyhow I love you
    Everyday it gets just a little bit better
    And half the gettin’ there is knowin’ where I been before
    I’m sure you understand ’cause I ain’t your first man
    So when you feel like runnin’ for the back door, don’t
    Just you wait until tomorrow when you wake up with me
    At your side and find I haven’t lied about nothin’
    I wouldn’t trade a tree for the way I feel about you
    In the mornin’, anyhow I love you
    Songwriters: Guy Clark

    Liked by 1 person

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