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Awkward rhymes

Murray MacLeod 07 Mar 02 - 11:22 AM
greg stephens 07 Mar 02 - 11:25 AM
Wolfgang 07 Mar 02 - 11:29 AM
MMario 07 Mar 02 - 11:32 AM
Murray MacLeod 07 Mar 02 - 11:34 AM
greg stephens 07 Mar 02 - 12:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 02 - 01:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Mar 02 - 02:16 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Mar 02 - 02:35 PM
Clinton Hammond 07 Mar 02 - 02:47 PM
MMario 07 Mar 02 - 02:56 PM
Spartacus 07 Mar 02 - 02:58 PM
fat B****rd 07 Mar 02 - 02:59 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Mar 02 - 03:24 PM
Mr Red 07 Mar 02 - 03:43 PM
Mr Red 07 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM
Genie 07 Mar 02 - 03:52 PM
DMcG 07 Mar 02 - 04:09 PM
GUEST,Bill Kennedy 07 Mar 02 - 04:50 PM
Little Hawk 07 Mar 02 - 05:08 PM
Joe_F 07 Mar 02 - 06:04 PM
Little Hawk 07 Mar 02 - 06:17 PM
Mr Red 07 Mar 02 - 06:30 PM
Cllr 07 Mar 02 - 06:46 PM
Snuffy 07 Mar 02 - 06:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 02 - 07:01 PM
Callie 07 Mar 02 - 07:07 PM
Murray MacLeod 07 Mar 02 - 07:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 02 - 08:31 PM
Little Hawk 07 Mar 02 - 10:27 PM
VoxFox 07 Mar 02 - 10:51 PM
alison 07 Mar 02 - 10:58 PM
Genie 08 Mar 02 - 01:36 AM
Giac 08 Mar 02 - 04:12 AM
Sonnet 08 Mar 02 - 06:30 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 08 Mar 02 - 07:00 AM
Wolfgang 08 Mar 02 - 07:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 02 - 07:37 AM
Wilfried Schaum 08 Mar 02 - 08:18 AM
Murray MacLeod 08 Mar 02 - 08:44 AM
Grab 08 Mar 02 - 09:07 AM
Morticia 08 Mar 02 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Rich_and_Dee 08 Mar 02 - 10:27 AM
Wolfgang 08 Mar 02 - 10:41 AM
Mrrzy 08 Mar 02 - 10:51 AM
swirlygirl 08 Mar 02 - 11:11 AM
Cllr 08 Mar 02 - 11:13 AM
Nigel Parsons 08 Mar 02 - 11:20 AM
Jeri 08 Mar 02 - 11:55 AM
Murray MacLeod 08 Mar 02 - 01:38 PM
Kenny B (inactive) 08 Mar 02 - 03:13 PM
Genie 08 Mar 02 - 04:37 PM
Mary in Kentucky 08 Mar 02 - 04:43 PM
SharonA 08 Mar 02 - 04:49 PM
Murray MacLeod 08 Mar 02 - 04:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 02 - 05:03 PM
SharonA 08 Mar 02 - 05:08 PM
SharonA 08 Mar 02 - 05:15 PM
Mary in Kentucky 08 Mar 02 - 07:36 PM
Snuffy 08 Mar 02 - 08:00 PM
Desdemona 08 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM
Snuffy 08 Mar 02 - 08:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Mar 02 - 08:46 PM
Desdemona 08 Mar 02 - 08:51 PM
Genie 08 Mar 02 - 10:05 PM
Little Hawk 09 Mar 02 - 02:10 AM
Haruo 09 Mar 02 - 02:14 AM
fat B****rd 09 Mar 02 - 03:34 AM
swirlygirl 09 Mar 02 - 07:14 AM
John Nolan 09 Mar 02 - 08:19 AM
GUEST 09 Mar 02 - 08:38 AM
Nigel Parsons 09 Mar 02 - 08:40 AM
Genie 10 Mar 02 - 03:34 AM
DMcG 10 Mar 02 - 06:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Mar 02 - 06:48 AM
DMcG 10 Mar 02 - 08:41 AM
Sonnet 10 Mar 02 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,heric 11 Jun 03 - 01:03 PM
Mr Happy 11 Jun 03 - 02:18 PM
Ebbie 11 Jun 03 - 03:20 PM
SINSULL 11 Jun 03 - 05:12 PM
GUEST,AArk 11 Jun 03 - 06:43 PM
GUEST,AArk 11 Jun 03 - 06:49 PM
Mr Happy 11 Jun 03 - 09:51 PM
Steve Parkes 12 Jun 03 - 03:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jun 03 - 08:23 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jun 03 - 09:25 PM
Ebbie 12 Jun 03 - 09:41 PM
Mr Happy 01 May 13 - 11:49 AM
PHJim 01 May 13 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Don Wise 02 May 13 - 04:25 AM
BobKnight 02 May 13 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Mark 02 May 13 - 11:16 AM
dick greenhaus 02 May 13 - 12:20 PM
Mr Happy 02 May 13 - 12:25 PM
Paul Davenport 02 May 13 - 12:46 PM
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Subject: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:22 AM

Spilling over from the "Blue Ribbon" thread here.

