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Call-and-Response Song

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I will not fight you! (You have no choice!)
I'll stand beside you! (I stand alone!)
You're still their hero! (Then they are fools!)
Megaman (Protoman), "The Sons Of Fate"

Call-and-response is a form of music sung by (or at least from the perspective of) two or more people. Rather than sing the same part or do different verses, one person sings a statement, the other gives a reply to it. While this usually goes on until the end of the song, sometimes only a few lines in a verse are done this way. Though it doesn't necessarily have to be, often the lines in question are a musical argument of sorts.

The form arose in Africa and was brought to America by slaves; it later found its way into jazz, blues, and rock. One of the earliest popular musicians to use it was Cab Calloway in his Signature Song "Minnie the Moocher".

Nowadays it's usually considered a sub-trope of Let's Duet, although some are also Crowd Songs. Fairly common in Rock Operas and Concept Albums. Many military songs are done in this style, too. Due to their nature, they often overlap with Audience Participation Song.

If possible, please elaborate a bit on your examples. While just the lines themselves are fine, having what's being talked about in them as well is better.


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  • The second anime adaptation of Persona 4, The Golden Animation, has a frantic, orchestral hip-hop song by Lotus Juice during the fight between the protagonist Yu and the big bad, Tohru Adachi. Lotus Juice sings for both characters (with the latter character receiving a heavy filter over his lines) - Yu tries to sympathize with and calm down Adachi, whereas Adachi is content with being nihilistic. With the end of the song, it's suggested Yu is able to talk down Adachi, which manifests in the show itself as Adachi making something vaguely-resembling a heel-face turn to help take down a bigger fish.
    Ay yo.
    Just trying to reach out
    Ain't those bluffing gonna get you out

    Hmm... nothing but middle finger
    Hate talking to ignorance, stop the whimpers

    Misunderstanding man that's too much overreacting
    Better go check that
    Statements on it, you can own it

    I am flawless
    More like thoughtless
  • "Type Wild" from Pokemon. The call is most of the lyrics from the song, while the response from the chorus is "Type Wild".

  • "I'm Wishing" from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has an interesting variant. Snow White is singing into a well, and it echos out her voice.
  • In Silk Stockings, Steve sings "Paris Loves Lovers" about the joys of Gay Paree, while Ninotchka interjects disapproving comments:
    Paris (Capitalistic!) loves lovers (Characteristic!)
    For lovers (Sensualistic!) it's heaven above (They should be atheistic)
    Paris (Imperialistic!) tells lovers (I'm pessimistic)
    love is supreme, wake up your dream and make love (That's anti-communistic!)
  • "Magic Dance" from the movie Labyrinth.
    "You remind me of the babe"
    "What babe?"
    "The babe with the power."
    "What power?"
    "The power of voodoo."
    "Who do?"
    "You do."
    "Do what?"
    "Remind me of the babe!"
    • The exchange is based on a 1947 Cary Grant/Shirley Temple movie called The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer in which Grant's character is trying to get out of dating Temple's character by making a bad first impression to her great-uncle, leading to their "You remind me of a man..!" exchange.
  • The "Plagues" song from The Prince of Egypt is a back-and-forth between Moses and Ramses noting the way their relationship has changed, and Moses pleading for the Hebrews to be freed and Rameses refusing. The animation behind the song is a montage of Egypt being devastated by the plagues.
  • Dr. Facilier's Villain Song in The Princess and the Frog, taking many cues from the aforementioned Minnie The Moocher:
    I've got Friends on the Other Side! (He's got Friends on the Other Side!)
    ARE YOU READY?! (NO! I'm not ready at all!)
  • From the Bleach Image Song CD featuring Ichigo and Zangetsu, we have "Zan," which features call and response from Ichigo and Zangetsu, then Hollow Ichigo and Ichigo.
  • "Zydrate Anatomy" from Repo! The Genetic Opera. Slightly subverted, in that the responses become more dulled as the drugs take effect in the chorus.
  • The Villain Song "Hellfire" from Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a Call And Response Song with a Bilingual Bonus. While Frollo is insisting that he's not to blame, a chorus sings the Act of Contrition, "Mea Culpa/Mea Culpa/Mea Maxima Culpa", which, when translated from Ominous Latin, is "My fault/My fault/My most grievous fault", and completely negates what he says.
    • "Stay In Here" is one between Frollo and Quasimodo:
    You are deformed (I am deformed)
    And you are ugly (And I am ugly)
    And these are crimes for which the world shows little pity
    You cannot comprehend (You are my one defender)
  • "I'm Goin' North" (lyrics by Frank Loesser) from the wartime movie musical Thank Your Lucky Stars.
  • "Tallahassee" (by Frank Loesser) from the movie musical Variety Girl.
  • Frozen has "For the First Time in Forever (reprise)", which has Anna attempting to encourage Elsa to come back, while Elsa resists.
  • The opening number from Rock and Rule, "Born to Raise Hell", has some call-and-response.
    I hate you, you like me?
    You like our music, now, don'tcha?
    It's such a pity, you want me to go!
  • In Turning Red, 4*Town turns "U Know What's Up" into this during their concert.
    You want it? (I want it!)

