repeating 1st verse

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Re: repeating 1st verse

Post by Geir » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:30 pm

We all know what the rules say about this, but I guess nobody told Lennon & McCartney about them back in the day, because they had quite a few verse repeats - even in some of their best songs.

I suppose they didn't know any better .... :D :P

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Re: repeating 1st verse

Post by Casey H » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:52 am

mikeShort wrote:I would say this: the rule is don't repeat the first verse (and certainly not the whole first verse). Rules are there to be broken. But you need to have a really good reason to break the rule.

"The song is too short" is not a good reason. Crosby Stills & Nash (yeah, I'm dating myself) has a song "Just a Song Before I Go," AABA' (and, ironically, repeats the first half of the first verse) that clocks in at 2:14. Two verses, an instrumental (the B part), and half the first verse again.

I know a few songs that repeat the first line or so: Bring It On Home by Little Big Town comes to mind. But unless the rest of the song totally changes the color of that verse, we've heard it before, so what are you telling us?

So ask yourself "Why am I repeating the verse?" If you don't have an answer, or the answer is anything less than strong, don't do it.
I agree with Mike here. As new, unknown songwriters, we should follow most of the rules. The standard V C V C B C (with possibly repeating C at end) works well for lots of reasons. I can't see repeating a verse after the final C(s). As far as songs being short, in many cases for film/TV songs don't have to be all that long. If the song works at 2:25, let it be (no ref to Beatles there). Also as Mike said, don't break rules unless there is a VERY COMPELLING reason which truly makes the song better.

It's important when writing contemporary sounding music to never fall into the trap of "But Pink Floyd did it on Song X in 1973". Meaningless.

However, here is an example of a fairly current song (last 10 years or so) which repeats the first line of verse 1 at the end and it works masterfully:
"You And Me" by Lifehouse:

:D Casey

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Re: repeating 1st verse

Post by funsongs » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:51 pm

Telefunkin wrote:Another Day - P. McCartney.
He did rather well for himself :)
Yeah - but that "another day" was probably like Bill Murray's "Ground Hog Day"...
which was just a rePete of the same day. :? :shock: :P
Seriously, though - rePete'ing just one line becomes more like an acceptable Refrain; and can work well, and be an effective 'hook'.
Been there. Done that. 8-)
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Re: repeating 1st verse

Post by VicMartinez » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:02 pm

It depends. Its actually not unusual for pop songs to do this. It was actually fairly common in the early 2000s. They wouldn't repeat the entire first verse though. The 2nd verse would usually be 1/2 the length of the 1st verse and they would just repeat the last two lines of the verse. I feel it keeps the listener engaged because it gives them something recognizable to sing along with and it essentially acts as a quick transition that launches you back into the pre chorus and chorus. Dr. Luke and Max Martin use this tool quite a bit. Check out any of their work from 2002-2010ish.


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