Most people have, I am sure, heard rhymes in a song that made them wince. This could either be because of the rhyme itself (trying to rhyme "skeleton" with "Wellington" for example), or because the songsmith has either contorted the words or desperately searched the Thesaurus in order to obtain a suitable rhyme.

An example of the second type is in Alastair Hulett's song "Destitution Road", (and I would add that Alastair Hulett is normally one of the best crafters of songs on the planet.) I am quoting from memory here, I haven't heard the song in four years, so may not be word-perfect.

"It's no use getting frantic
It's time to sling your load
Across the wild Atlantic
On the Destitution Road"

The line "It's no use getting frantic" just makes me groan .....

Any other examples of rhymes that make you cringe ?

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:25 AM

I'll have to think about some bad ones, but i think little green apples and indianopolis is superb.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:29 AM

Alma (T. Lehrer) is full of awkward rhymes. 'Gustav' with 'must have' is hard to surpass.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: MMario
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:32 AM

Tom Lehrer's stuff is filled with forced rhymes - usually very cleverly done - and sometimes punny to boot.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 11:34 AM

Mmm I am not sure that "ALma" qualifies as "cringe-making" Wolfgang. When the rhymes are obviously constructed for comic effect, that is a different matter.

I was looking more for exmples of Homer nodding ....

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: greg stephens
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 12:51 PM

That Shakespeare chap never seems to be able to get anything much to rhyme at all.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 01:26 PM

Sometimes in a desperate attempt to get a rhyme, versifiers use a peculiar and distorted way. That I suppose is what Murray is complaining about in that example he gives - though in this instance I can't see much wrong with "No use getting frantic". It's a common enough expression.

When a forced rhyme is used for comic effect, like Tom Lehrer or WS Gilbert, that is a very respectable use of language, and the more forced the more engaging.

The practice of using pararhymes rather than accurate rhymes in a serious spmg or poem is a different matter, and I don't think there's anything wrong at all with that, in principle. Like anything, it can be done badly.

It's very common in Irish songs which have been Englished. And in a more literary context, given that Yeats went in for it very frequently, I don't think it stands in need of defending.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 02:16 PM

My lines in the pace egg play read -

...but from St George I received this bloody wound
Hark! I hear the silver trumpet sound.

Looks OK but just don't rhyme!

I love the Leo Sayers song though -

There was ham and there was turkey, there was caviar
and long tall glasses with wine up to hear.

If you have never heard how he does it dig it out:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 02:35 PM

Kevin, I agree with your point about pararhymes, and to be honest, I don't think it is possible to analyse why a certain rhyme is OK and another makes you go "Ouch". It's a bit like folk music, nobody can define it but you know it when you hear it.

In my example of "Destitution Road" , which is an otherwise powerful song about the Highland Clearances, I find the line trite, not to say bathetic, and I just know that the only reason it's there is to furnish a rhyme with Atlantic. There aren't really many rhymes to Atlantic, when you think of it. "Antic", "frantic" and "Tantric" (at a pinch) just about exhaust the possibilities.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 02:47 PM

Ummm... kinda on topic.. but more an awkward line, that could have rhymed...

Stephen Fearing has a great song called "The Life..." As in "ain't it just the..." About playing sometimes lousy gigs, and how being a touring musician can sometimes suck rocks, but how there are things that keep ya coming back and back and back... It's one of my ALL TIME favourite Stephen Fearing songs too...

In this song there's the verse...

"So you pick up your guitar
And play it for yourself
These days you only play it seems
For everybody else
Pull the strings into your hand
Hold the wood against you hips
Unwind the miles of silence
From your fingers"

Now, Stephen is a consummate word smith and ya just know he labours over getting every word just right with his Thesaurus and his Rhyming Dictionary... But last time I chanced to sit with him over a pint after his show I asked him, interested in a little insight into his songwriting head, "Why not 'Unwind the miles of silence from your FINGERTIPS' eh"?

He kinda looked at me blankly for a beat and a half, raised half an eyebrow and said, "Ya know, I never thought of that."

So much for meeting yer heroes eh...

LOL!!!!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: MMario
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 02:56 PM

It's no use getting heartsick might have been a better choice


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Spartacus
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 02:58 PM

This is actually one of my favorites, and I know Bob stole it from Woody, but...

Aint no use in leavin on your light babe, the light i never knowed Aint no use in leavin on your light babe, I'm on the dark side of the road

from "Dont think twice it's alright"

-Spartacus


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: fat B****rd
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 02:59 PM

"Said that love was too plebian, said that you were through with me an'" !!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:24 PM

Fat Bast*rd, come on, please give sources ...

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:43 PM

greg stephens
Uncle Bill was writing for Burbage (and with him too) who was from the west country, Shakespear himself would have had a similar accent (don't even think Brum, it didn't exist then). I can't explain much of the rhyme choice but one I do remeber from just such a radio discussion was "wound" (bleeding not winding) & "found" - found would have been nearer "foond" in what is reckoned to be Elizabethan mumerzet dielect. Perfect rhyme? I think so.
I got this regularly when I used the Stillman rhyming dictionary - American rhymes!!!.
Two nations separated by common rhymes?
Scottish is just as confusing.
But as Benny Green used to say - "Words are rubbish, until they marry the music", if ithe rhyme is crap in context, as sung by the songwriter then it is a crap rhyme (or funny).


