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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Vixen Meter-filler in lyrics (18) RE: Meter-filler in lyrics 09 May 12

English prosody often demands meter-filler or other non-idiomatic usage to provide consistent scansion or rhyme. Along with the "o" and "sir" and "well" already mentioned, there are lots of examples of transposed syntax coupled with a meter-filling syllable. e.g. "a-courting we did go" instead of "we'll go courting". Languages with lots of vowel endings don't need to employ this kind of prosodic strategy as much, because rhymes are easier to find (we rhyme mostly on assonance (vowel sounds)) Languages with consistent syllabic emphasis also don't need to play tricks on idiom to achieve scansion, because consistent rhythm is easier to achieve if all (or most of) the polysyllabic words are accented on the second or the penultimate syllables.

All this, of course, is, like totally different from, like, the "mental fillers" that like go like this, as JIK so aptly describes!

Constructing formal verse (which most lyrics must be in western music) in English that is simultaneously meaningful and pleasing to the ear is a terrifically fun puzzle!

Just my $0.02 on my favorite topic...your mileage may vary


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