->I learned from ''Webcomic/{{Achewood}}'' that since [[http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/stop.html this poem]] is in ballad meter, it can be sung to the tune of ''Series/GilligansIsland''. Since then, [[EarWorm try as I might]], I haven't ONCE been able to read it normally.
-->--Webcomic/{{xkcd}}, "[[http://xkcd.com/788/ The Carriage]]"

When songs are sung or verse is read,\\
It's often hard to miss\\
A rhythm that sticks in your head\\
([[SelfDemonstratingArticle The one that sounds like this]]).

One line has four iambic feet.[[note]]An "iambic foot" is just a beat containing an unstressed syllable and then a stressed one: "de-DUM."[[/note]]\\
The next has only three.\\
And then the pattern will repeat\\
And rhyme, as you can see.

This meter, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as its name implies,]]\\
Is more common than bread.\\
Internal rhymes are used sometimes,\\
[[PainfulRhyme And some rhymes are]] [[AccentUponTheWrongSyllable stilt-ED.]]

Since common meter texts abound,\\
[[ToTheTuneOf Tune-swapping is a breeze.]]\\
You'll see examples float around,\\
Including [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE6q-e4sICs these]] and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZqR_M20Y48 these]].

Why swap the tunes? [[ReimaginingTheArtifact To breathe new use]]\\
[[ReimaginingTheArtifact Into some faded verse,]]\\
Or just for fun, as an excuse\\
To [[AffectionateParody joke]], or [[TakeThat mock]], or worse.

In short, you'll surely have to own\\
That nothing could be sweeter\\
Than that poetic rhythm known\\
As [[TitleDrop Common (Ballad) Meter]].

The terms "Common Meter" and "Ballad Meter" are often used interchangeably; technically, the difference is that in Ballad Meter the first and third lines don't have to rhyme. If you put two Common Meter stanzas together, you get one stanza of Common Meter Double; in hymnbooks and similar places, these terms are often abbreviated CM and CMD, respectively.

Please note that this is a good bit more specialized than just [[IThoughtItMeant two songs that share the same meter]]. "Common meter," as the poem above demonstrates, is a specific (though very popular) rhythm. Tune-swapping in general is covered by the trope ToTheTuneOf.

Also, no need to confuse this trope with CommonTime. A tune can scan to CommonMeter, be in CommonTime, neither, or both.


[[folder:Songs in Common Meter]]
* "Amazing Grace"
* [[Series/GilligansIsland "The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle"]]
* Parts of [[Film/MaryPoppins "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"]] (the verses, but not the chorus) and "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing"
* Parts of "Manticore" by Ninja Sex Party (not the bridge)
* "The House of the Rising Sun"
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TheGreenHillsOfEarth''
* "America The Beautiful"
* "Semper Paratus", the marching song of the United States UsefulNotes/CoastGuard
* The United States Marine hymn "From the Halls of Montezuma"
* Many military [[http://youtu.be/jGKPwjtzl8E running cadences]]
* Many Christmas carols, such as "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night", "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" and "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"
* "There Is a Green Hill Far Away"
* Lots of Creator/EmilyDickinson poems (e.g. "Because I Could Not Stop For Death")
* Most of ''Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner''.
* Richard Lovelace's ''To Althea, from Prison'' ("Stone walls do not a prison make / Nor iron bars a cage")
* [[Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway Hoedown!]]
** The music from Irish Drinking Song
* The Australian national anthem
* "Working Class Man"
* Infamous FilkSong "Banned from Argo"; it's been noted how many songs [[http://www.speakeasy.org/~mamandel/filks/ScansToArgo.html scan to it]].
* "O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing", one of Charles Wesley's many hymns
* [[Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents "The Little Snicket Lad"]]
** This is especially funny given that the text explicitly notes that the song was mistakenly written to the tune of [[Series/GilligansIsland a well-known song about naval disaster]].
* "The Yellow Rose of Texas"
* The writer of the webcomic ''Webcomic/EverydayHeroes'' likes to start new chapters with a bit of allegedly humorous verse, done in CommonMeter. Examples can be found [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/chapters/70643/3-conflicts-and-alliances/ here]], [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/chapters/71970/4-conflicts-and-alliances-part-2/ here]], [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/comics/2080274/pack-attack/ here]], and [[http://eheroes.smackjeeves.com/chapters/82089/8-its-a-dirty-job-but/ here]].
* "Johnson's Motor Car"
* Parts of "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town" by Music/KennyRogers and the First Edition fit this meter ("You've painted up your lips and rolled in curls your tinted hair/Ruby, are you contemplating going out somewhere?")
* Several Literature/ChildBallads, including:
** "Tam Lin"
** "The Maid Freed from the Gallows" as performed by Tim Erikson
** "Willie O Winsbury"
* "Knoxville Girl," an American MurderBallad
* The verses of "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" by Music/TheArrogantWorms
* The verses of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXZR8zdVVD4 "Sing For Me"]] by The Fiery Furnaces
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAp6z18gprU "Two Kinds Of People"]] by Music/TheMagneticFields, albeit with an extra syllable on lines 2 and 4 of the first stanza.
* Much of Music/BobDylan's "My Back Pages" ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FUGzwUTN80 more famously]] CoveredUp by Music/TheByrds)
* "Old Polina"
* "The Rising of the Moon"
* [[BawdySong "The Scotsman"]]
* "Tight Fittin' Jeans" by Music/ConwayTwitty
* "Joy to the World" and many of Isaac Watts' other psalm [[{{Woolseyism}} "translations"]]
* The ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' theme. (Season one.)
* OlderThanSteam: The Scottish Psalter of 1650 sets the [[Literature/TheBible biblical Psalms]] to Common Metre.[[note]]This was the point of it; since hymns were forbidden in the Calvinist tradition held by the Prebyterian Church (the Church of Scotland, at the time), only scriptural references and paraphrases could be sung. The natural target was therefore the Psalms, already intended as congregational songs; however, the songs were written originally in ancient Hebrew and were translated (roughly) into non-metrical English in the King James Bible of 1610 (as well as a few other editions of the 16th century) which worked fine for the English, who could sing their psalms in Anglican Chant or Plainchant - but the practice of chanting was consider too much of a Catholic holdover by the Scots.[[/note]] It's [[http://www.ccel.org/ccel/anonymous/scotpsalter.psalter.html here]]. While the Scottish Psalter didn't ''invent'' Common Metre, it is the reason that it's considered "Common" -- 149 of the 150 psalms (including Psalm 119, in 22 separate parts) are written in Common Metre.[[note]]Many psalms have two versions, one in Common Metre and one in another; Psalm 136 has two versions, and neither is in Common Metre -- it is the ''only'' exception in the entire 1650 Scottish Psalter.[[/note]] Poor scansion and PainfulRhyme are the natural result in many cases. The Psalter also had a wide variety of Common Metre tunes which could be used with any of the psalms; standard publishing practice for this and other metrical psalters, even today, is to divide the book in half horizontally, essentially binding two separate books together, the upper with music and the lower with the words.
* The verses of "The Mummers Dance" by [=Loreena McKennitt=]
* "Oh Susanna"
* All of the Sorting Hat's songs in Harry Potter
* "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from ''Disney/TheLionKing''
* "The Rains of Castamere" from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is metered this way, with a couple of anapaestic substitutions.
* Music/EmilieAutumn's "The Ballad of Mushroom Down" from ''Your Sugar Sits Untouched''
* The Thunder Song from ''{{Film/Ted}}''
* [[https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/2l29zh/what_would_be_your_preferred_instrument_of_death/clqtoay?context=1 This poem]] from {{Website/Reddit}}'s Poem_for_your_sprog.
* The ballad "The Raven King" in ''Literature/JonathanStrangeAndMrNorrell''
* "Half a Heart Tattoo" by Jennifer Hanson, but only the first half of each verse.

