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Phrasing and rhyming

Richard Mellish 17 Sep 20 - 06:43 AM
Noreen 17 Sep 20 - 07:27 AM
Richard Mellish 17 Sep 20 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Jerry 17 Sep 20 - 04:28 PM
The Sandman 17 Sep 20 - 04:50 PM
Joe_F 17 Sep 20 - 05:24 PM
GUEST,Jerry 20 Sep 20 - 05:10 AM
Tattie Bogle 20 Sep 20 - 07:55 PM
BobL 21 Sep 20 - 03:18 AM
GUEST,Mark 21 Sep 20 - 03:46 AM
The Sandman 21 Sep 20 - 03:54 AM
Mr Red 21 Sep 20 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Mark 21 Sep 20 - 05:26 AM
Mo the caller 21 Sep 20 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,JHW (the robots have forgotten who I am) 21 Sep 20 - 05:51 AM
G-Force 21 Sep 20 - 09:33 AM
Jeri 21 Sep 20 - 11:16 AM
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Subject: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 06:43 AM

The process of learning a song typically takes the words and the tune together, which is fine as that is the nature of song. But sometimes the song gets so well lodged in the brain as a single entity that the singer delivers it parrot-fashion without giving enough (or any) attention to the words.

Consider the song Searching for Lambs and the line "Long time I have been waiting for the coming of my dear".

At least within my experience, that line is always sung as "Long time I have been waiting for" (pause) "the coming of my dear". Granted the whole phrase isn't quite how it would be said in ordinary speech, but if you were speaking those words a more natural place for a break would be between "waiting" and "for".

I have just commented on another instance in another thread, and that has reminded me to post this as a general comment.

In some other songs a significant pause in the melody may more or less force a pause at that point in the singing, regardless of the sense, but that doesn't apply here.

And another thing:

The word "again" can be pronounced as spelt or as "agenn". Sometimes in a song it comes at the end of a line and another line ends with a word that rhymes with one or the other, such as "pen" or "pain". More often than not, I hear singers use the pronunciation of "again" that doesn't rhyme.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Noreen
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 07:27 AM

Hi Richard, quite a few points to discuss there.

In your example (I think you mean Bushes and Briars rather than Searching for Lambs) I would try to join the two lines into one phrase. I agree, a big gap for a breath in the middle of a phrase/sentence stands out like a sore thumb.
However, sometimes it can't be avoided, and sometimes (as in the Mountain Streams where the Moorcocks Crow which you refer and link to above) the structure of the song seems to suit a break where you wouldn't normally speak the words that way.
I'm sure I can think of more examples to discuss here. :)


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 02:55 PM

> (I think you mean Bushes and Briars rather than Searching for Lambs)

Oops! You're right of course.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 04:28 PM

Surely the pronunciation of ‘again’ depends more on the length of syllable needed at that point - agen is a soft syllable and agane is a hard one, and the metre of the lyric may or may not require a hard end to the line. Besides, rhymes don’t have to be perfect ones anyway, and many songs have assonance rhymes, where the consonants rhyme, even if the vowels sounds do not:

And they whither with the wind (alliteration)
And they crumble in you hand (assonance)
And the leaves that are green (vowel rhyme) turn to brown (consonant rhyme).


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: The Sandman
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 04:50 PM

richard , it is in my opinion better to sing and then have a pause the coming of my dear, it creates a dramatic effect. i would suggest you listen to the recording made for the film far from the maddding crowd, the singer was isla cameron, although julie christie did the miming
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=ojVFPeU0YQU here is another version
http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=PtQCmZII-DQ&feature=related


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Joe_F
Date: 17 Sep 20 - 05:24 PM

In "The Bold Soldier" we hear

Then he took her to the church, and of course home again.
There they met her father and seven armed men.

"Let us fly," said the maiden. "I fear we shall be slain."
"Hold my horse," said the soldier. "Never fear again."

There, I have always supposed, the switch in pronunciation is deliberate and part of the fun.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: GUEST,Jerry
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 05:10 AM

Reading my earlier post above, I realise it wasn’t quite right. Assonance is typically using rhymes where only the vowel sounds repeat, like ‘leaves’ and ‘green’, and consonance is using rhymes where only consonant letters repeat, like ‘wind’ and ‘hand’ (or indeed ‘be slain’ and ‘agen’). Rap lyrics tend to exploit assonance (ironically presumably), but surely folk song is rather more subtle.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Sep 20 - 07:55 PM

If you are singing unaccompanied, you can phrase it how you like, and what sounds best to you. I said the same quite recently on another thread, but one good bit of advice I got from one of our best Scottish trad singers was "first read the words, make them make sense, then sing them so that they make sense", which does imply phrasing them to make them "read" well.
And I would not get too hung up on perfect rhymes: just sing the words as you would naturally say them.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: BobL
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 03:18 AM

Some words only rhyme in certain parts of the world, e.g. "grass" and "cross" in the Sans Day Carol from Cornwall. Unfortunately this makes me want to sing it in a (fake) West Country accent.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 03:46 AM

Tattle Bogle's post sounds like what I believe was Sinatra's approach to phrasing. I understand he learned the lyrics before the tune so his phrasing was led by them.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 03:54 AM

Sinatra was a crooner, are we not discussing folk songs,if you want to discuss other genres, then opera, where you are telling a story might be more relevant than a pop crooner.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Mr Red
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 04:03 AM

"Long time I have been waiting for the coming of my dear"

a good example of poetical phrasing. Slightly archaic, enough to make it stand out. Maybe "Long time I have " was a more common phrasing when the lyric was put together.

Eye rhyme - I have heard it said that Richard Burbage, Bill Shakespeare's principle actor, was from the West Country and therefore the wound / found rhyme in Shakey's day in the parlance of Burbage would be a perfect rhyme. The found sounding more like "fooned" in a 17c accent. Ooh ar.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 05:26 AM

I found it interesting that both Tatty Bogle's informant and Sinatra, for all that their genres were widely different, seemed to share an approach to lyrical phrasing.

If you don't find that of interest, you're welcome to ignore it.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Mo the caller
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 05:37 AM

Our zoom choir is singing a piece by Gibbons, with repeated phrases. They don't come naturally. I'm think there may be different editions, our MD talks about not liking the 'underlay'* in this edition.

*I assume he isn't talking about carpets.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: GUEST,JHW (the robots have forgotten who I am)
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 05:51 AM

To me the words are the most important and I do (did) my best to sing them sensibly as I see them intended and may have to bend the tune to do this.
A song sung with a gap between lines that makes nonsense of the remainder always irritates me.
The song 'I remember Dublin city' etc I have so often heard with erratic emphasis I'd decided it was maybe impossible to sing. The verse constrained by the rhythm of the chorus melody something like ring-a-ring-a roses. Yet I heard it sung one Whitby/Glaidale session with not a problem. A man who knew how to sing.


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: G-Force
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 09:33 AM

I love internal rhymes. In Spencer The Rover the Coppers sing: 'It tasted more sweeter than gold he had wasted'. I have always found that unsatisfactory, and prefer to sing: 'More sweeter it tasted than gold he had wasted'. Maybe that's the folk process (possibly in reverse).


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Subject: RE: Phrasing and rhyming
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Sep 20 - 11:16 AM

An off-topic aside:

JHW, there aren't any robots.
You don't have a cookie on your computer. You can log in to get one, or email joe@mudcat.org for help, if you can't remember your log-in info


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