  • The Lord of the Rings: "The Ent and the Entwife" is written as a back-and-forth duet between a male and a female Ent. In the first four verses, the two alternate between the Ent pleading for the Entwife to join him in his forests and the Entwife rebuffing him and instead praising her farmlands. The last two verses instead discuss the world's eventual death, with the Ent mourning the death of forests and the Entwife the death of fields, before singing the last lines — a promise to find each other and seek a better land — in harmony.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A scene in Jeeves and Wooster had the titular characters attempting the call-and-response portion of "Minnie the Moocher," which was somewhat hampered by Jeeves' Verbal Tic of saying "sir" at the end of every line.
  • "For the Last Time, I'm Dominican" from the Scrubs episode "My Musical" is a tango between Turk and Carla that takes the form of an argument:
    Carla: I've had it up to here
    So let me make it very clear
    Because I swear I'll never clue you in again
    Every time that you profess
    I come from Puerto Rico (Turk: Yes?)
    For the last time, Turk, I'm Dominican!
    Turk: Let's not make a big to-do
    I was simply testing you
    Carla: Well, then, why'd you tell J.D. our baby's "Blaxican"?
    Turk: Babe, you know I know the truth!
    Carla: Well, I need a little proof
    So list all you know about me or no sex again.
  • Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's duet in the The Colbert Report 2008 Christmas special uses this, with Stewart trying to convince Colbert to try Hanukkah.
  • "Mahna Mahna" from The Muppet Show is an interesting example. Even though the song is complete nonsense, it is easy to tell what the argument is. The lead singer wants to improvise, and the backup singers want to stick to the original tune and lyrics.
  • In one episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Pee-Wee talks about lip-syncing, and lip-syncs to an old song called "That Certain Feeling", which is done like this.