[[folder:Songs in Common Meter Double]]
* "O Little Town of Bethlehem" is almost common meter double (the third line has only 13 syllables instead of 14), but it can easily be sung to any common meter melody. Many non-American congregations sing it to the melody "Forest Green", which is easily adapted to other hymns in common meter double.
* "Ghost Riders in the Sky"
* The verses of "Rocky" by Dickey Lee
* "Beer Gut" and "Dear Mr. Governor" by Music/DaYoopers
* "Queen of the Silver Dollar", written by Creator/ShelSilverstein and most famously recorded by Dave & Sugar
* "Faster Horses (The Cowboy and the Poet)" by Tom T. Hall is almost common meter double, but the last line is only 10 syllables instead of 14.
* "Last Dollar (Fly Away)" by Music/TimMcGraw is common meter double on the verses.
* "Every Second" by Collin Raye is common meter double on the verses.
* "No News" by Music/{{Lonestar}} is common meter double on the verses, except for the "ooh, no news" at the end.
* The first verse of "Lose My Mind" by Brett Eldredge.

[[folder:Common Meter Tune-Swapping]]
* "O Little Town Of Bethlehem" has been sung to the tune of "The House of the Rising Sun"; there's a recording on one of Music/BobRivers' Christmas albums.
** Gospel group The Blind Boys of Alabama recorded a version of "[[AmazingFreakingGrace Amazing Grace]]" set to this tune. It works but some may find the MoodDissonance confusing.
** "Beneath the Cross of Jesus" is another hymn that has been sung to this tune, and it is similarly jarring when this is done.
* It has been demonstrated—probably from a safe distance—to Marines that their hymn, "From the Halls of Montezuma", can be sung to the "Series/GilligansIsland" theme.
* "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is not in Common Meter, but it's ''just'' close enough to make it one of the more amusing tunes to sing "Amazing Grace" to. (For maximum effectiveness, at the "wimoweh" parts, say "amazing grace" instead.)
* Adam Hills once suggested that, to keep the Australian national anthem relevant, we keep the lyrics and sing them to the tune of "Working Class Man". He then demonstrated. Awesomely.
* It has been pointed out that any Creator/EmilyDickinson poem can be sung to "The Yellow Rose of Texas": the phenomenon gets a mention in a fifth-season ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode, and also features in Sharyn [=McCrumb=]'s ''Literature/ZombiesOfTheGenePool'', where a Hillybilly folk singer (with a Ph.D.) mentions that he did exactly this to fool a visiting scholar. It was also discussed in ''Series/HeadOfTheClass.'' Dickinson poems can be sung to the ''Series/GilligansIsland'' theme, as well, but don't bring it up in a literature class!
** "The Yellow Rose", a country song by Johnny Lee and Lane Brody, also swipes the melody from "The Yellow Rose of Texas".
* Some of the best "One Song To The Tune Of Another" rounds on ''Radio/ImSorryIHaventAClue'' use two songs in Common Meter (others have deliberately chosen songs with completely different meters to make it more difficult).