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Changing Chorus

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Most people think of choruses as the part of a song which doesn't change. However, there are always exceptions, and this trope is for those exceptions.

Sometimes, the chorus will change a little every time. This is usually used for comedy, to make the song more interesting, or to make the song follow a storyline. Other times, the song will mainly stay the same, but have one chorus that's a bit different.

This is usually at the end, and it might be because the story has finished, so one of the lines is no longer true (e.g. "I'm waiting for the bus" might turn into "I waited for the bus" in the final chorus).

Compare Truck Driver's Gear Change, where a song modulates upward, Small Start, Big Finish for when the song's intensity rises, and Dual-Meaning Chorus for when the meaning of the chorus changes. Can overlap with Expository Pronoun or Character Development. Often happens in an Age-Progression Song. Compare Mad Libs Catchphrase. Contrast Limited Lyrics Song.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Asteroid in Love's ending theme "Yōzora" has a different chorus with its second verse.
    • The chorus for the first verse and coda:
      The future we drew
      is on a path long and far away
      There may be smiles, there may be tears
      I wish I can share them with you
      If there's something we would like to find
      In the depths of this shining sky
      I should believe I'm not alone
      As long as I start the way with you
    • The chorus for the second verse:
      I hope what I wish to do
      will shine upon this world we see
      There may be hopes, there may be doubts
      I wish we can illuminate each other
      If there's something we would like to make it happen
      At the intersection of time and space
      Let us burn like the stars
      and color up the night sky
  • Flower of Hope, the ending theme of the Animated Adaptation of Kotoura-san, has its chorus sung four times, each time with different lyrics. Given the song is as much about the trope of Heal the Cutie as the series itself, it is justified.
  • "Departure", the opening theme of the 2011 anime adaptation of Hunter × Hunter, has a chorus that changes completely after every verse, save for a consistent rhyme scheme and a few lines of Gratuitous English always being in the same part of the chorus. This allows a different verse of the song to be used every time the series's OP changes.

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen (2013):
    • The chorus to "The First Time in Forever" changes every time, but it still counts as a chorus because it has the song title several times in each one.
    • In "Let it Go", the chorus changes every time, with the only consistent lines being "Let it go! Let it go!" and "Let the storm rage on".
  • In The Little Mermaid (1989), all of the songs with multiple choruses ("Part of Your World", "Under the Sea", "Poor Unfortunate Souls", and "Kiss the Girl") have the chorus change each time, with the only words remaining consistent being the song titles.
  • In the animated adaptation of Loskutik And The Cloud, the horse's second song has a chorus that only includes one phrase that always gets repeated: "And what else can one wish, and what else can one dream of?" After that phrase, each repetition of the chorus describes a different thing the horse dreams of: a cold brook in the first chorus, rain, fresh leaves and flowers in the second, a sea and clouds in the sky in the third.
  • Tangled: In "I've Got a Dream", the song's title is the only thing that's consistent about the chorus, and even then it occasionally changes to "He's got a dream", "She's got a dream", or "We've got a dream".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mary Poppins:
    • The chorus to the "Fidelity, Fiduciary Bank" song goes, "Tuppence, [adverb], [adverb], [adverb] invested in the... to be specific, in the Dawes, Tomes, Mousley, Grubbs, Fidelity, Fiduciary Bank."
    • The chorus to "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" usually goes, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, if you say it loud enough you'll always sound precocious: supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!". However, the final chorus is just the song title sung four times.
  • Muppet Treasure Island: The opening song "Shiver My Timbers" has the chorus change four times, all appropriate for the pirates singing it as they bury Captain Flint's treasure:
    • Shiver my timbers, shiver my soul
      Yo-ho, heave ho!
      There are men whose hearts are as black as coal
      Yo-ho, heave ho!
    • Shiver my timbers, shiver my sides
      Yo-ho, heave ho!
      There are hungers as strong as the wind and tides
      Yo-ho, heave ho!
    • Shiver my timbers, shiver my bones
      Yo-ho, heave ho!
      There are secrets that sleep with old Davy Jones
      Yo-ho, heave ho!
    • Shiver my timbers, shiver my sails
      Dead men tell no tales!'' *BANG*