  • Many songs by The Beatles. One good example is "With a Little Help From My Friends" from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, in which Ringo sings lead and answers questions from John: "What do you see when you turn out the light?"..."I can't tell you, but I know its mine."
    • The Beatles were inspired by Chuck Berry's use of call and response, though his was often between his voice and his guitar lines, as heard in "School Days" and "No Particular Place To Go".
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono call each other names for almost half an hour (!) to a Heart Beat Soundtrack on side 1 of Wedding Album.
  • The Who emulated the Beatles' harmonies in early hits like "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" and "My Generation".
    • Also seen in "5:15": "(inside outside) Leave me alone/(inside outside) Nowhere is home/ (inside outside) Where have I been?/ Out of mine brain on the five-fifteen!"
  • As the page quote shows, The Protomen's song "The Sons of Fate" is done this way. A few bits of "The Good Doctor" and "Father Of Death" from Act II are as well.
  • DMX's "Damien" series of songs, with X providing both roles. The song Ready 2 Meet Him uses this trope as well, with DMX arguing with God while providing both voices.
  • Eminem and Dr. Dre's "Guilty Conscience" is sung in this style, with the two playing the two sides of a person's conscience.
  • "Baby It's Cold Outside" (by Frank Loesser) alternates between a man ("the wolf") trying to convince his date to stay the night and a woman ("the mouse") trying to tell him she can't.
    • Inverted hilariously by Liza Minelli and Alan Cumming covering it on "Carols for a Cure", with Liza on the "man's" part and Alan on the "woman's". Considering the sexual histories of both singers . . .
    • The Gender Swap version of the song is almost as old as the song itself, going back as far as the 1949 film Neptune's Daughter, which starts with a young Ricardo Montalban as the wolf and Esther Williams as the mouse, and then transitions to Red Skelton as the mouse and Betty Garret as the wolf.
  • "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" and part of "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf do this with a guest female singer.
  • K-Rino's "The Debate" which is about evolution vs. creationism, with K debating both sides.
  • The entire song is sung by just one guy, but "I Think I'm In Love" by Spiritualized can count. It has Jason Pierce singing by himself a line that goes like "I Think I('m) X", to which a chorus of Jason Pierces responds "Probably just Y", where Y undermines the X.
    I think I can fly/Probably just falling
    I think I'm on fire/Probably just smoking
  • "If I Had $1000000" by Barenaked Ladies.
  • "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" by Billy Joel.
  • The Isley Brothers run on the lead and backing vocals doing call and response. "Shout" even has a part that helps the Audience Participation ("A little bit softer/louder now...").
  • Cab Calloway was one of the most famous forerunner of this in popular music, "Minnie the Moocher" being the most popular example. Other jazz singers of his time known for using this as a trademark include Louis Prima and Louis Jordan, among many, many others.
  • "Fairytale of New York" by The Pogues and Kirsty McColl. Starts off as a duet about falling in love and finishes with a call and response about how much they hate each other.
  • Blur's song "Parklife" has verses consisting of spoken phrases with the singer shouting "Parklife!" after each one. Sometimes it finishes the sentence; sometimes it's just there.
  • "Bohemian Rhapsody" from A Night at the Opera by Queen has a section like this, with one side begging "Let him go!" and the other refusing.
    • "Bicycle Race" also features call and response, e.g., "You say Coke / I say Cain / You say John / I say Wayne".
  • Devo's song "Jocko Homo" uses this technique, to the point that it lends the title to Devo's first album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO! The rare 7" record version also includes this lyric:
    I got a rhyme that comes with a riddle
    What's round at the ends and high in the middle?
  • Tori Amos does it several times on Night of Hunters and also in "Promise", with her daughter Tash.
  • "Itchycoo Park" by the Small Faces:
    What will do there?
    I got high!
    What will we touch there?
    I touched the sky!
    Why the tears then?
    Tell you why!
  • Crystal Castles's Courtship Dating:
    Stove burns (on my hands!)
    Show them (to my friends!)
    Make you participate!
  • The lyrics of Positive K's "I Got a Man" involve a man trying to pick up a woman and repeatedly getting shot down by her because she already has a man. The male character is performed by Positive K ... and the female character is also played by Positive K, but with the pitch of his voice electronically altered.
    I'll treat you good
    My man treats me better
    I talk sweet on the phone
    My man writes love letters
  • "Ich Will" ("I Want" for all you non-German speakers) by Rammstein was written because Till Lindemann could not get why audiences are so fond of call and response and audience participation. Ironically it's a call and response song itself.
    Till: "Can you see me?"
    Crowd: "We see you!"
    Till: "Can you hear me?"
    Crowd: "We hear you!"
    Till: "Can you feel me?"
    Crowd: "We feel you!"
    Till: "I don't understand you."
  • INXS's "Need You Tonight":
    "How do you feel?"
    "I'm lonely!"
    "What do you think?"
    "Can't think at all!"
    "Whatcha gonna do?"
    "Gonna live my life!"
  • The Talking Heads song "Slippery People".
    • Many Talking Heads songs are like this. For example, both "Once in a Lifetime" and "(Nothing but) Flowers" incorporate call-and-response elements. It is most likely due to the influence they drew from African music.
  • David Lee Roth's version of "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" features this towards the end, basically with the backup singers repeating everything he says.
    No one!
    No one!
    No one!
    No one!
    Darlin' darlin'!
    Darlin' darlin'!
    Gettin' serious!
    Gettin' serious!
    • And so on. This is actually copied directly from Louis Prima's recording of the same medley, of which Roth's version is a surprisingly faithful Cover Version.
  • "To Binge" by Gorillaz plays with this: it's not quite a dialogue, but two Star-Crossed Lovers describing the same situation from different perspectives, often overlapping.
    "I'm lookin' from a distance and I'm listenin' to the whispers and oh, it ain't the same when you're... falling out of feeling and just rollin' in and caught again-"
    "I'm caught again in the mystery - You're by my side, but are you still with me? The answer's somewhere deep in it, I'm sorry that you're feeling it but I just have to tell you that I... love you so much these days. Have to tell you that I love you so much these days, it's true."
  • "Sex (I'm A...)" by Berlin features a sung exchange between lead singer Terri Nunn and songwriter John Crawford.
  • The studio version "Scarborough Fair" by Simon & Garfunkel is a curious take on call and response. The call (and far older than the duo), Scarborough Fair, is a traditional folk song (UK), and the response, Canticle, overlaps as a modified version of Simon's "The Side of a Hill," a contemporary (circa 1965) anti-war ballad.
    "Tell her to make me a cambric shirt"
    (The side of a hill in the deep forest green)
    "Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme"
    (Tracing a sparrow on snow-crested ground)
    "Without no seams or needlework"
    (Blankets and bedclothes, the child of the mountain)
    "Then she'll be a true love of mine."
    (Sleeps unaware of the clarion call)
  • Cobra Starship is really fond of call and response songs between a guy and girl, including:
  • "I've Got You Under My Skin", of all songs, has had this happen to it twice: once when Stan Freberg used it to lampoon a call-and-response version of "On Top of Old Smokey" that was a hit at the time, and again in a quite different way on The Muppet Show.
  • Kanye West and Jay-Z invoke this trope relentlessly on their dual project album, Watch The Throne.
  • Ray Parker Jr., not enthusiastic about having to rhyme the word "Ghostbusters", finally hit on using this type of song to get around it when he saw footage of the commercial scene. So you have artistic reluctance to thank for "Who you gonna call?"
  • While it's not done throughout the whole song, Flight of the Conchords' "Carol Brown" has a bridge that involves a call and response between Jemaine Clement and a group of backup singers representing his ex-girlfriends:
    He doesn't cook or clean, he's not good boyfriend material
    Ooh, we can eat cereal
    You'll lose interest fast, his relationships never last
    Shut up, girlfriends from the past
    He says he'll do one thing and then goes and does another thing
    Who organized all my ex-girlfriends into a choir and got them to sing?
  • They Might Be Giants have done a number of songs like this:
    • "Spoiler Alert" has John Flansburgh and John Linnell singing in counterpoint melodies, portraying two Too Dumb to Live drivers (Flansburgh playing an exhausted and delirious truck-driver, Linnel a writer who's trying to text and drive at the same time) who are unknowingly about to crash into each other.
    • "Hello Mrs. Wheelyke" has Linnell singing a series of Word Salad Lyrics, and Flansburgh adding to them to change the meaning of the verse
      You like
      To write
      With a

