While listening to Luka Bloom's very nice live album, Amsterdam, I noticed a phenomenon which I have observed before: the desperate search for a rhyme, with resulting funny lyrics in otherwise serious songs.

The song "Perfect Groove," which is generally fairly serious, includes the couplet,

I'm looking for the perfect food
That's not undercooked or stewed.

Shades of The Tough Guide to Fantasyland!

Hearing it, I was reminded of an extremely intense song by the Call which has one line that consistently makes me burst into inappropriate laughter (a common problem with me, admittedly):

I saw a sick man
On a sick bed
Scorned by the world
Like he had two heads.

Tell me your favorite examples of poets whose search for a rhyme turned up corkers like, say, Neil Diamond's intelligent furniture:

I am, I said,
But no one was there
And nobody heard me
Not even the chair

From: [identity profile] tharain.livejournal.com

My favorite:

I can't see me loving nobody but you
for all my life
When youre with me, baby the skies will be blue
for all my life..

So happy together.
So happy together.
So how is the weather?
So happy together.

From: [identity profile] literaticat.livejournal.com

Oh, I always assumed that that sort of made sense. In a way. Like "the skies will be blue for all of my life when you are with me - so, do me a favour and look out the window - what does the sky look like now?"

From: [identity profile] tharain.livejournal.com

Yeah, I guess you're right. I just figured it was "Oh my god we CAN'T keep repeating this line, but WTF rhymes with 'together'?" But what you say makes sense.

::[livejournal.com profile] tharain stands corrected::

From: [identity profile] literaticat.livejournal.com

Oh, it isn't good, you were absolutely right about that!

"just roll in the heather"

"a ball on a tether"

"so feel my pleather"

... shoot, now I totally have that song stuck in my head. must extract! MUST EXTRACT WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE! ...

From: [identity profile] amberdulen.livejournal.com

I promise to surreptitiously insert one of those alternate lines next time I sing along with this one on the radio.

From: [identity profile] telophase.livejournal.com

Not quite the right thing, but in one of his songs ... "Love Is the Seventh Wave," maybe? Sting goes into a small parody of "Every Step You Take" as the song is fading out ... "Every cake you bake... Every leg you break..."
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer

He does a snippet/parody of either "Every Breath You Take" or "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" on at least one song per album, during the fade out. It's kinda freakily egotistical.


From: [identity profile] menin-aeide.livejournal.com

I think he does it because he was so freaked out when he found out that most people read "Every Breath You Take" as a love song, when he meant it to be about a stalker.

From: [identity profile] rparvaaz.livejournal.com

Oh bless him!

I have *always* found that song very creepy and everyone around me [except hubby] thinks it is one of the most romantic love songs ever.

Another love song which gives me the creeps is 'Everything I do, I do it for you'. What a cop-out! What happened to the notion of personal responsibility?

From: [identity profile] faithhopetricks.livejournal.com

He said something when he picked up a trophy for the song selling a million copies that it frightened him a bit there were a million copies of it out there. (He also seemed to think it was more political than a love song.)

From: [identity profile] faithhopetricks.livejournal.com

I think it was more possibly about an assassin watching a leader, altho that might be more my faulty memory than anything else. Definitely not a love song.

From: [identity profile] faithhopetricks.livejournal.com

The (parodic) quoting of "Every Breath You Take" in "Love is the Seventh Wave" on Dream of the Blue Turtles and "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" in "We'll Be Together Tonight" on Nothing Like the Sun (and, IIRC, "Every Little Thing She Does" on "Rock Steady" in the same album, which is another joke, as that song's an updating of the Noah's Ark story) are from the jazz convention of musicians "quoting" one song while playing another, particularly during improvisation, often in the fadeout.
radiantfracture: (Default)

From: [personal profile] radiantfracture

bad bad rhymes

I've always thought that Blake's "The Tiger":

And What shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

fell into this category.

I mean... dread feet?