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Sesame Street:
    • The song "Be-Doodle-De-Dum" usually has "It's such a good thing to say" in the chorus, but the last one changes it to "An excellent thing to say."
    • The song "Accidents Happen" mainly has a consistent chorus, but in some verses, the line "Night or day" is repeated and other times it's followed by "They happen night or day".
    • "You've Got to Be Patient to Be a Patient" not only has a changing chorus, but several different versions. In the version sung to Big Bird, for instance, one chorus mentions "taking medicine and eating off a tray", while in the one with the little girl, this isn't mentioned. The only thing common amongst all choruses in all versions is the song title, plus all the rhymes are "-ay" words (say, play, day, way, etc).
  • Treasure Attic: The song "Achoo, I've Got a Cold" has two choruses.
    • The first one goes:
      I remember when I washed my hair
      Then I went outside in the evening air
      My daddy said, 'Your head is wet; don't go!'
      But now I've got a sniffy nose and a cold.
    • The second one goes:
      I remember it was yesterday
      When my mama said, 'John, put your jacket on!'
      But I was busy; didn't wanna stop,
      And now I've got a stuffy nose and a cough.
    • After the instrumental break, both choruses are said in succession.

  • 35MM: A Musical Exhibition:
    • The chorus of "Cut You a Piece" first goes "I cut you a piece of me, I cut you a piece of me./And where you go I will go too./Yes, I am now a part of you." After describing Jessie's death in a car crash, it changes the last line to "I lost my life when I lost you." The final choruses, sung by another couple, take a bittersweet approach to the story:
    I cut you a piece of me, I cut you a piece of me.
    For where you go I will go too.
    I am now a part of you.
    From now on I'm half a soul, Without you I can't behold.
    So cut me a piece of you,
    Cut me a piece of you, and where I go you'll always be.
    Oh, you are the start of me, oh, you are the start of me.
    • "The Ballad of Sara Berry," about an Alpha Bitch's desperate attempts to be prom queen, has the first two choruses sung as thus:
      You taste the silver, Sara! You taste the crown.
      You thirst for blood from the roses in hand.
      You spoil for sash and scepter, music to dance,
      As they crown you Queen of High School Land.
      • But the third verse, which occurs after Sara has undergone Sanity Slippage and killed all her rivals to become prom queen, describes her "triumph":
      You got your silver Sara, you got your crown
      You got their blood on your roses in hand
      You donned the sash and scepter, doing a dance,
      As you crowned you Queen of High School Land!
      • It's then followed by yet another chorus, describing how Sara was arrested and lost everything she was fighting for:
      They wrapped your wrists in silver, they took your crown
      As they washed your bloody fingers and hands.
      Into a tight straitjacket, small padded cell,
      As you screamed, "I'm Queen of High School Land!"
  • Be More Chill: "Michael in the Bathroom" changes its chorus three times, with the final chorus replacing the first few lines with a beat and also adding a few couplets at the end.
    • The first chorus:
      Michael in the bathroom
      Michael in the bathroom at a party
      Forget how long its been
      I'm just Michael in the bathroom
      Michael in the bathroom at a party
      No, you can't come in
      I'm waiting it out 'til it's time to leave
      And picking at grout as I softly grieve
      I'm just
      Michael who you don't know
      Michael flying solo
      Michael in the bathroom by himself
    • The second chorus:
      Michael in the bathroom
      Michael in the bathroom at a party
      I half regret the beers
      Michael in the bathroom
      Michael in the bathroom at a party
      As I choke back the tears
      I'll wait as long as I need
      'Til my face is dry
      Or I'll just blame it on weed
      Or something in my eye
      I'm just Michael
      Who you don't know
      Michael flyin' solo
      Michael in the bathroom by himself
    • And the final chorus:
      [music plays over where the line would go] a party
      Is there a sadder sight
      [hums the tune of the "Michael in the bathroom" line]
      Michael in the bathroom at a party
      This is a heinous night
      I wish I stayed at home instead
      Watching cable porn
      Or wish I offed myself instead
      Wish I was never born
      I'm just Michael
      Who's a loner
      So he must be a stoner
      Rides a PT Cruiser
      God, he's such a loser
      Michael flying solo
      Who you think that you know
      Michael in the bathroom by himself
  • "When I Was a Lad", the Admiral's song from H.M.S. Pinafore, has each repetition of the chorus describe a different "virtue" (polishing handles, copying letters, doing little thinking for himself etc.) for which he was made "the ruler of the Queen's Navy".
  • In Les Misérables, the chorus to "Red and Black" changes depending on who's singing it. The first and third time, it's a revolutionary anthem sung by political leader Enjolras inspiring people to ignore their personal problems and go fight at the barricades. The second time, it's a duet with the "Red—, Black—" portions sung by Enjolras, while Marius sings the other parts to talk about his romantic troubles and his conflict about whether to go fight or seek his love. The last time, the chorus becomes a Crowd Song that repeats the first version, where everyone proclaims their determination to go fight.
    "Red! The blood of angry men/I feel my soul on fire"
    "Black! The dark of ages past/My world if she's not there"
  • The chorus of "All You Wanna Do" in Six: The Musical changes in accordance with who is trying to sleep with Katherine Howard at this stage of her life. However, it's most noticeable with Thomas Culpeper where the entire chorus changes to reflect the fact she realizes Culpeper (and all the other men in her life) only want to sleep with her. Similarly, the previous choruses are generally more upbeat but by the time she reaches the last one, poor Katherine is in tears because the one man she thought was her friend has all but forced himself on her. (And this leads to her beheading.)

