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3. November 2013 7 03 /11 /November /2013 13:11

I 'talked' about the importance of the meter in lyrics every once in a while. Actually, the most important aspect to achieve consistence in your lyrics is having consistent endings in corresponding lines. Lines can end on a stressed syllable or unstressed.

 

tires screeched, I heard a bang and some crunching noise
somebody screamed, then there was a timid, whining voice
it just happens, just like that, someone may be blamed
you can reason, you can argue, the result's the same

 

All lines end on a stress here. But the beginnings differ. In most cases it's okay to add an unstressed syllable at the beginning of a line. In the music this will have to become an upbeat, a note (= syllable) that is sung before the first beat of the next bar. The first line begins with an accented note, the second needs an upbeat to match the pattern (just imagine that the first syllable - "some" - was not there to see what I mean).

 

I need to spill blood
rub your face in the mud
won't give a shit 'bout your pleading
dance with glee while your bleeding

 

Here, we have the same rhyming pattern as in the first example - AABB - yet different endings. The 'A'-rhymes (blood - mud) are stressed, the 'B'-rhymes are unstressed. Both lines begin with upbeats. Let me indicate the beginnings of the bars to show you:

 

I # need to spill blood

rub your # face in the mud

 

You can also add extra notes (or - on the contrary - a rest) within the line:

 

# tires screeched

I # heard a bang

# and some crunching

# noise

 

some#body screamed

# then there was

a # timid, whining

# voice

 

In this verse -

 

I'm a#fraid, we'll  never # know
that the # truth will never # show
and our # memories will never # go

 

three - short - notes are needed for "memories" where only one note represents "-fraid" or "truth".

 

Note, that rhyme structure and meter also should correspond. If, for example, you tried to rhyme simple words like "me" or "sea" (stressed) with an adverb like "absolutely" (unstressed) the meter would be 'off' although the rhyme seems to be there.

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