Some lyrics do not rhyme, but most do and is perhaps the most common
convention in lyric writing used today and throughout history. Rhyme
helps make lyrics memorable as poets and songwriters have known
for thousands of years.
Before words were written in stone or upon
paper, songs were sung and handed down from one generation
to the next. Rhyme was most often used in these songs because
people could remember rhyming songs better than non-rhyming
ones, so rhyming songs endured while non-rhyming ones were
When writing rhyme for lyrics it is important
to know about both internal rhyme and end rhyme.
Internal rhyme means that words in the middle of a line with rhyme
with each other or with a word on either end of the line. End rhyme
simply means that a word at the end of one line will rhyme with
a word at the end of another line. This may be the next line or
the one after that, typically.
For instance, if in the first 4-line verse of a song, all of the
last words rhymed, this patterned would be called "AAAA".
If the last word of the first line rhymed with the last word of
the third line and the last word of the second line rhymed with
the last word of the fourth line, this pattern would be called "ABAB".
Some typical rhyme schemes for songs include AABB, ABAB, AABA and
AAAA. Perhaps the most boring rhyme scheme is AAAA and this is why
lyric writers like to mix up the rhymes when writing songs.
It is important, however that all rhyme schemes of the verses match
each other throughout the song for consistency's sake. The choruses
will all naturally match each other since they are typically, word-for-word
the same throughout the song.
When writing rhyming lyrics, the songwriter's best friend is a
rhyming dictionary. A rhyming dictionary and a Thesaurus are the
lyricist's best friend when starting to put pen to paper.
Internal rhyme is a more sophisticated technique that some professional
lyricists will use to great effect in their songs. In a set of Eminem
lyrics in the song "Ricky Ticky Toc" he not only uses
internal rhyme in the title but also in the line "Anybody I
throw flames at gets a name it's a game" in which the "ame"
is repeated within the line and at the end as well.
Many writers of rap music lyrics
will use internal rhyme with great success to advance the story
and create a certain rhythm and cadence and make the songs memorable.
This device is also effective in helping the rappers to remember
the songs they are singing since many hip
hop lyrics are much longer and more complex that other popular
It's time for a rhyme so pull out your dictionary and improve your
vocabulary and use some words with some verbs to advance the story
and make it literary.