    Video Games 
  • For JTMusic's song on Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator, "Now Hiring at Freddy's", the chorus changes every verse, showing off how the song slowly gets more twisted as time goes on:
    • First Verse:
      Come on down to Freddy's!
      We'll make a tycoon of you!
      Invest all of your savings, cause
      You're gonna double it soon!
      Minimize the casualties
      And please! Just don't get us sued!
      Every shift will be fun, if you get your duties done
      And clean up the blood off your shoes!
    • Second verse:
      Come on down to Freddy's!
      You ought to stay for a while!
      If any children go missing...
      Just don't let them go on file!
      Don't get any blood on the carpet
      It's easier cleaning the tile!
      And if a kid ends up dead
      Kill all the witnesses next!
      And make sure it's done with a smile...
    • Third Verse:
      Come on down to Freddy's!
      We'll suck the soul out of you!
      A work shift can be deadly, but
      We'll bring you back to life soon!
      Maximize the casualties
      At this point, we're gonna get sued!
      And before you can leave, clean up the carpets with bleach
      And we'll make a monster of you!
  • Persona 5 Strikers: One of the boss themes, "Counter Strike", changes during its second chorus, rewording it to first person and sounding more affirmative. For example, "it's your turn to get it right" later turns into "finally, I got it right."
  • Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth: The game's opening theme, "Road Less Taken." While retaining the same metaphors and general theme of individuality, the first and second choruses have some slightly different lyrics. The third time the chorus is sung, it's based on the second one, but has a new perspective and changes "you" to "we" (i.e. "the road less taken could be where you're meant to be" becomes "the road less taken could be where we're meant to be").
  • "Lifelight", the main theme for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, starts with a rather pessimistic chorus detailing the characters predicament at the start of the "World of Light" story mode. However, this later changes to a more optimistic version as the characters band together to face the challenge ahead of them.
    • First version:
      Every soul contains a whisper of light,
      Gleaming faintly as it dwindles from sight.
      No escape, no greater fate to be made.
      In the end, the chains of time will not break.
      Colors weave into a spire of flame.
      Distant sparks call to a past still unnamed.
      Bear this sword against the cold of the night.
      Search your soul and reawaken the undying light.
    • Second version:
      Every soul contains a whisper of light,
      Growing louder as it calls to unite.
      From the distance sings a chorus of souls,
      Rising slowly, stirring heat from the coals.
      Colors weave into a spire of flame.
      Distant sparks call to a past still unnamed.
      Bear this sword against the cold of the night.
      Light will guide you on your way to the ultimate fight.

    Web Animation 
  • In the second appearance of "Inside of Every Demon is a Rainbow" from HazbinHotel the Radio Demon changes the titular chorus to "Inside of Every Demon is a Lost Cause".
  • Translations Gone Wrong: In their version of "Babs Seed", the chorus is different both times.
    • The first time, it's:
      Meme Seed, Meme Seed. Oh, can't find the loo.
      I am full, ready to bust. I'll settle for a vase!
      Meme Seed, Meme Seed. Air horn have to die.
      Morals love the stink of egg. Humans get us extra cash.
      Meme Seed, Meme Seed, I like to slam, slam pee.
    • The second chorus goes:
      Meme Seed, Meme Seed. Owner gaily knew.
      Time to put it in our arse, ah pull it, bad sluts.
      Meme Seed, Meme Seed, Ellen have to die.
      Murder looms like stinky egg, humans can't be assed to care.

