Abused, and overused - rhymes in songs

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Overused rhymes in songs (Updated!!!)

Here is a list that I’ve compiled of overused rhymes in songs, and sometimes, other mediums.. First let me clarify, this isn’t one song that has become really popular, or a few song lyrics that have worked their way into the general language of the masses. No. This is common, and easily thought of rhyming pairs of words that artists everywhere pick up like hotcakes. They are rhyming couplets that are used in a wide range of songs, by a wide range of artists. Rhymes that are so natural they appear one after the other in one’s mind similar to reciting your name and address.

Without trying to sound like I’m taking the Mickey out of anyone, using such rhymes show a lack of creative talent, in much the same way as taking a brush dipping it in random paints and moving your arm across a sheet of paper with your eyes closed.

Also I'd like to add that I'm not picking on any of these artists, just pointing out the lyrics that are overused. Some of the artists and songs I've mentioned I do actually enjoy, which sometimes makes me cringe when I hear them use such obvious rhymes!

Some of these artists used these pairs when their use were not as common. In any case it’s best to stay clear of a rhyme for rhymes sake, or a rhyme just because it’s an obvious one. Take for example Desiree’s “Life” ‘I’m so afraid of a ghost, it’s the sight that I fear most, I’d rather have a piece of toast’. This is a perfect example of why not to use a rhyme for rhyme’s sake. What rhymes with ghost? Post, coast, toast? Alright we’ll go with toast. That’s about as much thought and effort that goes into such a line. And we can really see how afraid she is of ghosts when she compares her fear to a piece of cooked bread.

*notes on new edits -26/05/11- Initially I didn't include number 7 because I only knew of the lyrics in love songs, and half the point was to show that these lyrics get used quite a lot by many and varied artists. My discoveries, however, soon proved me wrong! I'm also keeping my ears peeled for others. 'Love' and 'of' is next on the table but I cannot find many examples if anyone knows of some more examples of these I'd be happy to include them!*

So without further ado here is my list of seven overused rhymes in songs. This list doubles as a list of rhymes to steer clear of if you don’t want your poems or songs to look like they were crafted by a raw amateur.

7. Girl and World

“Baby girl you’re my world” – Big Brovas

“Who run the world? – Girls!” – Beyonce

"I am living in a material world, and I am a material girl" - Madonna

"This is a story of a girl, who cried a river and drowned the whole world" - Nine Days

"I'm a barbie girl, in a barbie world" - Aqua

"I'm just a small town girl, living in a lonely world" - Journey

"Oh I'm just a girl trying to find a place in this world" - Taylor Swift

"Oh I'm just a girl in the world" - No Doubt

"Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world" - Rhianna

"Anything can happen in this world, for an ordinary girl" - Hannah Montanna

"Candy girl, you are my world" - Jackson Five.

6. Time and rhyme (also crime)

This is more prevalent in poems rather than songs, but:

“Once upon a time in a nursery rhyme”

“I don’t have the time to make a rhyme” and other variants gets used far too much

“Do the crime, pay the time” - popular quote

“I rhyme all the time”

“Rhyme Time” is often used as a title in chapters on poetry.

"We don't have the patience, we don't have the time, we don't have the talent and we don't know how to rhyme" - Presidents of the United States of America.

5. Seem and dream

Ella Fitzgherals “They are never as bad as they seem, so dream, dream, dream”

“It seemed like it was just a dream”

The Yard Birds “Is all that we see or seem, a dream within a dream”

“Was it just a dream, dreams aren’t what they seem” Madonna

Elysian fields’ “All that we seem is but a dream”

“Oh my dreams, never quite as it seems” Cranberries

Cage Athena: “It's not as hard as it may seem. You gotta work together, dream”

4. High and sky (and fly)

“I believe I can fly, spread my wings and touch the sky” R Kelly

Quite often “fly so high in the sky” will be used too, combining all three

“up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky”

“I wanna fly so high” Ian Van Dahl

“I wanna fly so high” Shaggy

"Fly robin, fly - up, up to the sky" - Silver Convention.

Oh and I can’t even count the times “fly high” has been used in titles, or lyrics, so much that it’s not worth putting individually in here.

3. Baby and Maybe

“Maybe baby” is used in a lot of older song titles and lyrics. Buddy Holly for example.

“Don’t say maybe baby” voodoo child

I will add Hank Green’s “a song in ten words” but as the title suggests it was only using ten words, and therefore was an awesome use of this overused rhyme.