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:45 PM

call me a pedant but the SOED CD ROM gives backward for awkward
I'll get my coat......


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Genie
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:52 PM

What Murray said.

Flanders and Swann were masters at this--most notably in "The Hippopotamus Song," e.g.
"The fair hippotama he aimed to entice..."
rhymed with
"As she hadn't got a ma to give her advice."

In the popular vein, Cole Porter was a grand master of these embedded rhymes and closely matched meter -- usually not seeming forced and sometimes seeming whimsical.

Homer and Jethro, on the other hand, often had rhymes so ridiculously forced that I groaned. (Maybe that was part of their charm.)

Re other problems with ineloquent rhymes, there's Neil Diamond's "...Songs she sang to me, songs she brang to me ..."!

And how about Sting's rhyming "apprentice" with "Charybdis" ("Wrapped Around Your Finger")?

Also, sometimes a REAL rhyme is both so obvious and so OVERUSED that I think if one more songwriter uses it, I'll scream! "Waiting" closely followed by "anticipating" is high on my list.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 04:09 PM

From the carol "The Truth sent from Above"

So we were raised to endless woes
'Til God the Lord did interpose

Bet the songwright was proud of that one!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST,Bill Kennedy
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 04:50 PM

Fat B****ard was referring to the famous Crimea River, don't you know your geography?


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 05:08 PM

Sorry, can't recall the author, but it's a woman...and the lines are:

"Living your life as a warrior
Nothing will bore ya
You can be ha-a-a-a-py"

"Warrior" is, of course, pronounced "war-ya" in this case. If that isn't dreadful rhyming, I don't know what is! I got this song locked in my head one sleepless night, and it was like having a really bad toothache.

Dylan rhymed Angelina with subpoena in the song "Angelina"...it has a lot of verses, and he was running out of words ending in "ina" by late in the song. Despite this, it remains a fascinating lyric.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Joe_F
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:04 PM

There is an IWW song in which "wages" is rhymed (appositely) with "outrageous".

IMO the worst rhyme in a song -- possibly in all of English prosody -- is

There is a tree in paradise,
And the pilgrims call it the tree of life.

The last vowel is spread over 8 beats, during which the naive listener can wonder whether the word is going to be "lies" or, perhaps, "lice". Nevertheless, I like the song.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:17 PM

Yes, but in that case the effective meaning in the lyric is far more important than producing a perfect rhyme, so I don't think it qualifies under "awkward rhymes"...

But that's just another opinion.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:30 PM

It is all about context - I have seen whole lines that just don't sit right - most of em in my songs but I find there comes a time when you don't have the energy to do anything about it.
the phrase "Polishing a terd" sums it up.
BTW FWIW
call me an antique pedantic but rhymes for frantic are numerous enough to bore you, but without being sycophantic - what about romantic?


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Cllr
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:46 PM

Has any one got a rhyme for orange or silver?Cllr


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 06:54 PM

Last night I looked into my mirror
As usual
I told myself that you're still here
As usual

I think this may be a true rhyme in parts of the States, but it sure as hell aint here in England, where it's much more likely to be a mirrow than a meer.

WassaiL!" V


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 07:01 PM

Quite often in my own songs I'll intentionally avoid a perfect rhyme and use a part rhyme instead - because it says what I want said better, but also because I prefer the slight discordance involved.

For example in one song I've a line (about some former resistance fighters becoming politicians who do well out of the new regime)where the perfect rhyme would have been :

"For some it ended in a life so splendid"

But instead I chose to have it as

"For some it ended in a life resplendent"

which I think sounds better, as well as maybe giving more of a picture.

Again, quoting myself, one of the cheekiest rhymes I've used is at the end of the second and fourth lines of this verse. I think it just about works, by which I mean it doesn't sound as though I've has to wrench what I'm saying around in order to get it:

There are hard days and good days.
And days to remember, winter, summer, spring and fall;
And the best days are hard days, as often times as not
And the day we are born, that's the hardest day of all.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Callie
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 07:07 PM

And then there's "gigantic" & "Icelandic"!!

"It's no use speaking Icelandic It's time to sling your load Across the wild Atlantic On the Destitution Road"

I made up the word "triosk" to rhyme with "kiosk". I don't exactly remember the context - I think a friend laid down a rhyming challenge, and I rose to the occasion! "Triosk" is now used in our circle of friends! (meaning: those thin little rolls of skin you get when your hands are dirty and you rub your finger along the palm of your hand. It can also refer to eraser shavings on paper)


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 07:35 PM

I must have had a brain fart there, Mr Red. I suppose it could have been worse, Hulett might have written
" Let's not get all romantic
It's time to sling your load
Across the wild Atlantic
On the Destitution Road"

Just the thing to tell a crofter watching the charred remains of his house and family. But almost preferable to the original, INHO.