      Hello (I'm from)
      Missis (-sippi)
      We like (to wear)
      Wooden (footwear)
      You like (to wear)
      Two right (-handed gloves)
      With a (hat in)
      Pennsyl (-vania)
    • "Thinking Machine" has Linnell and Flansburgh as a guy and the nonsense-spouting chat-bot he's trying to communicate with, respectively.
  • Almost every song you learn in Girl Scout Camp.
    The littlest worm
    The littlest worm
    I ever saw
    I ever saw
    Got stuck inside
    Got stuck inside
    My soda straw
    My soda straw
  • Sound Horizon's "Hikari to Yami no Douwa (Märchen)" has Elise asking Märchen questions about the deserted village they're in
    Why isn't there anyone in this village anymore? (That's because everyone died.)
    Then how did they all die? (There was a plague called The Black Death.)
    Then why did the mother and her child still stay in the foresty village? (Because the wellnote  called out to them.)
    Then why does the well call out to people? (Calling out to people is what the well was born to do.)
  • A common form for sea shanties—"Blow the Man Down" is probably the most well-known example.
  • Lady Antebellum has done this several times, including "Lookin' for a Good Time", "Dancing Away with My Heart" and most notably, "Need You Now". In all of the examples, the song is a dialogue between lead singers Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley:
    "It's a quarter after one, I'm all alone and I need you now..."
    "Well, I said I wouldn't call, but I've lost all control and I need you now..."
  • The song 'Mary' by the comedy band Dead Cat Bounce is a song about a man having some trouble getting in touch with the eponymous Mary by phone. Some of the responses include a wrong number to a Chinese restaurant, and an automated message informing the caller that he ran out of call credit.
    "The number you have entered is 607790271.
    Please hold, while we're retrieving your balance..."
    "You have topped up by-"
    "-Euro. Your new balance is-"
    "-Euro, and-"
  • "It Must Be Love" by Ty Herndon has a question-and-answer structure on the chorus, with Sons of the Desert singing the questions and Ty answering:
    Sons of the Desert: Is she there in your dreams?
    Ty: I don't know, I can't sleep
    Sons of the Desert: Is she breaking your heart?
    Ty: Yeah, but isn't it sweet?
    Sons of the Desert: Does she know how you feel?
    Ty: It's right on the tip of my tongue
    Sons of the Desert: Are you walking on air?
    Ty: Well, I'm sure feeling tall
    Sons of the Desert: Does it trouble your mind?
    Ty: There's no trouble at all
    All: Oh, I don't know, but something tells me it must be love
  • The verses to Shania Twain's "Party for Two" are a dialogue between her and labelmate Billy Currington. An alternate version exists with Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray doing the male vocals.
  • Robert Ellis Orrall and Carlene Carter's "I Couldn't Say No" is a dialogue between the two, about the temptation of love. Throughout the song, one of them sings half a verse, then the other responds with the other half of the verse.
  • There are plenty of hymns that alternate between the men and women. It usually sounds awesome unless one group can't sing or someone doesn't understand how the song works. Or unless you have an old guy complaining about these 'newfangled' hymns that are over a hundred years old in the middle of it.
    • "You Are Holy (Prince Of Peace)" is one of these songs.
  • Alter Bridge's "Words Darker Than Their Wings" has alternating sections sung by lead singer Myles Kennedy and lead guitarist Mark Tremonti. It works out as a conversation between the two.
  • The last chorus of George Jones' "I Don't Need Your Rockin' Chair" has various country singers repeating each line. In order of appearance, they are Alan Jackson, T Graham Brown, Patty Loveless with Pam Tillis, Mark Chesnutt, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill, Joe Diffie, Clint Black, and Garth Brooks.
  • The country song "If I Were You", recorded first by The Oak Ridge Boys in 1991, features a dialogue between two men who each desire the life the other one has. The two singers alternate lines throughout the verses, and also sing separate parts on the chorus, which sometimes overlap. Chad Brock later recorded a version with Mark Wills singing the second part and Kenny Rogers recorded the song with Travis Tritt.
    Steve Sanders: You've got it made. You've got real love, something you don't find every day.
    Duane Allen: But you come and go, as free as the wind blows. I wouldn't settle down too soon, if I were you.
    Both: If I were you
    Steve: I'd be satisfied (Duane echoes)
    Steve: I'm sure the grass is greener...
    Both: on the other side. If I were you...
    Steve: I'd stay by her side
    Duane: I'd be running wild
    Steve: I would never leave her
    Both: That's what I would do, if I were you.
  • Of Monsters and Men has two singers, so they naturally play with duets a lot. This comes up in one of their most famous songs, Little Talks.
    Girl: I don't like walking around this old and empty house
    Boy: So hold my hand, I'll walk with you, my dear
    Girl: The stairs creak as I sleep, it's keeping me awake
    Boy: It's the house telling you to close your eyes
    Girl: Some days I can't even dress myself
    Boy: It's killing me to see you this way
    Both: Because though the truth may vary this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore
  • In Lutheran liturgical music of the Baroque era, dialogues between Jesus (the Vox Christi) and the Soul, which act as Call-and-Response Songs, were quite popular. Perhaps the best examples of such dialogues comes from the oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach. The most famous example of such a dialogue comes from the cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Wake up, the voice calls to us). The example given here is that of "Wenn kömmst du, mein Heil?", the third movement of the cantata and the first movement with a duet.
    Soul: Wenn kömmst du, mein Heil? (When will You come, my Savior?)
    Jesus: Ich komme, dein Teil. (I come, as Your portion.)
    Soul: Ich warte mit brennenden Öle. (I wait with burning oil.)
    Soul: Eröffne den Saal (Now open the hall)
    Jesus: Ich öffne den Saal (I open the hall)
    Soul: zum himmlischen Mahl. (for the heavenly meal.)
    Soul: Komm, Jesu. (Come, Jesus!)
    Jesus: Ich komme, komm, liebliche Seele. (I come, come, lovely soul!)
  • The single and album release of Hank Williams Jr.'s 1979 country hit "Family Tradition" didn't have it, but sometime after it became one of his concert staples, the crowd made it a call-and-response song:
    Williams: Why do you drink?
    Crowd: To get drunk!
    Williams: And why do you roll smokes?
    Crowd: To get stoned!
    Williams: Why must you live out the songs that you wrote?
    Crowd: To get laid!
  • The Angels' "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?" became one via Memetic Mutation when the audience began responding, "No way, get fucked, fuck off!"
  • "Remind Me" by Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley. Brad sings the first verse and chorus, except for the title phrase, which is sung by Carrie instead. The pattern then reverses for the second verse and chorus, and they go back and forth for the rest of the song.
  • "Don't Go Out" by Tanya Tucker and T. Graham Brown:
    Tucker: Baby, your heart is in serious danger, don't go out with her
    She'll lead you on and treat you like a stranger, don't go out with her
    You need someone like me who'll love you endlessly
    Brown: Baby, you're headed for a brand new heartache, don't go out with him
    The fire at midnight burns out at daybreak, don't go out with him
    Darling wake up and see, I'm waiting patiently
    Both: My love is everything you'll ever need
    I'll start by holdin' your heart close to me
    Tucker: I know just what she'll do, her kind is never true
    Brown: He can't take care of you like me...
  • Lacrosse have a few songs using this device to varying degrees and effects, notably "I See A Brightness"
    If you wanna blame someone (I wanna blame someone)
    You can always try me (Already blaming you)
