Streets of gold, days of old, where we’ll never grow old, stories untold, hmmm… what else can we get to rhyme with that line?
Have you ever been stuck on a line that demanded you find a word that says what you want but also has to rhyme with the last word of the last line you’ve already written? You recite every word known to man that rhymes but you can’t find one that makes any sense! You not only need a rhyming word that makes sense but you also have to consider syllables AND you must make sure that the word you come up with will sing well.
My advice may be a bit simple but often we don’t think about it. Back up and change the line you’ve already written! Say it a different way! You may find that you want to go in an entirely different direction. Nothing is set in stone until you’ve stamped the tune done. This is going to open up a whole new set of options.
Another thing to think about when it comes to inner rhymes… They don’t have to be exact matches. For instance, lives would be a word that would serve as a rhyme for is or his. I used the word gold at the top of this post. One would think that the word chosen to serve as the match for gold would have to end with the letters “_old” and would also have to match in regards to syllables. That’s not accurate. For instance, the word soul would work as a match but you could also think about a two syllable word like ago.
Here’s something else to think about. The song may not need to rhyme. Take Bill Gaither’s classic, for example. Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future. And life is worth the living just because He lives. Where is the rhyme scheme in that song???
Loosen up a little!!! If there’s one thing I’ve discovered, when it comes to music is… There aren’t really any rules. Yes things need to meter out correctly and we want our music to make sense to the listener but if you’re not careful you can get stuck in a rut by trying to play by unwritten rules. Have fun with this!!!
One last tip on rhymes. Google a rhyme tool. Rhymezone is one that I’ve used from time to time. Some people don’t like using tools like this but I don’t have a problem with it. I always find words that I wouldn’t have thought of. I don’t always use them but sometimes I do. I also love the Thesaurus. These are great tools that expand our options because they take us beyond our own capacity. If you know everything you won’t need to use such a tool but I guess I have to confess my ignorance… I don’t know it all.
Now… go pull that song you’d given up on and take a different approach at it! Happy writing!