Genie, as usual you are spot on. Neil Diamond's
"Songs she sang to me, songs she brang to me ..."
is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind. I don't think there can be a worse rhyme anywhere in the history of song. Of course, that verse in "Play Me" has two other lines rhyming internally with "sang to me" so I guess he felt he had to go for it.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 08:31 PM

Of course you'd think that if sing modified to sang, bring would similarly go to brang - and the form does exist in the dictionaries, but as obsolete. "songs she brung to me" would be close enough.

I think the rule of thumb is, unless you are using the rhyme humorously, you should never sound as if you are using a word or a construction as a way of getting a rhyme. It should sound as if, just by fortunate chance, the words you needed to use to convey the meaning happened to echo each other at the right places.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 10:27 PM

Murray - I agree. Neil takes the prize for that one. I also like the one where the chair refuses to talk to him. And what day cannot be improved by listening to "Song Sung Blue" about 50 times in a row?

I think, however, that Dan Hill could give him some stiff competition if he just got in gear and gave it a really solid try.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: VoxFox
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 10:51 PM

Fat B's first posting comes from the song "Cry Me A River" sung by Julie London and various others. Ithought it was rather clever. *BG* VF


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: alison
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 10:58 PM

"you sheltered me from harm
kept me waaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrm"


aaarrggghh!!!!

slainte

alison


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Genie
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 01:36 AM

Cllr, You can rhyme "orange" if you split the syllable rhymes between two words, e.g.:
"...for en-joyment. Oh, I love to eat an orange
In the heat of the noonday sun.
I only do it for en-
Joyment and for fun.
(Talk about contrived rhymes!!)

Little Hawk, The line you cited is from Chris Williamson's "Song Of The Soul."
She actually wrote (and sings)

"Come to your life like a warrior ["war-yah"]
Nothing will bore ya...
But I nearly always hear other folks sing it [and even PRINT the lyrics] as:
"come to your life like a warrior,
Nothing will bore yer...

Murray, When Belafonte sings "Play Me," he sings
"Songs she sang to me, songs she brought to me,
Words that rang in me, rhymes that sprang from me
Warmed the night ...."
To me, it sounds just fine that way, without the chalk on the blackboard reaction I get to "brang."

Not to beat up on Neil Diamond---Oh, heck, lets!---he really strains a rhyme in "'I Am', I Said."
"...I'm not a man who likes to swear, but I never cared...". There IS NO SWEARING in the song, so the line seems to have been inserted just to make an internal rhyme!

Neil also wrote:
"Song sung blue, weeping like a willow
"Song sung blue, sleeping on my pillow."
These two are examples of lines of words that rhyme but really don't make a lot of sense.

Rod Steward did the same thing in "You're In My Heart. He includes the line, BR>"You're [da da*], you're glamour,
Please pardon the grammar,
But you're every schoolboy's dream ..." Words that rang in m (*I can't recall the two-syllable word here-- something like "essence," but it's not relevant to the point.)
The point is that there IS NO BAD GRAMMAR in the statement he is making. Again, a cheap non-sequitur of a rhyme.

The epitome of this kind of silly rhyme, of course, is the 1960's song "Incense, Peppermints." The guys who wrote it said that they did it by going to a rhyming dictionary and just trying to put all these rhyming and half-rhyming words into a song, not caring if it meant anything!

Genie


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Giac
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 04:12 AM

Foggy Mountaintop:

Now if you see that girl of mine,
There is something you must tell 'er
She need not be wasting her time away,
Just to court some other feller.

~;o)


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Sonnet
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 06:30 AM

The original example of skeleton and Wellington, and most of the others mentioned would be described in poetry as half rhymes or near rhymes. eg cat/cot, hat/bag.End consonants may have the same sound or the internal vowels may have the same sound. Tough/bough are eye rhymes. As a poet, I like pushing the bounaries back, and find that half rhymes allow you the scope to be unpredictable, and are a device that permits playfulness with language without the forced constraints of full rhymes.

My personal favourite half rhymes for orange are strange, porridge, and, best of all, Boris.

Half rhymes for silver include sliver, slavver, cleaver and whisper.

Janet


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 07:00 AM

Regarding the Orange/Porridge rhyme: anyone remember an old Jacobite rant that goes something like this?

Oh! what's the rhyme for porringer?
Ken ye the rhyme for porringer?
King Jamie had a dochter fair
And he wed her to an Oranger!

Ken ye how he requited him?
Ken ye how he requited him?
The scurvy knave has crossed the seas
And ta'en the crown in spite o' him!

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 07:35 AM

Rhyme for silver? The Italian singer Milva

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 07:37 AM

There was a man called Frederick Gorange
Who founded a store by the name of Goringes.
You could buy many things there, but you'd never find an orange.
Goringes wasn't the kind of shop that sold oranges.

(It was near Victoria Station.)