    An easy target, I don't mind (Why would you mind?)
    As long as we're still friends (We're not friends anymore)
  • Professor Elemental's "Cup of Brown Joy" has several call-and-response sections.
    When I say "Herbal," you say "No, thanks!"
    Herbal? (No, thanks!)
    Herbal? (No, thanks!)
  • The Statler Brothers: Their 1981 top 10 country hit "Don't Wait On Me," which sees Don Reid and Lew DeWitt trade call-and-response lead vocals on the verses, which use humorous "when pigs fly"-type hyperbole to affirm a breakup is permanent. Examples including the sun rising in the west and setting in the east, San Diego sailors not getting tattooed, winter weather for the Fourth of July and several cultural references, most notably notorious atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair becoming a born-again Christian and subsequently ordained) and Wrigley Field, which at the time was the only unlighted field in Major League Baseball. note 
  • "DIY Orgasms" by Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains
    Pat the Bunny: Who needs love?
    Audience:Not Me
    Pat: Who needs friends?
    Audience: I got me
    Pat: Who needs drugs?
    Audience: Me
    Pat: Who needs sex?
    Audience: I got me!
  • Iggy Pop's "Success" from Lust for Life, with David Bowie on backup vocals. Towards the end, Iggy starts improvising lyrics and Bowie follows him perfectly.
    Iggy: I'm gonna hop like a frog!
    David: I'm gonna hop like a frog!
    Iggy: I'm gonna go out on the street and do anything I want!
    David: I'm gonna go out on the street and do anything -
    Iggy (Cracking up): Oh, shit!
    David: Oh, shit!
  • Disney on Ice Presents: Frozen turns "Let It Go" into this in the finale—Idina Menzel sings the title phrase twice, and primarily the audience repeats it twice more, going back and forth.
  • The bridge of "Another Heart Calls" by The All-American Rejects and The Pierces works like this.
    Tyson Ritter: I'm sorry.
    Allison Pierce: So what?
    Tyson: You don't think I've said enough?
    I'm sorry
    Allison: I don't care!
    You were never there.
  • Grace & Tony does this with their song "Hey Grace, Hey Tony".
    Tony: Hey Grace!
    Grace: Hey Tony!
    Tony: Tell me, why did you choose me?
    Grace: Boy, look in the mirror!
    Tony: You're not so bad yourself, why can't you see?
  • Occurs in Dom som försvann by Kent:
    The camera glides over goldish yellow fields
    Yes, we know that you need help!
    This city will drive me crazy tonight
    You will never find home again
    Want to give you everything tonight
    You will never be yourself again, you will never be yourself again, you will -never be yourself again
    The camera glides over goldish yellow fields
    Yes, we know that you need help!
    This city drives me crazy again
    You will never be yourself again
    And I really think that my soul dies of hunger
    One gets tired of your damned whine, one gets tired of your damned whine
  • Instrumental version in the Far Corporation cover of the classic Led Zeppelin song "Stairway to Heaven" - rather than just having the guitar and drums play the bridge riff together, they change it up by having the guitar play a riff with a set of drum beats in response that goes back and forth for a couple of bars of the song. See [1]
  • Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood's "The Fighter" does this on the chorus:
    Carrie: What if I fall?
    Keith: I won't let you fall
    Carrie: What if I cry?
    Keith: I'll never make you cry
    Carrie: And if I get scared
    Keith: I'll hold you tighter / When they're tryin' to get to you, baby, I'll be the fighter
  • Amon Amarth's "A Dream That Can Never Be" has Johann Hegg voicing the Jomsviking album's exiled protagonist, and Doro Pesch singing the role of his Old Flame who refuses to join him in his new life.
  • Genius of Love by The Tom Tom Club has a short "rap" at the beginning that does this:
    Whatcha gonna do when you get out of jail?
    I'm gonna have some fun!
  • Evanescence combines this with Soprano and Gravel in the chorus to "Bring Me To Life" (featuring singer Amy Lee as the mezzo-soprano and Paul McCoy of 12 Stones as the gravel):
    Paul: Wake me up!
    Amy: Wake me up inside
    Paul: I can't wake up!
    Amy: Wake me up inside
    Paul: Save me!
    Amy: Call my name and save me from the dark
    Paul: Wake me up!
    Amy: Bid my blood to run
    Paul: I can't wake up!
    Amy: Before I come undone
    Paul: Save me!
    Amy: Save me from the nothing I've become
  • Sabaton: The verses of "Night Witches" have lead singer Joakim Brodén sing a line, then be answered by bassist Pär Sundström and guitarists Chris Rörland and Thobbe Englund.
    Joakim: Pushing on and on, their planes are going strong
    Pär, Thobbe, and Chris: Air force number one
    Joakim: Somewhere down below, they're looking for the foe
    Pär, Thobbe, and Chris: Bombers on a run
  • Beast in Black: The verses of "Zodd the Immortal" have Yannis and Anton alternating lines. It's especially noticeable if you listen with headphones: Yannis is almost entirely on the right ear while Anton occupies the left.
  • Debra Laws: The chorus to "Very Special", which features her brother Ronnie giving the response.
    Debra: All my love is all I have
    Ronnie: And my dreams are very special
    Debra: All my life I've looked for you
    Ronnie: And today my dreams come true
    Debra: You need me and I need you
    Ronnie: Love and us is very special
    Debra: Things you seem to do divine
    Ronnie: You looked straight into my eyes
    Debra: I know our love is meant to be
    Ronnie: Cause our souls touched tenderly
    Debra: Love is life and life is living, it's very special
  • Kaizers Orchestra used this method for many of their songs. "170" from their debut album is a good example (with soldier #170 being backed up by the rest of his unit in explaining his misery), as is "Djevelens Orkester" ("The Devil's Orchestra") from the second album (where the devil gets backup in emphasising what happens to the sufferers in Hell).
  • Traditional folk song Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (a.k.a. In the Pines or Black Girl):
    My girl, my girl, don't you lie to me
    Tell me where did you sleep last night
    In the pines, in the pines, where the sun don't ever shine
    I would shiver the whole night through
  • The pre-chorus to I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor by Arctic Monkeys:
    And your shoulders are frozen (Cold as the night)
    Oh, but you're an explosion (You're dynamite)
  • Cake's "Never There" has the part "When I need you (BABY) Baby (YOU'RE NEVER THERE!)" Mind you that the second time around, the second response doesn't happen, but audiences still sing it.
  • Reba McEntire's "Does He Love You," a duet with Linda Davis, with two women—a wife and a mistress—confronting each other about the man they're in love with.
  • Majestica's "Ghost of Marley" is a duet that alternates lines by Ebenezer Scrooge (played by Tommy) and Jacob Marley (played by Chris). The chorus goes:
    Marley: Tell me why you doubt your senses
    Scrooge: None of this is real, it cannot be
    Marley: Now you're running out of chances
    Scrooge: Spirit, tell me more, or leave me be
    Marley: These chains were forged in life by our
    Everybody: Act of greed, can't you see? Yours will come
    Marley: Now your last chance for redemption
    Scrooge: Marley, my dear friend, let me go in peace
  • Miracle Musical: "Variations on a Cloud" includes the line "join if you wish" during the "keep it coming back" chorus. The song is about The War on Terror and the "never forget" slogan used to encourage remembrance of the tragedies. In this case, it's telling the listener of the song to participate.
  • In the Banx & Ranx remix of Sia's "1+1", featuring Yandel and Sofia Reyes singing in their native Spanish, the last verse is a bilingual call & response between Reyes and Sia.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street:
    • "Sing After Me", a recurring "echo" song in which the leader sings a verse and the other(s) repeat back to them.
    • Episode 3385 features the song "Yes-O!", led by visitors Michael and Maduka in which the responders sing their names and what they like.

