Ask anyone to list some characteristics of songs and they’ll say, “Songs rhyme.” Although this isn’t always true, rhyming is a major reason why people love to sing. Rhymes are fun, and they help us remember lyrics.
Today, we’ll look at the major types of rhyme—perfect rhyme and imperfect rhyme.
First, here are three things to keep in mind throughout this post:
- The meaning of your song is more important than the rhymes. Don’t force a line to rhyme at the expense of the song’s message.
- Your last line is the “punch line”—it’s important to end this line with a strong word rather than a weak one, even if the weak one would give you a perfect rhyme.
- On a related note, try to rhyme your most important words. This means you’ll have to be willing to write imperfect rhymes, which we’ll define below. For example, “God” is an important word, but there aren’t many perfect rhymes for it—especially if you want to avoid the words that have been too well trod as a rhyme for God.
Types of Rhyme: Perfect and Imperfect
Perfect Rhyme: When most people think of “rhyme,” they think of pairs of words like “true/blue” or “cat/hat.” This kind of “perfect” rhyme occurs when the sounds of the final accented vowel and final consonant (if the word ends on a consonant) are identical. Here are examples of perfect rhymes that often populate worship songs:
In past centuries, many writers considered perfect rhyme to be ideal. Today, most songs contain a mix of perfect and imperfect rhymes.