June 5, 2009

Is rhyming any fun anymore?

"You know, you sit around… you know, it’s more like, it’s mentally… mentally… it gives you a thrill. It gives you a thrill to rhyme something, you might think, well, that’s never been rhymed before. But then again, people have taken rhyming now, it doesn’t have to be exact anymore. Nobody’s going to care if you rhyme “represent” with “ferment,” you know. Nobody’s gonna care."


rhhardin said...

Wodehouse on the alarming spread of blank verse.

And what to say when your son decides to become a poet. ``What about the rhymes?''

traditionalguy said...

Getting those thoughts out of his mind and into writing is still fun.

Meade said...

Ha ha. What an old coot.

There's an evenin' haze settlin' over the town

Starlight by the edge of the creek

The buyin' power of the proletariat's gone down
Money's gettin' shallow and weak

The place I love best is a sweet memory

It's a new path that we trod
They say low wages are a reality

If we want to compete abroad

"Trod" and "abroad?" Yes, he should've said "tread" - present tense. But then he would've had to change the last line to something like "lie across my big brass bed" and no one would let him get away with that now would they?

Penny said...

Speak for yourself, Meade. He can get away with that line any time, day or night, in rhyme or out of rhyme. Know what I mean?

ricpic said...

Dregs Of The King

Dylan was down on rhyming.
Why am I not surprised?
He also was down on singing --
A cut rate Elvis reprised.

Henry said...

Genghis Khan, he could not keep,
All his kings, supplied with sleep

That is some fun rhyming.

In lyric writing, there's always been a large envelope for assonance:

But I would not feel so alone,
Everybody must get stoned

The alignment of vowel sounds comes through in singing almost as strongly as a true rhyme.

But Dylan's right, rhyming is fun. Age four, my son once exclaimed, "I have so many rhymes my head is going to explode."

That alone is reason to do it.

RH -- blank verse is quite demanding. Think Shakespeare. Free verse is the cop out.

Mark Daniels said...

He looked at the page blankly
And didn't give a damn frankly
Saying, "In the end you'll thank me"
That not ev'ry line rhymes
And not ev'ry time's designed
To be all sensible and clear
So defensible and dear
But a shot in the dark
For the one who got away.

[Second verse anyone?]

Penny said...

Sorry, Mark, but when you say, "I don't give a damn"? I wonder...WHO? Who wrote the Book of Love?

Amexpat said...

It gives you a thrill to rhyme something, you might think, well, that’s never been rhymed before.

He must of gotten a big thrill with "Angelina" which he rhymes with:

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

"Someplace else is always a heartbeat away." What a guy. Like Yogi Berra, he can't open his mouth without uttering some sort of cryptic gnomic surreal wisdom. Around 1962 he discovered the exact borderline between lucidity and psychosis, and he's been walking it ever since, blowing in the wind but never blown off the highwire.

My favorite rhyme is "California/Didn't I warn ya" from "Sign on the Window," one of his least-appreciated great songs:

Her and her boyfriend went to California
Her and her boyfriend done changed their tune
My best friend said Didn't I warn ya?
Brighton girls are like the moon.

I like the "Brighton girls" line even more than the rhyme.

Ann Althouse said...

@Richard Sally Simpson loves that song.

Amexpat said...

"Sign on the Window," one of his least-appreciated great songs:
It's always been one of my favorites and I thought I was unique in that respect. But in recent years I've seen it near the top of many favorite Dylan songs lists, including the top 100 that Althouse had posted awhile back (If my memory serves me well, it was in the top 10). It's even made inroads in the mass media after being played at the end of one of the final episodes of Friends.

I like the "Brighton girls" line even more than the rhyme.
The line works for me because I knew a girl from Brighton in my youth. But otherwise, I don't get the reference to "Brighton girls".