  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue has the recurring game "Songstoppers", where one panellist sings the first line of a song and their teammate comes up with a (spoken) response that would bring the song to an immediate end. A sample round, as played by Omid Djalili and Jan Ravens:
    Jan: Actually, you do need to be informed about double negatives!
    Omid: I don't care what your name is, can you drive a lorry?
    Omid: The next train arriving on Platform 2 is the delayed Southern service from Redhill!
    Omid: I'm coming home, I've done my time...
    Jan: Oh, didn't you hear the parole board's decision?
    Omid: Should've thought of that before you glued yourself to the M25, love!
    Jan: Yeah, I left some tissues out!
    Jan: Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue...
    Omid: Does that mean I've failed the urine test, doctor?
  • New Dynamic English often features Jazz Chants, which are usually spoken dialogue (except for one) with jazz music.

  • We Are All Pokémon Trainers: The call-and-response cues. To elaborate- starting in 2018, one of the characters in WAAPT, Colton Kendall Rever would often perform call-and-response lyrical cues with his Pokemon while they were performing a Z-Move or Mega Evolution. The classic format, used during most battles, is:
    Trainer: "Lyric A"
    Pokemon: <Lyric B>
    (cue Mega Evolution and/or Z-Move)
    • After the Final Shell, the practice was phased out, and ultimately abandoned, by its originator; it was promptly handed over to Goldenheart388, who added in an Audience Participation aspect of it. The main format, under her usage and always when in a stadium, is:
    Trainer: "Lyric A"
    Pokemon: <Lyric B>
    Audience: "Lyric C"

