Thursday, 29 November 2018

A word doesn't rhyme with itself (2)

Opinions are sharply divided over whether a word rhymes with itself (it's as futile as arguing whether 1 is a prime number or not).

IMHO it does not, it is the height of laziness and defeats the whole object of poetry/rhymes. A really crass example of this is The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. OK, OK, it's taken me forty years to notice.


Verse one
On a warm summer's evening, on a train bound for nowhere
I met up with a gambler, we were both too tired to sleep

Verse five (or is it a chorus? There's barely a difference):
'Cause every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser,
And the best that you can hope for is to die in your sleep.

Verse six
And when he finished speakin', he turned back toward the window
Crushed out his cigarette and faded off to sleep


Curmudgeon said...

Not really, because it rhymes with a different word in each verse, not with itself. Maybe a bit inelegant, unsing the same rhyming word, but not what you're accusing him off.

Mark Wadsworth said...

C very inelegant.

AVI said...

Surely that's not rhyming; that's repetition for effect?

Derek said...

Inelegant alright. What annoys me even more is rhyming "sleep" with "speak" and "eyes" with "advice". He gets away with it because of the distance between the rhyming lines, but come on!

Curmudgeon said...

On "Smoking Gun", Robert Cray finishes every verse with "gun", which he rhymes variously with "one", "sum" and "drum". That's sort of the same thing that Kenny Rogers is doing.

If you look through the whole rock and pop canon you will find far worse infelicities, including songs that don't rhyme at all.

AVI said...

Of course, some poor rhymes then showcase amazing performers - Diana Krall makes superb job of rhyming "...plebian" with "...with me and", for example; she does it so well you don't notice the terrible rhyme. Everyone else I've heard sing that lyric has difficulty making it work.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Avi, true.

D, and that!

C, it's the near misses that bug me, not the downright wrong.

Avi, I've never heard that one.

Summary- I love over-analysing throwaway pop songs!

AVI said...

Mark, then you are missing out!:

Diana Krall / Cry Me a River