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:18 AM

That's so fine with the mudcat threads: as a linguist you can make a lot of observations you never dreamed (or is it dreamt) about.
So let it be with "brang".
The Columbia Guide to Standard American English / Kenneth G. Wilson. - 1993:
bring 1 (v.) has as its Standard principal parts bring, brought, and brought. Brang or brung as past tense and brung as past participle are dialectal and Substandard, so much so that Standard users sometimes use them jocularly in Conversational or Informal situations in full confidence that their listeners will not think their use inadvertent.
Here we have the phenomenon that for sake of fun the principal parts are changed to the forms of aother rhyming word.
Exactly the same case we have in High German: bringen (brachte, gebracht) rhymes to singen (sang, gesungen), and so the parts are changed to bringen, brang, gebrungen in jocular speech.
There was a time when this custom formed a major part of German Student Language. So I can find nothing awkward with this rhyme; I just leant back and smirked a little bit.
Special thanks to Wolfgang for the link to Lehrer's Alma; it's a wonderful piece of rhymed literary history. The rhymes are definitely not awkward in my opinion; they create an ironic distance to the theme of the poem and make it to real jolly good stuff.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:44 AM

Wilfried, I think everybody would agree that all of Tom Lehrer's songs "make it to real jolly good stuff", but Neil Diamond's song was written as an intensely serious love song, not jocular, and his use of "brang" sticks out like a sore thumb.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Grab
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 09:07 AM

Heard one on the radio last night, which I thought deserved entry here:-

"I drive a Rolls Royce, cos it's good for my voice" - from "Children of the Revolution" by T Rex

And damn near the whole of "Up the Junction" by Squeeze would feature in here ("This morning at four-fifty, I fetched her rather nifty" particularly).

Graham.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Morticia
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 09:22 AM

There is a throughly horrid Diana Ross song,disco beat type thing in which she or the misfortunate who wrote the wretched thing uses the word thee, although the rest of the song is in modern idiom;I think it may be called "upside Down" or somesuch and the line in context goes....."Respectfully I say to thee,
I'm aware that you're cheating
But no-one makes me feel like you do
Cheap and artificial don't even begin to cover it...


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST,Rich_and_Dee
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 10:27 AM

Hi,

Black Sabbath's song "War Pigs" I believe contains the line "...generals gathered in their masses/Just like witches at black masses". Ozzy, dude, to rhyme the words have to be a LITTLE different.

On the other hand, Andy M. Stewart's song "The Errant Apprentice" contains some truly wonderful rhymes for comic effect, such as "In extremis and euphoria/I joined with Queen Victoria" and "Around the town's perimeter/He chased me with his scimitar". The Lyrics are in the DT.

Rich Kelly


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 10:41 AM

A rhyme on orange? Well, there's always Conrad's Ulster Orange songbook to turn to for answers to such questions and I have found this gem in the song 'The Prince of Orange Welcome to London ' which I copy and paste without any change:

And not to retun to the Prince Van Orange
Whose cost, care and Conduct, has wrouht thisgreat change
This Nation from Thraldom I hope he'll set free
And then there will none be more happy than we.

Ouch

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mrrzy
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 10:51 AM

My personal fave from Tom Lehrer is from Smut - Give me smut and nothing but / a dirty novel I can't shut / if it's uncut / and unsut (piano plays padadadumpumpump, just long enough for you to go unWHAT?)/ -tle (da da da dum)...


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: swirlygirl
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 11:11 AM

"So much could fold or hinge On whether your dress was orange or black"

Humpff Family "Triangle" (I think)

And it really does rhyme when you hear it sung...

:)

xxx


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Cllr
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 11:13 AM

Lehrer - The element song (all of it)Cllr


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 11:20 AM

For "Orange" try the rhyme "Lozenge":


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Jeri
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 11:55 AM

In a shirt of paisley orange, he
Sang a poignant song for Angie
But it didn't have a rhyming word for "silver"
He said "I'm sorely vexed,
And thoroughly perplexed,
But it's not a thing that I'm inclined to kill fer."

"I am," he sang, to no one there
And was miffed when snubbed by the kitchen chair
He climbed upon the table and did yell -
"Pay attention," he sang, "Durn it - sure
I know you're only furniture,
But you're all I have, sofa as I can tell"

(I can't help it...I can't help it...)


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 01:38 PM

As my kids would say, awesome, Jeri ...

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Kenny B (inactive)
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 03:13 PM

A gem from the Flanders & Swann song - Missalliance

Said the right hand thread honeysuckle to the left hand thread bindweed

Oh! Let us get married if my parents don't mind ....We'ed ,

Be loving and inseparable, inexplicably entwined,

We'd live happily ever after, said the honeysuckle to the bindweed

TTFN ;>)


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Genie
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 04:37 PM

Me, too, Jeri -- I say "awesome." (which, BTW, kind of rhymes with "possum," FWIW.)

McGrath , I think your "rule of thumb" has hit the nail on the head:"...unless you are using the rhyme humorously, you should never sound as if you are using a word or a construction as a way of getting a rhyme. It should sound as if, just by fortunate chance, the words you needed to use to convey the meaning happened to echo each other at the right places.

BTW, pardon my dual finger faux pas in the post about Rod Stewart.

Sonnet, I agree that half-rhymes expand your boundaries and often make better poetry . -- Some beautiful songs don't have any rhymes at all. -- But to me there is something very special about a song that has excellent match of meter and rhyme from phrase to phrase yet sounds as if it had sprung spontaneously from the songwriter's heart. It's an added aspect of craftsmanship not present in all beautiful songs. McCartney's "Yesterday" is, I think, a prime example--complete with internal rhymes and verses that have matched line meters, yet the song sounds like normal conversation, not artsy poetry. (If you read it as prose, it sounds perfectly natural, too.)

