You're listening to an album by one of your favorite bands, and you can't help but notice that this one line (or phrase) has popped up before. Maybe it's from a song earlier in the album, or maybe it was from another album entirely (maybe it's even the title of another song) but the point is that the songwriter--for whatever reason--has recycled their lyrics.
Related to Arc Words
, Album Title Drop
, Author Catchphrase
, Lyrical Tic
, and Running Gag
. Often used in a Concept Album
. Not to be confused with Looped Lyrics
- Arcade Fire's third album, The Suburbs, does this for multiple phrases, including (but not limited to):
- "The suburbs"
- "Living/live in the shadows of your song"
- "Suburban war"
- Slightly modified version: "The Suburbs" has "In the suburbs I/I learned to drive/And they told me we'd never survive/So grab your mother's keys, we're leaving", whereas "Suburban War" (another example!) has"In the suburbs I, I learned to drive/People told me we would never survive/So grab your mother's keys, we leave tonight".
- Radiohead included the line "I don't know why I feel so tongue-tied/I don't know why I feel so skinned alive" in two songs. The first to use it was "Cuttooth", a popular b-side to their album Amnesiac; the second song, "Myxomytosis", is on Hail To The Thief, released after Amnesiac.
- The Smiths are fond of this trope as well.
- "The sun shines out of our behinds", heard first on "Hand In Glove", is repeated at the end of "Pretty Girls Make Graves" to close out their first album.
- The "lyric as different song title" variant is used for "You Just Haven't Earned It Yet Baby", which is also a line from "Paint A Vulgar Picture".
- They Might Be Giants:
- "Hotel Detective": "Come on and swing with me/Hotel Detective/From the top of a tree/Hotel Detective/And make me feel like a bee."
- "So To Be One Of Us" (from the Return To Never Land soundtrack): "We swing on limbs of trees/Till we wake up the bees..."
- "Careful What You Pack": "Shaking up the bees/Swinging from that tree..."
- Switchfoot: "Red Eyes", the final track from Hello Hurricane, ends with the chorus of the album opener, "Needle and Haystack Life.
- Rhapsody Of Fire do this a lot, along with Title Drop. Makes sense, too, since they're telling a fantasy story throughout their whole discography, and different songs often make references to the same event.
- Marillion's album Fugazi contains several references to "The Sentimental Mercenary".
- Likewise, former Marillion lead singer Fish's first studio album, Vigil in a Wilderness of Mirrors, includes numerous references to "The Hill", a metaphor for material acquisitions.
- Hawkwind's song "Who's Gonna Win the War" includes the line "Already weeds are writing their scriptures in the sand", taken from their much earlier song "We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago".
- The phrase "between the altar and the door" appears in two of Casting Crowns' songs in their album (what else) "The Altar and The Door."
- "So far away" pops up in a lot of Dragon Force songs.
- Hammerfall has At The End Of The Rainbow that drops this title, and No Sacrifice, No Victory, that uses the same phrase.
- The Beatles' "Glass Onion" is filled with shout outs to other songs of theirs:
- I told you about strawberry fields...
- I told you about the walrus and me, man...
- Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet,yeah...
- I told you about the fool on the hill...
- Fixing a hole in the ocean....
- Janelle Monae's album The Archandroid does this a bunch, being the Concept Album that it is:
- "Faster" has the lines "like a schizo", referenced later in "Come Alive", and "electric sheep", referenced later in "Make the Bus".
- "57821" references the earlier "Sir Greendown".
- "Babopbyeya" references the title of the earlier track "Neon Valley Street", which is also a Non Appearing Title.
- Happens with pretty much the complete output of The Olivia Tremor Control. References to the "Cubist Castle," "the bark and below it," and "black foliage" abound.
- "The Shattered Fortress" by Dream Theater is made up entirely of these -- all the lyrics are taken from previous songs in the "AA Suite" series of songs.
- Frank Zappa was very fond of this, as part of what he called "conceptual continuity". Common examples in his lyrics include references to poodles named Fido, muffins, the mythical groupie/singer Suzy Creamcheese, and the term "conceptual continuity" itself. Of course, he started his career with what some consider to be the first concept album ever. Note that Suzy even has her own article on the other Wiki.
- Coldplay use this with the phrase "now my feet won't touch the ground".
- Fleetwood Mac has the following lines (or at least very similiar lines) appear in both "Illume [9/11]" and "Destiny Rules" on the album "Say You Will":
I like the coastal cities, I like the lights
I like the way the city blends into the ocean at night
It's like living on a working river; the coastline is glittering
Like a diamond snake in a black sky
- In a Nico Nico Chorus of Vocaloid 's Daughter of Evil, someone sings an extra line from the song's sequel, Servant of Evil, before being cut off by a guillotine.
- Beastie Boys have reminded us that they are known to let the beat... drop in "The New Style" and "Intergalactic".
- U2 tends to mention being on their knees (or crawling) in a number of their songs.
- Manu Chao does this all the time.
- The Killers reputedly chose "Day and Age" as the title for their fourth album because it appeared in two of the album's songs.
- Sting does this, usually near the end of a song:
- "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" (from the album The Dream of the Blue Turtles) has phrases from "Every Breath You Take" (which he performed with his old band The Police).
- "We'll Be Together" (from Nothing Like the Sun) has "If you need somebody" and "If you wanna keep something precious" from "If You Love Somebody Set them Free".