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Stock Rhymes
aka: Stock Rhyme

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"While they ring round the same unvary'd Chimes,
With sure Returns of still expected Rhymes.
Where-e'er you find the cooling Western Breeze,
In the next Line, it whispers thro' the Trees;
If Chrystal Streams with pleasing Murmurs creep,
The Reader's threaten'd (not in vain) with Sleep"
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism

A Stock Rhyme is a kind of rhyme / that everyone sees all the time. The reasons for this can vary: the rhyme choice may be extremely limited, as with love, alternate rhymes may be unusual words that are not very widely applicable (fire/spire, life/fife), or the rhyme may be particularly well-suited to a popular type of song like Silly Love Songs. Like with many stock tropes, a predictable rhyme can make an audience cringe, but a sufficiently awesome artist can often breathe new life into them.


To qualify as a Stock Rhyme it should be used by at least several different artists without any apparent intentional reference to one another. Imperfect rhymes are okay. Some Stock Rhymes may be specific to a particular genre, such as "trigger/nigga" in gangsta rap or "Word/Lord" in Christian hymns.


  • girl/world (Aqua's "Barbie Girl", Madonna's "Material Girl" and "4 Minutes", Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl", Brooks & Dunn's "Rock My World (Little Country Girl)", Tori Amos' "Upside Down", Hilary Duff's "All Around the World", Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl", Beyonce's "Save the Hero", almost any song with a line ending in "girl.")
    • A particularly heinous example occurs in Misteeq's "Scandalous" rhyming not only 'girl' with 'world' but also with 'pearls' and 'twirl'
    • Subverted in "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" by Led Zeppelin: "You can tell your friends all around the world / there ain't no companion like a blue-eyed" In any other song, the next word would be "girl", but since this song is actually about Robert Plant's dog, the word is "Merle."
    • Also subverted in "My Kind of Girl" by Collin Raye, which uses "Merle", "pearls", and "Tilt-a-Whirl" as rhymes.
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    • George Strait's "How 'bout Them Cowgirls" uses "round world"/"cowgirls", which is an internal rhyme variant.
    • Joe Diffie's "So Help Me Girl" also subverts this because the chorus is five lines long with an AABBC rhyme pattern, of which "And I can't help myself, so help me, girl" is the last line.
    • And of course, possibly the most famous example: "Just a small town girl/Living in a lonely world..."
    • Also seen in Emilia's 1998 hit, "Big Big World." Unfortunately, it's like the best rhyme in this song.
    • And Bob Dylan's "Brownsville Girl": "Brownsville girl/Show me all around the world"
    • A more exact rhyme for "girl" is "(heart's in a) whirl." It's thankfully long obsolete, but it was one of several cliché rhymes lampshaded in an early Cole Porter parody of Silly Love Songs.
    • Selena Gomez' "Forget Forever" rhymes "rule the world" and "perfect girl".
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    • The chorus of Survivor's "High on You" breaks the rhythm for the sake of this rhyme: "I can't stop thinking 'bout you girl / I must be living in a fantasy world"
    • "Roni" by Bobby Brown: "The truth about Roni, she's a sweet ol' girl / About the sweetest little girl in the whole wild world"
    • "I'm just a girl in the world/That's all you'll ever let me beeeee!!!"
  • baby/maybe/lady/crazy (Buddy Holly's use is tame compared to the Eagles' "Take It Easy", the Spin Doctors' "Two Princes", the Four Seasons' "Walk Like A Man", anyone who sang "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby" or "Hey, Good Lookin'", "Maybe" from Annie...)
  • together/forever
    • Typical example from Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now": "And we can build this dream together / Standing strong forever"
    • Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love": "We'll live forever/Knowing together/That we did it all for the glory of love."
    • Belinda Carlisle's "Circle in the Sand" uses this rhyme each time it leads up to the chorus: "Oh baby, when you look for me, can you see forever? I begin, baby, where you end, we belong together."
    • Lee Carr deserves a special mention for releasing a song called "Together", but never rhyming the title itself with anything. "Forever", "each other", and "another" never even appear in the song.
    • Together/weather is pretty popular too, usually taking the form of something like "we'll always be together/no matter what the weather".
      • "Happy Together" by The Turtles manages to avoid saying "forever", but, seemingly to break up the monotonous repetitions of "happy together," randomly asks "How is the weather?"
      • Sting's "We'll Be Together" has arms/charms and weather/together in the same verse
  • heart/start/apart
    • In the early 20th century, the stock rhyme for "heart" was "Cupid's dart." Jerome Kern apparently loathed this one.