When you CAN't express the meaning and feeling well with true rhymes, though, I much prefer the para-rhyme or no rhyme at all!

FWIW, "silver" can also be rhymed by combining TWO words at the right place in the song/poem --
e.g., "with its lakes of silver,
Dear Ireland ever will ver-
dant be." (Give it a bit more thought and you could probably come up with some less awkward phrases of this sort to rhyme with "orange" and "silver" [that is, if you feel you need to!].

Wilfried, I could easily accept "brang" in a funny song or your standard country ballad, but "Play Me" is such a sweet, romantic song that the use of that clearly archaic or incorrect word really detracts. (I see Murray made the same point above, only better stated.)

Genie


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 04:43 PM

from "Fiddler on the Roof" in the song, "Matchmaker"...

For Poppa, make him a scholar,
For Momma, make him rich as a king,
For me, well, I wouldn't holler...

I hate that line. There is another one from Sondheim or Hammerstein which is really irritating, but I can't for the life of me think of it now.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 04:49 PM

Come, sit right down and have an orange.
I grew it here, so it's not foreign.
J
ust let me put it through my silver
Juicer. Drink it! It's to kill fer!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 04:56 PM

Bravo, Sharon ! Neil Diamond couldn't have put it better ! *G*

Murray


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 05:03 PM

Neat rhyme for orange there.

As for "brang" for "bring", I'd rather assumed that was the kind of thing people said in some parts of the States. After all, that's more or less how "sing" is pronounced often enough, and not as a joke.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 05:08 PM

...or you could pronounce it "si'ver" and rhyme it with "river"...

But there again, it's all in fun and not intended to be serious; therefore some leeway is permissible. I agree wholeheartedly with those who object to the forced rhyme "brang" in "Play Me." But my highest indignation is reserved for the almost-rhyme, such as the "heaven-given" rhyme found in many hymns. I hate hearing it, and I'm going back into my earlier writings to weed it out wherever it may have appeared.

There's a songwriter acquaintance of mine who attended a songwriting workshop that I also attended last year. The subject of the almost-rhyme came up and he said he enjoyed writing them into his songs. He seemed to think it was a clever means of styling a song, and that it attracted the attention of the listener. Attempts to tell him that he was attracting the wrong sort of attention didn't get through to him. He goes on tour nationally and gets glowing reviews, so I don't suppose he cares what we stay-at-homes think! But I won't pay to go listen to him and cringe at his lyrics!!!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: SharonA
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 05:15 PM

P.S. – Thanks, Murray and Kevin! BTW, some people here do pronounce "sing" a bit more like "sang", but I think that the "short-i-to-short-a" phenomenon is truer of the word "thing".


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 07:36 PM

Sharon, "Orange ya glad you're you?"

I also hate these lines from the song "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"

What do you get when you kiss a guy?
You get enough germs to catch pneumonia.
After you do, he'll never phone you.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:00 PM

Those E-damn foreigners aren't worth a mention, Old Gorgonzola's renowned for it stench'n, His brother Emile wrote novels in French'n Sing, Oh the hard cheese of old England, In old Engerland very hard cheese.

Les Barker in a Lehrer-esque mood.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Desdemona
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:03 PM

I won't belabour the point with specific examples, but Bob Dylan's rhyme schemes have always struck me as particularly discordant, inspired & brilliant!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:04 PM

Must remember the fifference between <BR> and <B>

Those E-damn foreigners aren't worth a mention,
Old Gorgonzola's renowned for it stench'n,
His brother Emile wrote novels in French'n
Sing, Oh the hard cheese of old England,
In old Engerland very hard cheese.

Les Barker in a Lehrer-esque mood.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:46 PM

I'm not with you at all on the "almost rhyme", Sharon. The technical name for it is "consonance", and it's been used by the greatest writers as an alternative to rhyme, or sometimes alongside rhyme. Dismissing it as just being an imperfect rhyme is, to my mind, a mistake.

I just looked up "consonance" in a fascinating book called "A readers guide to literary terms", to check I'd got it right - and the example the gave was from Emily Dickinson:

'T was later when the summer went
Than when the cricket came,
And yet we knew that gentle clock
Meant nought but going home.

'T was sooner when the cricket went
Than when the winter came
Yet that pathetic pendulum
Keeps esoteric time.

It wouldn't have been oarticularly hard for her to rewrite those lines with rhymes - but I think the poem would have lost something.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Desdemona
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:51 PM

And, as has been clearly demonstrated by many an undergraduate scholar, all Emily Dickinson poems improve when set to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas"!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Genie
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 10:05 PM

Sharon, That's awesome, too! LOL!

Mary,

To be correct (though it may not make the poem any better as art), Hal David's lyric is "... You get enough germs to catch pneumonia. After you do, he'll never phone ya."

McGrath, what do you call it when the vowel soundsconsonant sounds don't? Is that "assonance?"
An example is the "paradise"/"tree of life" verse given above (from "All My Trials").