2. Heart and Start

“I should’ve known right from the start, you’d go and break my heart” – The Blackpunk Revolution (also Mariah Carey, Jay Z, and STeps)

“If you never had my heart, I would have never called you back at the start that day” – Evermore

“Told you from the start, baby from the start, I’m gonna break, break your break, break your heart” Taio Cruz


“Kick start my heart” Motley Crue

“I feel in my heart that it’s the start...” High School Musical

“Oh straight from the heart, tell me we can make one more start” Bryan Adams

“Right from the start I gave you my heart” Elton John.

"You touch me with your spirit, you touch me with your heart, you touch me in the dark I feel it start" Zoe (and later Christine Anu)

And now for the most infuriating one of all:

1. Friend and end

Miley Cyrus: “You’re a true friend, you’re here till the end”

The Doors: “This is the end my only friend”

“A round circle has no end and that’s how long I’ll be your friend” – this one was a short inspirational poem that was passed around while I was in school.

“Friends till the end” Muppets

The Jungle Book “when you’re friends to the bitter end”

Spongebob “a friend is a friend till the end of the end”

“Come on in and join us for where the fun never ends – Garfield and friends!”

"Feels like I should be screaming, try to get through to my friends, sometimes it feels like life has no meaning, but I know things will be alright in the end" - Five

This is just scratching the surface. If I had a dollar for every time ‘friend’ and ‘end’ was used, or was thought of in songs or poems, I’d be set for life.

So there it is.

As you can see these rhymes are so obvious that they get used to death by so many different people. It makes a writer cringe when they hear it, and you just know when a new song comes out with a line like “You have always been my friend” that your ears are about to be soiled again. It really isn’t a sign of originality or creativity at all.

We have now arrived at the end my 'buddies', I hope you've taken the 'opportunity' to consider these rhymes, right from the 'beginning' I poured out my heart into this list, and it seemed like... like I was just imagining it!

(finishing note: I'm not saying I dont like any of these artists, just that those rhymes are very simple and overused. I also mentioned at one point that perhaps at the time of some of their creations, some of them weren't as frequently used. There are still ways of using them (if you absolutely must) while still being creative, ie Zoe's "you touch me with your heart I feel it start" It wasn't the typical "right from the start you had my heart". Finally, in the right places these words can add to, or give the right feel to the song. If these do so work in the appropriate way for your song, then that is ok. The Cranberries song still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it, and there's nothing better than listening to R Kelly's "I believe I can fly" when you're feeling down!)

To sum up here is a limeric I wrote:

There once was an overused rhyme,
that was done to death time after time
no, it's not rhyming 'friend'
with the word 'end'
but it's just as big of a crime.

Thank you for your time.

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Comments 13 comments

judy moraa 5 years ago

This is really true of course


Davorunner profile image

Davorunner 5 years ago from Australia Author

Yep, yep, thanks for the comment


Stigma31 profile image

Stigma31 5 years ago from Kingston, ON

What about girl and world...or changing and rearranging...or love and above (or of)?

Good hub voted up.


Sheli 4 years ago

fire, desire, higher

deep, weep, sleep, keep


SandCastles 4 years ago

That's interesting; it makes those songs sound a bit cliché.


Davorunner profile image

Davorunner 3 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks, yeah it isn't the most creative way to write when you churn out phrases that have been used too much :P


 20 months ago

Jackson 5 don't sing candy girl


Michael Sawyer profile image

Michael Sawyer 20 months ago from New Hampshire

Good work, it'll keep me on my toes when I want to rhyme a lyric or piece of poetry.


Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 16 months ago from Oklahoma

Great list of hackneyed verbiage.


Davorunner 16 months ago

Thanks for your comments.

A lot of songs have been covered by many artists, and I may not have chosen the original in each one.

And yes, keep an eye out for these in your writing if you want to stay fresh and creative.


rdsparrowriter 12 months ago

Interesting read... nice


Luna Blue profile image

Luna Blue 8 months ago

I will forever only hear the ghost and toast lines in that song "Life" now thank you for that! Lol :) interesting read, and some excellent notes have been made for my own writing now!


Davorunner profile image

Davorunner 7 weeks ago from Australia Author

Ah good good I'm glad, that's partly what I put this up for.

Although I should've come up with a better way to show how often these rhymes have been used

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