  • party/Bacardi (Mariah Carey's "It's Like That", Huey Dunbar's "Bacardi Party", Jagged Edge's "Where the Party At?", Nada Surf's "Bacardi", Official Kardinal's "Bacardi Slang", Benzino's "Rock the Party", 50 Cent's "In The Club", Flight of the Conchords "Too Many Dicks on the Dance Floor", and many others)
    • Comedian Mike Birbiglia's "Guitar Guy At The Party", more of a bit than a song, contains this rhyme along with a couple of other awful rhymes. Apart from the few that suck, the rest of the song doesn't rhyme at all.
    • "Hello, Hello There" from Bells Are Ringing averts this in a bizarre way by non-rhyming "party" with "salami."
    • Cardi B has taken to rhyming "party" with Cardi
  • margarita/señorita, similar in concept to the above.
  • fingertips/lips/hips ("Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus comes first to mind)
    • Franz Ferdinand's "Michael" (and just lips/hips in "Tell Her Tonight").
    • "This Love" by Maroon 5
    • "Elevation" by U2.
      • "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" had lips/fingertips and fire/desire.
    • "Denial Twist" by The White Stripes
    • "Sheela Na Gig" from Dry by PJ Harvey
    • "Who Wants To Live Forever" by Queen
    • Subverted in "Addicted to Spuds" by "Weird Al" Yankovic: "Your greasy hands, your salty lips/Looks like you found the chips"
    • Mötley Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls"
    • Frank Ocean's "Forrest Gump"
    • ABBA‘s “Kisses of Fire”
  • self/shelf/else/health/wealth (the Divinyls' "I Touch Myself", Georgia Satellites' "Keep Your Hands to Yourself"). Tends to be pretty awkward because there's rarely a legitimate reason to discuss a shelf that doesn't involve rhyming.
    • "Are you happy with yourself?/Put the book back on the shelf" ("Put the Book Back on the Shelf", Belle & Sebastian)
    • "Lay your whole life upon a shelf / Got no one to blame but your own damn self" from "Carry On" by Pat Green
    • Led Zeppelin's Misty Mountain Hop does this, although obscured by the song's rather complex rhythm:
    Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see
    And baby, baby, baby, do you like it?
    There you sit, sitting spare like a book on a shelf, rusting
    Ah, not trying to fight it
    • Bob Dylan's "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of hearts" has this: "Big Jim was thinking to himself/Maybe down in Mexico or a picture upon somebody's shelf".
    • Weezer's "Keep Fishin'": It's just the thought of you in love with someone else / it breaks my heart to see you hangin' from a shelf".
    • "Ch-Check It Out" by Beastie Boys:
    Yo money, don't chump yourself
    Put that shit back on the shelf
    • "Already Gone" by Eagles.
    • Pink's "Don't Let Me Get Me"
    • Gym Class Heroes "Stereo Hearts": "If I was just another dusty record on the shelf, would you take me out and play me like everybody else?"
    • TheNineteenSeventyFive "The Sound": "And we left things to protect my mental health, but you call me when you're bored and you're playing with yourself"
  • fire/desire/higher (as in The Carpenters' "Merry Christmas Darling": The logs on the fire/fill me with desire)
    • Used by many well-regarded bands e.g, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, The Doors etc.
      • Also, on the same album (In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3), in the titular song, the chorus goes "Man your own jackhammer/man your battle stations, we'll have you dead pretty soon, and now/sincerely written from my brothers blood machine/man your battlestations, we'll have you home pretty soon". The first half has no rhyme, but the second..."Sincerely written from my brother's blood moo-shay-on, man your battle staaaaaaaaaations"
      • Edgar Allan Poe gave some of the earliest examples, except that he's talking about actual fire that burns you to death rather than the standard lust bit.
    • "Flame" by Pete Townshend. "Flame, you set me on fire/Nothing can take me any higher/I'm fueled on emotion and full of desire."
    • In perhaps the most distilled example of this trope, U2 manages to work both fire/desire and lips/fingertips into a single verse in "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For."
      • U2 also pulls off fire/higher/desire in— what else?— "Desire".
      • So does Alabama in "There's a Fire in the Night".
    • Augustana manages this with the song "Fire" "Fire burning me up/Desire taking me so much higher/And leading me home"
    • Les Claypool uses the fire/desire rhyme in the Primus song "Lacquer Head", though he compensates by rhyming "in-betweens" with "gasoline" immediately afterward.
    • All three see use in the rock song "Give In To Me" by Michael Jackson. "Love is a feeling/Give it when I want it/Cause I'm on fire/Quench my desire" and later it changes up to "Love is a feeling/Quench my desire/Give it when I want it/Taking me higher."
    • Marilyn Monroe's "I Wanna Be Loved by You". "I couldn't aspire to anything higher than to fill the desire..."