Personally, I don't necessarily mind either of these para-rhymes if the final poem/lyric pleases me. But, I often hear songs with this sort of half-rhyme that sound to me as though the songwriter just hadn't wanted to spend any time crafting the song.

Genie

I just looked up "consonance" in a fascinating book called "A readers guide to literary terms", to check I'd got it right - and the example the gave was from Emily Dickinson:

'T was later when the summer went Than when the cricket came, And yet we knew that gentle clock Meant nought but going home.

'T was sooner when the cricket went Than when the winter came Yet that pathetic pendulum Keeps esoteric time.

It wouldn't have been oarticularly hard for her to rewrite those lines with rhymes - but I think the poem would have lost something.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 02:10 AM

The Dylan song "No Time To Think" has a ton of really unusual rhymes in it...quite interesting.

- LH


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Haruo
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 02:14 AM

I think when I rhymed "Nineveh" with "Guinevere" that was quite a stretch. It's in Just Kill Me from my "Jonah was a prophet (minor)" 'oratorio'. But then the whole show is intended to be in a G&S mode, and what's G&S about if not an almost Nashian approach to rhyme?

Liland


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: fat B****rd
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 03:34 AM

"The Power of Love" by Willie Harper contains "They know how many leaves there is on a tree - they know who killed......the Dead Sea" In the coda for the wonderful "Shop Aroud" by The Miracles, I'm sure Smokey Robinson sings "Don't let the first one getcha - Ah, 'Cos I don't wanna see her witcha" !!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: swirlygirl
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 07:14 AM

"Stickers licked on lunchboxes Worshipping David Cassidy.."

"We scream at cathedrals Why can't it be beautiful..."

"With your E's and your ease and I do one more need a lip gloss boost in your America..." (the emphasis on "more" and "America")

"Talula Talula You don't want to lose her...

Talula Talula She's brand new now to you...

Ran into the henchman Who severed Ane Boleyn..." (various rhymes from the same song)

I could go on...

Tori Amos can manage to stretch out just about anything to make it seem like it rhymes...problem is when I think of the lyrics now they seem to rhyme perfectly!

:)

xxx


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: John Nolan
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 08:19 AM

Sometimes rhymes may look clumsy or awkward in print, but work brilliantly in the song. "When The Caplin Come In" has the following:
He's lost all his fishes,
By God, he looks vicious,
He's chawing' tobacco, there's juice on his chin,
There's spawn in his whiskers,
His hands are all blisters,
He's been on the beach since the caplin come in.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 08:38 AM


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Mar 02 - 08:40 AM

To put it in perspective, on the approach to St Patrick's Day, A quote from Gilbert O'Sullivan.
Nothing good, nothing bad, nothing ventured
Nothing gained, nothing still-born or lost,
Nothing further than proof nothing wilder than youth
Nothing physically, recklessly, hopelessly blind
Nothing I couldn't say
Nothing why 'cos today
Nothing rhymed

He rhymes "Proof" with "Youth" & "Say" with "Today", but otherwise, "Nothing Rhymed"


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Genie
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 03:34 AM

In case anyone wondered what the heck was going on at the end of my last post, the following lines were copied and pasted as note-taking, and I fogot to delete them:

'T was later when the summer went Than when the cricket came, And yet we knew that gentle clock Meant nought but going home.

'T was sooner when the cricket went Than when the winter came Yet that pathetic pendulum Keeps esoteric time.

It wouldn't have been oarticularly hard for her to rewrite those lines with rhymes - but I think the poem would have lost something.

Sorry if i befuddled anyone.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:31 AM

"Sometimes rhymes may look clumsy or awkward in print, but work brilliantly in the song" - or the opposite:

So I'll to down to some lonesome garden
where no man on earth may there me FIND
Where the pretty little song-birds do change their voices
And every moment blows blusterous WIND

Oops!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 06:48 AM

Not "Oops" - consonance, and nothing wrong with that.

Though I prefer to call all those things part rhymes or half-rhymes or para-rhymes.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 08:41 AM

I would agree, apart from the fact that almost every one I know feels obliged to make it rhyme and so they sing wine-d rather than win-d


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Sonnet
Date: 10 Mar 02 - 11:35 AM

Find and wind (as in breeze) are referred to as eye rhymes.In other words, they aren't full rhymes, but look on paper as though they ought to be.

Janet


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST,heric
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 01:03 PM

He who shall train the horse to war

Shall never pass the polar bar.


-William Blake, Auguries of Innocence


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 02:18 PM

one of my all time favourites,


from,'The Bacon Butty'(written by Fred McCormick)


And to the ones who daily toil
In sandwich bar and kitchen
To serve in cellophane and foil
Our modest lives enriching.
Well washed and free from gangarine
I bless the tender hand which
Spreads thick, and fast, the margarine,
Upon the bacon sandwich.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 03:20 PM

Sometimes people just don't think. Or care.

Recently I have heard this one group sing in 'I'll Fly Away':

Some glad morning when this life is over
I'll fly away
To a home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away.


