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Writing Better Lyrics, 2nd Edition by Pat Pattison

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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

MANAGING COUPLETS

Let's do some work with four-stress couplets. Couplets are dangerous because too many of them can march lockstep in small, repetitive units that make your song feel too long and old before its time.

When your lines are all the same length and rhyme in pairs, your structure is probably working against you — no matter how interesting your ideas may be, they have to work harder to overcome the interruption of stopping and starting, stopping and starting, over and over again.

I'll bet you've done this a lot in your lyrics. I know I have:

 

Rhyme

Stresses

I hitched to Tulsa worn and frayed

a

4

Stopped inside a small café

a

4

The waitress stared before she spoke

b

4

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