Paul Goodwin

Revolting Rhymes

Published on Mon 25 Jul 2011

I follow John Darnielle from The Mountain Goats on Twitter, because he is a genius. Recently he said that "best/the rest" is the only inherently bad rhyme and everything else can be ok in the right context (though I think he later extended it to include "phone/alone" - I don't even know which song that's from). I'm not sure I agree, so, as if I don't have better things to do, I've made a short list of rhymes that I reckon people should probably retire now. You know, like when a shirt gets retired from a football team. I've included the song that if anyone else uses them (the Maradona song) will make you go "but hang on, you've nicked that from..." usually followed by "and that was pretty shit to begin with".

  1. "The best/the rest" - Simply The Best by Tina Turner (fair enough John)
  2. "On your own/alone" - November Rain by Guns 'N' Roses (guilty pleasure)
  3. "Fly/sky/high" (or combinations) - Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz
  4. "Survive/alive" - I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
  5. "With a fox/in a box" - Essence by Lucinda Williams
  6. "Crying/dying" - Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris
  7. "Love/above" - The Power of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (unless it's preceded by death from) 
  8. "Yesterday/far away" - ...
  9. "Pain/insane" - weirdly, couldn't think of an obvious example of this, but I strongly believe that the word "insane" should be retired entirely unless preceded by "clinically".
  10. "Baby/maybe (or anything)" - Teenage Dirtbag by Wheatus (probably should've been retired before that, but at least it's a novelty song).
  11. "Green eggs and ham/Sam I am" - Essence by Lucinda Williams

I've just realised that what a lot of those have in common that I don't like is that the second line just reiterates the first line, so serves no purpose other than the crappy rhyme. Which I guess means it may be possible to make exceptions after all. Except for "the best/the rest" obviously. Any more anybody?