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.


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.


DeppityBob said...


Shorn ink
Bon giorning
Moor ninja

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.


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...