    • Cleverly subverted by Survivor in "Burning Heart", in which for once Captain Obvious does come to the rescue, causing "fire" to rhyme with its obvious-but-never-used natural counterpart "spire".
    • The entire catalog of Electric Six. Their first album is Fire. It is called fire because the word 'fire' is repeated and rhymed abundantly in the album.
    • The Marianas Trench song "Pop 101", which is a Take That! to pop music in general, lampshades this in the chorus.
    • "Come down with fire/Set my spirit higher/Someone's calling my name/Come and make me holy again."
    • "Sent over seas to cast into fire/Fought for a purpose with pride and desire/ Blood of the brave they would give to inspire/Cobras Fumantes, your memory lives!” A rather odd example in that the fire is gunfire, not flames or lust.
    • Dan Hartman's "Relight My Fire" (later Covered Up by Take That) rhymes the title with "your love is my only desire."
  • love/above/of. Also —/glove/shove/dove. Songwriters are often advised to avoid rhyming "love".
    • Kenny Rogers' "Tomb of the Unknown Love" uses love/above/love in the chorus, and shove/love in the first verse.
    • "From Austin back to Chaucer
      My weary eyes I shove
      But never come across a
      New word to rhyme with love."
    • Lampshaded by Ogden Nash in his poem "Spring Song"
    While ye, ye otherwise useless dove,
    Remember, please, to rhyme with love.
  • table/able
  • long/gone/on
  • trigger/nigga/bigger/golddigger, too many gangsta rap songs to count. When rhyming with "nigga", they'll often pronounce the other word as if it ended in an "-ah" sound.
  • lyrical/miracle/individual/spiritual in contrast to the above has become so synonymous with bad conscious/underground rappers, that by now it's only ever used to make fun of them
  • waiting/anticipating
    • "You Can't Hurry Love" by the Supremes.
    • And "Try A Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding.
    • And "Rockin' Into The Night" by .38 Special'
  • apartment/heart meant (Billie Holiday's "These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You)", Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", Material Issue's "What Girls Want", Rachel Platten's "53 Steps")
  • california/warn ya (The Trade Winds' "New York Is a Lonely Town", John Stewart's "Omaha Rainbow", Bob Dylan's "Sign on The Window", Albert Hammond's "It Never Rains in Southern California", Gary Allan's "She's So California"... and about Eleventy Zillion other California songs.)
    • Wax's "California" rhymes California with "warned you."
      • Josh Gracin's "We Weren't Crazy" makes it a ton worse by going with "California" and "warn us".
      • The Red Hot Chili Peppers use this rhyme in "Around The World", but then in "Dani California" they used the less expected "mourn ya".
    • "Because, It's Midnite" by Limozeen.
    • "Kids in America" by Kim Wilde.
    • "California Gurls" by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg. Somehow Snoop D-O-Double-G is able to rhyme "all up on ya" with "California".
  • moon/June/spoon (now something of a Dead Horse Trope, but once synonymous with Silly Love Songs)
    • An early and extreme example of this was "By the Light of the Silvery Moon", which rhymed the moon in its title not only with June and spoon, but also with croon, tune and soon.
    • Yoko Ono mocked Paul McCartney for rhyming "June" with "spoon"; he actually did once rhyme "spoon" with "lagoon" in "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window".
      • Her husband rhymed "You know that for sure" with "You got to let it go" and "You got to let it grow" in Mind Games.
    • Jonathan King wrote "Everyone's Gone to the Moon", which was, according to King, "a stupid song, that would actually rhyme 'moon' and 'June', but be so pretentious no one would notice" as a send up of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. He was right.
    • Subverted (for laughs) in a Pinky and the Brain episode, where Brain can't come up with any rhymes for June, despite obvious inspiration being all around him. He later decides to change it to "April". Made even worse when the song actually plays later in the episode: the song contains an overly-long list of "June" rhymes, and April is still the final word of the song.
    • Not entirely a dead rhyme; Rodney Atkins' "It's America" uses moon/June in the chorus.
    • Soft Machine has a song titled "Moon in June", which doesn't actually rhyme those words (they're not even in the lyrics at all).
    • Procol Harum used this rhyme in a somewhat different context than usual in "A Salty Dog": "Now many moons and many Junes have passed since we made land" (in which those words are synonymous with "months" and "years", respectively)
    • '70s soft-rockers Bread: "And Aubrey was her name / We tripped the light and danced together to the moon / But where was June?"
    • Prince's "Sign of the Times" from Sign Of The Times
    • Also appears quite recently: on Spiders by System of a Down, Moon is rhymed with both June and Tune."
