Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rhyme redundancy

After much searching and scraping, I think of a pretty good first line for my latest song. Shakespeare it isn't, but it sets the scene and scans perfectly: Clock alarm declares a brand new morning.

Great. Now all I need is an appropriate rhyme for morning.

Warning?

Oh, god no. Everybody rhymes morning with warning. Google it if you don't believe me. It is a rhyme cliche. Unless it's the only way to express exactly what I mean—and it isn't this time around—I'm not going there.

Okay, what then?

Very few words match up perfectly with orning. Adorning. Scorning. Those don't fit. So I try slant rhymes. Hmmm, forming. I could make that work.
Clock alarm declares a brand new morning
Hazy plans are forming
On how to use the day
Cool. But something nags at me. It's too familiar somehow. Have I done this before?

Eventually I do a quick search through my folder o' lyrics. Sure enough, it turns up in a song I wrote in 2004, "Night People":
Restless, I made my way down to the grocery store
2 in the morning
To claim a few treasures
That waited for me on the shelves
Riding my cart like a scooter
I saw that the path was clear
And no lines were forming
Checkout girl smiled at me
We had the place to ourselves
*
So now what? Should I really care that I've used this rhyme before? I run the problem past my boyfriend. He thinks that because it's an imperfect rhyme anyway, yes, I should care. Then he suggests "suborning." Sigh.

I'd like to avoid repeating myself, but I've boxed myself in. With lines already written above and below the "forming" part, whatever I substitute has to have a fairly specific meaning. If it doesn't, I have to recast everything else, and I like everything else the way it is.

I shall think on it some more.

Sometimes it sucks to have standards.

* * *

* Yeah, I know. Selves/shelves is even more of a cliche than morning/warning. What can I say? Very little else rhymes with those words. That's why you see the pairing so often.

5 comments:

DeppityBob said...

Suggestions:

Adjourning
A-borning
Corning
Horning
Shorn ink
Californing
Bon giorning
Sworn-in'g
Moor ninja
Gloarming

More updates as warranted.

MOS said...

This is why Deppity is a humorist and not a song writer.

I think the use of the words in the two songs is totally different and that you should go with it.

jody said...

I have to do this with articles now that I've written more than a couple. I've found (in time to change it fortunately) that I used exactly the same dramatic opening sentence for 2 different articles on 2 different topics. >.<

I have to go through past articles sometimes to check stuff because ... I can't remember it all but I don't want to be repeating myself or be known for "pet" phrases or whatever.

Frustrating.:)

cinderkeys said...

Dep: if you can work "shorn ink" into a song, you're a better songwriter than I.

MOS: I will if I'm desperate, but I really am trying to avoid getting into a rut.

Jody: Happy to know it's not just me. Actually, now that you mention it, I find myself doing the same thing in prose writing too. Years ago I discovered that I just looooved to start sentences with "For starters ..." And then when I tried to replace them with other phrases, it was hard.

Writing is hard, darnit! :)

Three Chord Monty said...

poor thing...