A discussion on facebook this morning gave me the idea for this blog.
Have you ever been singing along to a song to have someone point out that you are singing the wrong words? How does this happen? The words sound right, they fit, they might not make complete sense but who are we to question the motives of a song writer?
The song I remember singing incorrectly is the one by Johnny Diesel – ‘Tip of my Tongue’. For years I sang the chorus as…Ride on the temperamental – when I should have been singing – Right on the tip of my tongue. Obviously, at the time, I was unaware of the song’s title. That would have been a big clue. However I thought the words I was singing made perfect sense and besides they fit the music perfectly.
So how can this be? Well – it’s the position of the stresses. Even though the words are different the stresses on the individual syllables fall in the same place. Let me show you…
Ride on the temperamental
Right on the tip of my tongue
In theory then any seven syllable word/phrase with the same stress pattern should fit this rhythm. Let’s see…
Do have a Merry Christmas
Ride on the dromedary
Fall off the bucking bronco
Get the picture?
Writing in rhyme is only half the story.
A good exercise is to find a poem that you know – ‘The Man from Snowy River’ is a good one, and rewrite it sticking strictly to the rhythm but changing the words. Here I’ll start you off…
There was whingeing in the classroom
as the test was passed around
Okay – off you go…
If you’d like to leave your efforts in the comments section that would be great (don’t make them as long as ‘The Man from Snow River’ though!! Just a few verses to exercise your rhythm muscles.