Forced Rhyme Leaving the Station
Forced Rhyme, It can mainly be found in poetry and in song lyrics. It’s when a poet/songwriter rhymes a word with another but the word seems contrived, forced and has little to do with what the poem/song is about or doesn’t connect to the sentence or word. Is forced rhyme bad? In my opinion yes, it means your not all that creative or clever enough to come up with words to fit what your writing and it makes you look amateurish, unless of course you are an amateur which in case I suppose forced rhyme gets a pass. Forced rhyme shows a lack of creativity, means your really trying too hard to make the rhyme work and you can even turn off readers if you do it too much.
Sometimes you can get away with it but never ever should you rely on it, I myself try not to force rhyme but if I feel I’m using a word that doesn’t fit I’ll make a note to go back and try to come up with something better or even decide to use two different words altogether. There’s another thing to do, if you feel your forcing a word try to think of another meaning for the word and go from there, it’s way better. I myself have been accused of forced rhyme before and it’s not a good feeling. Perhaps my word choices weren’t the best, perhaps it was because it was my first work but either way I have learned from the accusation and improved. I have come across a clear abuse of forcing rhyme and just odd sentencing when it comes to the band, Train.
Train’s one of those bands who you hear their songs, hear the beat, find yourself singing along to but have you ever really listened to Train lyrics? I thought it was just two of their songs but as I delved deeper I realized that not even their first big hit Drops of Jupiter was exempt from this. Now I am no Train fan by any means, I mean they’re okay but after coming across such bad lyrics in their songs I can’t help but wonder what goes through the mind of the lead singer or whoever writes their lyrics. I’m going to break down a few songs by Train to show you how either forced rhyme is used or the sentences are just really awkward and odd to the song.
The first song to look at it is Hey Soul Sister. While the song is their biggest hit it is also riddled with forced lyrics and odd sentencing.
Your lipstick stains
On the front lobe of my left side brains
-Is it clever? Yes but it’s also a poor choice of rhyme and rather corny. Also could be considered forced since the use of the (s) as plural to brain just so it rhymes with stains.
Your sweet moonbeam
The smell of you
In every single dream I dream
-Just what exactly is a moonbeam? What on a person is a moonbeam? Either I’m not familiar with the reference of the singer is reaching here and just using it to rhyme with the word dream. Beam and dream are good words to rhyme but I’m failing to see the connection here.
Hey, soul sister
Ain't that Mr. Mister
On the radio, stereo
The way you move ain't fair you know
-The chorus is probably the best case of forced rhyme and awkward sentencing. How many people even know who Mister Mister is? It isn’t clever it’s obviously forced because the singer wanted to rhyme Sister so he chose one of the few bands that goes with the word. It’s cheesy and clearly forced. The second line is no better as he needed to rhyme stereo so he goes with “fair you know”. It sort of fits but not really making it forced and odd.
I'm so obsessed
My heart is bound to beat right out
My untrimmed chest
-This would work but the word untrimmed isn’t really necessary it just makes the lyric cheesy and pointless but obsessed and chest do work in connection.
I believe in you, like a virgin you're Madonna
-The next lyric rhymes Madonna with wanna but that’s the least of my issue with this line. Is it a clever play on words? Sure but again to me it’s so corny and how exactly is the girl he’s talking about like Madonna? Madonna isn’t a virgin and while she wrote a song called Like A Virgin just how exactly does that make the girl like Madonna? Perhaps I’m looking way too into this but when I hear it I just cringe and wonder what he means.
Way you can cut a rug
Watching you's the only drug I need
You're so gangster, I'm so thug
You're the only one I'm dreaming of
-What the hell does cutting a rug mean? At first I thought it was the most ridiculous line yet but it is a thing. Cutting a rug was slang..in the 1940's! He uses a 40's saying to rhyme drug, this is beyond forced rhyme, he couldn’t think of another word to rhyme? Seems unlikely. Finally, to my knowledge the singer who wrote the song is a white male in his 40's and yet uses the lines, Your so gangster, I’m so thug you’re the only one I’m dream of..it’s so corny and bad. I just think it’s weird for a 40 yr old white man to use such odd words in a song just to rhyme one. It’s all just one big awkward mess.
If you like the song then hey that’s great but I just felt people needed to know just how weird this song was and how so many rules are broken here.
The next song is called Mermaid, not very known and doesn’t need to be after you hear some of these cheese infused lyrics.
Can’t swim so I took a boat
To an island so remote
Only Johnny Depp has ever been to it before
-Cause Johhny Depp played a pirate, it’s a pop culture reference. Yeah I get it but it’s not necessary, it’s corny. He couldn’t think of a real pirate? Blackbeard? Captain Morgan(was a real pirate and it would actually still work way better than Johnny Depp), Calico Jack? Sir Frances Drake? Anyone is better than what he put.
I offered you my coat
Thank goodness love can float
-Really? Yeah because love can float and you rhyme it with coat...
Beauty in the water
Angel on the beach
-The first two lines work but it falls apart with the third line. Poseidon’s daughter would work better, personal peeve I guess.
Rescued you by the banyan tree
All the girlfish in the sea
Couldn't hold a candle to you
They don’t have a handle on you
They don’t have a scandal on you
I love Ecco sandals on you
Saving me was b-i-g
All the boyfish in the sea
They all wish that they could be me
-Everything about this verse is cringe worthy. Rescued you by the banyan tree works it’s everything after that is just awful and uncreative. Girlfish? Why use that word why not use Mermaid or I don’t know anything else? Couldn’t hold a candle to you works but the use of handle, scandal and sandal’s is forcing rhyme to the fullest. Saving me was b-i-g? All the boyfish in the sea? They all wish that they could be me? Forced, cheesy and just ridiculous and lack of originality to make it work.
Next song is Drops of Jupiter. Now I’ll say that this is the least cringe worthy song as there’s some actual creativity in here but for every good lyric there are some that just leave me screaming and wondering why a famous singer sucks at coming up with good rhymes.
She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo
Reminds me that there's room to grow
-Okay maybe she does but this just looks odd and awkward especially since the first lyrics of the song made sense and worked well.
Can you imagine no love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
-Maybe he’s trying to be funny but given the song had good space metaphors and he throws deep fried chicken into this just comes up short to be considered good or creative. Then again with sticking being in the next line it makes me wonder if the second line was thought of before the first.
Finally, the song Drive By gets looked over here and well..the same results.
Just a shy guy looking for a two-ply
Hefty bag to hold my love
When you move me everything is groovy
They don't like it sue me
Mmm the way you do me
-The first line is corny and forced rhyme and then okay hefty bag to hold his love clever..
When you move me everything is groovy..who uses the word groovy? It’s not the 60s, it’s just awkward wording again. Summed up with sue me, mmm the way you do me, forced rhymes as they don’t have to do with each other and mmm the way you do me could be taken many ways.
So as you can tell Train songs while they may sound all fun and upbeat have the lyrics of a dry sponge and may seem clever but seeing as the song tries to be serious and then uses an odd word to connect just shows the lack of connection. I’m sure many songs are guilty of this but for some reason Train sticks out to me as abusers of forced rhyme and cheesy lyrics so bad that I bet children could come up with better rhymes. When I was once accused of forced rhyme the person said I gave them a “Dr. Seuss headache” well that simply told me they didn’t appreciate Dr.Seuss. My point is, Train’s songs have potential but then they fall flat by getting the forced rhyme treatment. There’s a huge difference between being clever and forcing rhyme. So the next time you read a poem or song lyrics really take a look at them because they may be more forced and out of bounds than you think.
If you want to read more content by me then feel free to subscribe to my e-mail list @