  • "Anything You Can Do" from Annie Get Your Gun is a classic example- both singers sing-argue about who can do anything better than the other.
  • "America" from West Side Story uses this. In the version revised for the movie, the characters taking turns being the Caller and Responder. The original version just had Rosalia as caller and Anita as responder.
    • To be more specific, the movie basically divides it into men as the callers and the women as responders (or vice versa, depending on the stanza).
  • "I'm Past My Prime" from Li'l Abner.
  • "Make A Miracle" from Where's Charley? (by Frank Loesser).
  • "The Name of Love" from the Musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Rosa Budd and Jasper sing their lines one after the other, making sense when read out, but only rhyming in context:
    "I call it lust." ("You think me just")
    "I call it lewd." ("a bit too crude.")
  • "Confrontation" from Jekyll and Hyde. Notable, in that the two characters singing (Jekyll and Hyde) are performed by the same singer, forcing him to switch voices from one sentence to the next.
  • Several instances in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but the one that really stands out is "God That's Good", involving a crowd, Toby, Sweeney, and Mrs. Lovett.
  • "Happy To Make Your Acquaintance" from The Most Happy Fella (by Frank Loesser).
  • Used a lot in the Czech musical Pied Piper, where most of the songs are conversations between one or more people.
  • "Trouble" from The Music Man features this as a crowd responds to Hill's claims about the moral destruction that the introduction of a pool table will cause in their town.
  • "Hey There" from The Pajama Game. The second verse is the singer talking to himself: he speaks responses to a recording of his own voice singing the first verse.
  • "Red and Black" from Les Misérables.
  • Hadestown as two calls and responds songs the first one being "Wedding Song" Were Orpheus and Eurydice sing about the reason why she should marry him. The other Song is "Chant" song mainly between Hades and Persephone who are arguing in song about there marriage and what they both think is going wrong in it.
  • "Beneath a Moonless Sky" from Love Never Dies.