From: [identity profile] amberdulen.livejournal.com

My sister and I have a running joke that this happens in almost all of Tim Rice's musicals, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat being the worst offendor. Ex:

Being told we're also-rans
Does not makes us Joseph fans

But where they had really missed the boat is

We're great guys but no-one seems to notice

"Really missed the boat is"??
ext_6283: Brush the wandering hedgehog by the fire (Default)

From: [identity profile] oursin.livejournal.com

Ah, bathos

And in 'Jesus Christ Superstar':
'Prove to me that you're no fool
Walk across my swimming pool'
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer

Gods -- The Stuffed Owl is filled with those sorts of bad rhymes. As is every single poem by McGonagal.


From: [identity profile] jonquil.livejournal.com

I love and admire Leonard Cohen. I adore Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen is as a God to me.

"When hatred with his package comes, you refuse delivery" is one of the great clunker lines of all time. And it's there because it rhymes with "That I am not the one who loves – It’s love that chooses me."

Another bad one, that comes in one of his most glorious songs, is "I didn't come here to fool ya" with "Hallelujah".
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer

Hey! I like "fool ya/hallelujah." Not to mention, I'm pretty sure Byron used it.


From: [identity profile] cija.livejournal.com

Nick Cave's "John Finn's Wife" has this pretty great verse:

She got perfumed breasts and raven hair
Sprinkled with wedding confettis
And a gang of garrotters were all giving me stares
Armed, as they were, with machetes

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

I thought that was "gang of malanderers," which I don't think is a word.

Still, I have to give Nick Cave a pass on stuff like that given that the narrators of his songs are typically homicidal maniacs.

From: [identity profile] roadnotes.livejournal.com

wandering by

If you're going to quote Neil Diamond, you have to include the classic hit "Play Me" with the verse:
Songs she sang to me
Songs she brang to me
Words that rang in me
Rhyme that sprang from me
Warmed the night...

And yes, the word in the lyrics sheets is indeed "brang."

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Re: wandering by

Ye Gods. That is only OK if you're writing from the POV of someone who would naturally say "brang," as in Stacey Earle's lovely "Dancing with them that brung me."

From: [identity profile] jonquil.livejournal.com

Al Stewart, "Here in Angola":

Tell me how the universe was meant to be,
Take another sip of your cola,
You can be the Colonel of the cavalry,
I'll be Francis Ford Coppola.

From: [identity profile] mrissa.livejournal.com

I finally remembered what hideous monstrosity I meant to put here. It's from "Calendar Girl," which is not good music to begin with, but:

March -- I'm gonna march you down the aisle.
April -- you're the Easter bunny when you smile.

Umm. "She's got a smile like the Easter bunny" is not, perhaps, the greatest compliment ever given.

From: [identity profile] gaudior.livejournal.com

Hmm... there's always the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows"

"If you should ever leave me
Life would still go on, believe me.
The world would mean nothing to me
So what good would living do me?"

Which... I can kind of see the idea, but... but. It just non sequiturs far too vanilla elephant for me, I'm afraid.

From: [identity profile] lenora-rose.livejournal.com

Since Sting was mentioned:

he follows:

I asked if I was mouse or Man
The mirror squeaked, away I ran

which is a bit silly, but I like anyway,
with the utter clunker:

He'll murder me
in time for his tea.

From: [identity profile] em-h.livejournal.com

Bob Dylan's rhymes can be almost magnificent in their complete lack of care for sense:

He hears the ticking of the clocks
And walks along with a parrot that talks

My favourite is "Sara", where he rhymes "you were always there when I needed help" with "Now the beach is deserted except for some kelp".

From: [identity profile] movingfinger.livejournal.com

Macarthur Park
is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down...
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

Everything about this is strange.
larryhammer: a low-fidelity picture of a man, label: "some guy" (Default)

From: [personal profile] larryhammer

Oy -- just heard a bad one this morning:

I'm out of here
Destination: anyplace but here

Um, hello -- not a rhyme.


From: [identity profile] madam-silvertip.livejournal.com

My alltime favorite in this category comes from Jimbo in "The End":

The blue bus
Is calling us.

("The West is the best" is not bad either, though not as good as "The blue bus is calling us.")

I do not think, I know, that I have lots of others stored in my head, and they are not all by Bob Dylan ("Who had on his shoulder a Siamese cat" has always struck me as something that wouldn't be too hard to top). But for some reason now, when sweet revenge is at hand, they elude me.

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