    Web Original 
  • Brian Hull: "We're Not So Bad" is a parody of "I've Got a Dream" from Tangled. Just like the original, the only consistent line in the chorus is the title, which sometimes changes to "He's not so bad", "I'm not so bad", or "She's not so bad".
  • Danny Gonzalez:
    • "LaCroix"'s chorus starts out with the line:
      Like a party in my mouth, but the kind of party that ends at 9
    • Which later changes to:
      Like a party in my mouth, if everybody at the party just died
  • Twisted Translations: In the version of "Let it Go" from Frozen, just like the original, there's only one consistent line in the chorus. This time, it's "Give up! Give up!". The chorus of "For the First Time in Forever" also has only one consistent line— "For the first term of office indefinite", and even that becomes "For firstly the eternal" at the end.
  • "Win the Race" is a Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog YTPMV featuring Robotnik trying to beat Sonic in a race. The chorus features him talking about his plans to cheat, and midway through the song, it changes after he does win the race. For example, it starts, "Just win the race! / I don't care what it takes! / Just find a way to make me happy!" and later changes to "I win the race! / I don't care what I did! / I won the race and now I'm happy!"
    • "Robotnik Rock features the repeated line "Where did I go wrong with you?", which changes midway through to "Where did I go wrong with me?"

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • In "The Monkey Song", the only consistent line in the chorus is "I don't know what to say! The monkeys won't do!", and even that gets changed to "We don't know what to say! The Warners won't do!" at the end.
    • In "Shnitzelbank", each chorus is a list of items pointed out in the previous verse, followed by "O de schone, o de schone, o de schone schnitzelbank."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • In "Babs Seed" from "One Bad Apple", the second chorus pauses to add non-chorus lyrics, then when it resumes, it repeats the "She's just a bad, bad" line twice before ending.
    • In "Winter Wrap-Up" from the episode of the same name, the first chorus says, "Winter wrap-up, winter wrap-up" only twice, but the second chorus says it three times, then three times again for the third, and the third one says, "'Cause tomorrow, spring is here" several times instead of twice.
  • Sid the Science Kid: The song "The Journey of a Germ" has two lines, and one is always different but the other one is "_____ on my journey of a germ".
  • We Bare Bears: The Castilian Spanish version of "Forever My Heart" from the episode "Everyone's Tube" changes the "Forever my baby, forever my heart" part of the chorus every time. The first time, it's "Y para siempre yo te voy a amar"note , the second time, it's "Tu eres mi chica, siempre te amaré"note , and the third and final time the chorus is sung, it's "Por siempre mi chica, yo te voy a amar."note 
  • Italian and Japanese dubs of Little Einsteins have every verse of the theme song different, compared to the same two verses before and after the Truck Driver's Gear Change (present in pretty much every dub). The Italian 1st/2nd verse and 3rd/4th verse "We're going on a trip, Climb aboard, etc." follows.
''"Annie: Voliamo un po' più su dov'è il cielo tutto blu All: I Fantastici, Little Einsteins! Leo: L'avventura Quincy and Annie: Ti aspetta insieme a noi All: Ti emozionerai, Little Einsteins!\
Truck Driver's Gear Change Leo: Studiare geografia così e una magia All: Quanti per musei, tutti per noi! Leo: Ora vai, in rotta per shanghai All: Ti divertirai All: Little Einsteins!''"
  • South Park: In "Elementary School Musical", "You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do" starts off as a Be Yourself song as Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny sing about how it doesn't matter what other people think as long as you're staying true to yourself. Over the course of the song, the moral slowly breaks apart.
First chorus
You gotta do what you wanna do!
Even if other people don't really want you to!
Second chorus
Do what you wanna do!
Just make sure that what you're doing is what's cool and popular with everyone else!
Third chorus
Do what you wanna do!
As long as what you wanna do is what everybody wants you to!


Video Example(s):


Nanowar - "Pasadena 1994"

Nanowar of Steel's "Pasadena 1994" uses a two-stanza chorus, switching the second stanza each verse. They also throw in a key change, common in power metal (the song is a parody of Sabaton) on the last verse.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChangingChorus

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