    Western Animation 
  • The Backyardigans had many of these.
  • Grojband: The episode "Myme Disease" features the song "Noise", performed by Corey against a group of Enemy Mimes who have turned his friends into more of their kind.
  • "Be Yourself/Just Like You" from the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Russell Up Some Fun." The lines alternate between Blythe telling Sue to just be herself and Sue insisting she wants to be just like Blythe.
  • South Park: Parodied in "Put It Down". Cartman interrupts a school announcement on distracted driving to sing his own attention-seeking anti-suicide song "Eric, We Don't Want You to Die". He complains about his life and declares his intent to commit suicide. He thinks everyone will be begging him not to do it, so the chorus consists of pre-recorded kids' voices saying "Eric, we don't want you to die! / Eric, give life a try! / Eric, oh God no, Eric!" In practice, nobody sings along and just stares at him blankly. Cartman even has to mime someone saying one of the lines: "Eric, we don't want you to die! / You're so cool! / We'd be sad at school!"
  • The marching song from the first Strawberry Shortcake special.
    • Strawberry and Orange Blossom's song from the second one.
  • Steven Universe: The title song of the Musical Episode "Mr. Greg", performed when Greg, Steven, and Pearl arrive at a ritzy hotel in Empire City to spend some of his $10 million in royalties, has call and response first between the head waiter and the other waiters, then between Pearl and Steven plus Greg.
    ''Hey, shake a leg!
    (Hey, shake a leg!)
    It's Mr. Greg!
    (It's Mr. Greg!)
    And he's here to spend his dough all over the town!
    • The Movie has "No Matter What", a song that Steven sings to a memory-wiped Amethyst to help her remember everything they've done together. In-universe, the call-and-response part is justified by Amethyst having been reduced to a Blank Slate, who can only repeat the words she hears. As her memories return near the end of the song, she adds new lines of her own.
    Steven: In the dark of the night...
    Amethyst: In the dark of the night...
    Steven: In the light of the day...
    Amethyst: In the light of the day...
    Steven: When you're rising to shine...
    Amethyst: When you're rising to shine...
    Steven: When you're hitting the hay...
    Amethyst: When you're hitting the hay...
    Steven: I'll be hanging around...
    Amethyst: I'll be hanging around...
    Steven: If you like it or not...
    Amethyst: If you like it or not...
    Both: I'm gonna be right by your side no matter what!
  • The opening theme for SpongeBob SquarePants:
    Pirate: Arr you ready, kids?
    Kids: Aye aye, Captain!
    Pirate: I can't hear you!
    Pirate: Ohhhhhh…
    Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
    Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!
    Pirate: Absorbent and yellow and porous is he!
    Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!
    Pirate: If nautical nonsense be something you wish...
    Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!
    Pirate: Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!
    Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

  • A type of Military marching cadence, known as "Jodies", are a variation of this. Starting with the US Military, these have been known to get a bit vulgar.
  • Many religious services include a liturgy and other prayers which include a call-and-response dialog with the presiding clergy. One typical example:
    Clergy: "The Lord be with you."
    Congregation: "And with your spirit."
    Clergy: "Lift up your hearts."
    Congregation: "We lift them to the Lord."
    Clergy: "Let us give thanks to the Lord our God."
    Congregation: "It is right and just."
    • Some Protestant denominations – particularly contemporary African-American and Baptist churches – will have the clergy attempt to draw a response of approval from members of the congregation after making a key point, although some congregation members will do this on their own without a prompt. For example:
    Clergy: "Can I get someone to say 'Amen'?"
    Congregation: "Amen!"
  • Unofficially, The Rocky Horror Picture Show's ongoing fanbase has made calls-and-responses around the linear songs.
  • Halo has at least one of these, known as the Helljumper Cadence. Each line is shouted first by the commanding officer, then shouted back by the rest of the troops.
    “Helljumper, helljumper, where you been?
    Feet first into hell then back again
    When I die please bury me deep!
    Fix my MA5 down by my feet!”
  • "Does He Love You" by Reba McEntire and Linda Davis:
    Reba: I've known about you for a while now
    When he leaves me, he wears a smile now
    As soon as he's away from me
    In your arms is where he wants to be
    Linda: But you're the one he rushes home to
    You're the one he gave his name to
    I never see his face in the early morning light
    You have his mornings, his daytimes, and sometimes, I have his nights


Sing After Me

Big Bird and Alan play a singing echo game where one has to repeat everything the leader sings.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / CallAndResponseSong

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