I swear, one of these times I'm going sing loudly:

To a home on God's celestial shover


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 05:12 PM

From "High Noon".
Do Not Forsake Me

He made a vow while in state prison,
Vowed it'd be my life or his'n,
I ain't afraid of death, but, o-oh,
What will I do if you leave me?


He could have used decision, derision, and oh so many others but "HIS'N" does rhyme with prison.

hee hee


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST,AArk
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 06:43 PM


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST,AArk
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 06:49 PM

Not Folkie, but from the late lamented Ian Dury's "There Aint Half Been Some Clever Bas***ds":-

Einstein can't be classed as witless
He said atoms were the littlest
When you do a bit of splitting'em-ness
Frightens everybody sh**less

LOL!!


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 09:51 PM

Some glad morning when this life is o'er
I'll fly away
To a home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 03:38 AM

There was a man named Hermoniges Phniggs
Who lived in Kilburn in terrible digs.
He changed his name to Eric Fruit
And now the damn' thig won't rhyme!

Spike Miligan

How about The clouds roll by/For you and I? Eek! But I still sing But fishes will fly and seas will run dry/'Tis then that you'll marry I. No problem with the rhymes, but nowadays educated people should know better than to mangle grammar.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 08:23 PM

"Some glad morning when this life is o'er"

- but the tune insists that that last word has two syllables, which is ok in dialects where "o'er" is pronounced "o-wer" but it tends to be pronounced more like "orr" most times in my experience, which wouldn't do. Rhyme should generally take a subordinate role, I believe.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 09:25 PM

Murray-

Hulett should have rhymed "Atlantic" with "Titanic" and changed the song so that she'd rise again!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 09:41 PM

McGrath, where I come from, both o'er and shore in the song are pronounced as a distinctly two-part word, in the key of C, for instance, bending from e to d and from e to c, respectively.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:49 AM

'Farewell to Valparaiso & farewell for a while
And likewise all those Spanish girls along the coast of Chile!'


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: PHJim
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:24 PM

The Canadian Olympic song that had the lines:
I believe together we'll fly
I believe in the power of you and I

"You and me" would be grammatically correct, but wouldn't rhyme. Still I clenched my teeth every time I heard these lines.

Similarly, the old folk song "Didn't He Ramble" has opening lines that are sung differently by different people. Many folks sing the grammatically incorrect AND non-rhyming:
"Mother raised three grown sons, Buster Bill and I,
Buster was the black sheep of our little family."
In order to make it rhyme, some pronounce "family" as "famil-eye"

An easier solution taken by several singers is to correct the grammar, also correcting the rhyme:
"Mother raised three grown sons, Buster Bill and me,
Buster was the black sheep of our little family."


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST,Don Wise
Date: 02 May 13 - 04:25 AM

I think that we ought to bear in mind that, when criticising the rhymes in old folk songs, pronunciation, along with spelling, has changed over the centuries. We have all had a good schooling with the modern english language well to the fore in the curriculum. Shakespeare with his plays and sonnets,and the hacks down in Seven Dials churning out broadsides however rhymed according to the then valid pronunciation. For example, wind was, I believe, once written as wynd- as in "O Westron Wynd", and, if classically trained singers are to be believed, pronounced as 'wye+nd'. Furthermore, most traditional songs reflect the dialect/patois/argot, and so the pronunciation, of the region where they were collected, which is why modern RP often grates and leads singers to 'correct' the rhyme.

With 'modern' songs, on the other hand, I have to agree that the rhymes can be strained, even cringeworthy, although this is often more apparent if you read rather than sing the text. I also have to admit that I'm as guilty as the next songwriter when it comes to this. It's like the old jazz song puts it:"It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it..."


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: BobKnight
Date: 02 May 13 - 05:08 AM

My favourite, which I heard recently was the Irish song where "Sky" rhymed perfectly with "joy." (skoy) I'm not criticising it, especially with a strong Scottish accent like mine - it just amused me.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 02 May 13 - 11:16 AM

Roger Miller:

"Roses are red, and violets are purple,
Sugar is sweet, and so is maple sirple...."

"Kansas City star, that's what I are...."


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 May 13 - 12:20 PM

Sinsul-
Derision is nowhere near rhyme for prison
Guest Mark (and others):
Forced rhymes for obvious humorous purpose aren't awkward. LOrenz Hart, Cole Porter, Ogden Nash and Roger Miller (among many others) did this brilliantly.

My pet peeve is those who attempt to rhyme sinular wors with plurals: ie Prairies with fairy.


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Mr Happy
Date: 02 May 13 - 12:25 PM

sinular wors?

'Course, you can always make up your own words to rhyme, like Lewis Carrol: 'twas brillig & the slithy toves' etc


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Subject: RE: Awkward rhymes
From: Paul Davenport
Date: 02 May 13 - 12:46 PM

My favourites - Arctic Monkeys, 'When the Sun Goes Down' has the following:

And oh, he must be up to sommat (something)
What are the chances? Sure it's more than likely
I've got a feeling in my stomach

or even better;
Look, here comes a Ford Mondeo
Isn't he Mr. Inconspicuous
And he don't even have to say owt

The band's lyrics scan and rhyme perfectly. But only if you speak South Yorkshire! :-)


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