    • Lampshaded in Shrek 2: "You can spoon on the moon/With the prince, 'til it's June!"
    • June Moon and Joe Doe are the "rhyme scene investigators" in related Sesame Street sketch.
    • In one '60s strip of the British newspaper comic The Perishers, young Wellington gets all cod-philosophical on the subject while looking at the moon with his dim friend Marlon.
      Wellington: Moon and June, how well they go together... but if June had been called Moptember or the moon had been called the blop, well, they just wouldn't have rhymed, would they?
      Marlon (shining a torch in Wellington's direction): I can see right up your nose.
    • Lampshaded by Elton John in "Tinderbox" from the autobiographical album The Captain & the Kid:
      Was he worried we might go too far
      Maybe wind up rhyming moon and June
    • In the Recess episode "The Substitute", substitute teacher Mr. E compliments Mikey's poetry but advises him "Lose the Moon/June stuff. You're better than that."
    • The Ames Brothers' version of "East of the Sun" on their Destination Moon album ends with the singers throwing in about every "moon-June" rhyme they could think of:
      Moon, spoon, June, croon, tune, soon, swoon, va-voom!
    • In The Smashing Pumpkins rarity "Bye June", this is pretty much the only line in the entire song:
      Bye June / I'm goin to the moon / Hope you'll make it soon / 'cause I'm waiting on this moon
    • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "How Come the Moon Changes Shape?", Carrot and Celery's love duet has the following lyrics:
      "Let's fly our little saucer to the moon / It's a perfect Earthie evening in June"
  • fly/sky/high
    • One of the most compressed examples of this is Yves La Rock's "Rise Up" ("I try to fly a while so high / direction sky")
    • Of course, Sky High in Daytona USA had it too. Except "fly" sounded like "fry".
    • Just one of many crimes against music in R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly."
    • The Moody Blues song "Blue World" used all three in the same line: "Fly me high, touch the sky/Leave the earth below...."
    • The very first verse of Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away" rhymes all three of these words. In an arguable case of Rhyming with Itself, "dragonfly" shows up as a rhyme in the same stanza.
    • "High" by Hyper Go Go.
  • home/come, and Word/Lord; These are ridiculously common in Christian hymns.
    • mild/child is another staple of hymnals.
    • blood/good/food' as well.
  • Heaven/seven (as with "love", there just aren't too many English words rhyming with "heaven")
  • dance/chance/romance. There's a Junior Senior song which is actually titled "Dance, Chance, Romance".
    • Chris De Burgh's "Lady In Red": "I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance / Looking for a little romance / Given half a chance"
    • And in "Mr. Right Now" by the Povertyneck Hillbillies, which has one of the most cliché bridges ever: "How do you feel about a little romance / Can I buy you a drink or do you wanna dance / What do you think, are you willing to take the chance?"
    • And in "Shine On" by James Blunt: "Are they calling for our last dance? / I see it in your eyes / Same old moves for a new romance / I could use the same old lies"
    • See also Michael Jackson's "Blood on the Dance Floor".
    • "Barbara Ann" hits all three in the first two lines ("Went to a dance looking for romance / Saw Barbara Ann and I thought I'd take a chance...")
    • "Heartcatch Paradise" starts rhyming "chance" and "dance", not with "romance", but with "change".
    • "Roni" by Bobby Brown: "Give it a chance, girl / You'll find romance"
  • lonely/only
  • cry/die/try or crying/dying/trying
  • good/hood
  • groovy/movie Four songs in the 1960s, apparently not connected: "Do You Believe in Magic" by The Lovin' Spoonful in 1965, "Spooky" by Classics IV in 1967 (covered by Dusty Springfield in 1970), "Like an Old Time Movie" by Scott McKenzie in 1967, and "Elenore" by The Turtles in 1968. Also, "Manchester England" from Hair.
    • Used in "Great Day" by Madvillain in 2004. ("Groovy dude, not to prove or be rude, but/ This stuff is like what ya might put on movie food")
    • This rhyme actually got used in "The Way" by Ariana Grande featuring Mac Millar in 2013, well after the point where anyone would otherwise be likely to use the word "groovy" without being sarcastic (or without referencing Austin Powers or Evil Dead 2). Though even when getting into slant-rhymes, very few other things rhyme with "movie".
  • soul/rock n roll (as in Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll")
  • care/prayer
  • about/without
  • be/me (Very mundane, but very overused as well. Montgomery Gentry's "Roll with Me" uses it twice.)
    • Rhett Akins' "That Ain't My Truck": "She's been going out with him, she's been going out with me / Said she'd let us know by tonight which one it would be"
  • day/way
  • Blarney/Killarney ("Christmas in Killarney" and many other songs about Oireland)
  • this/kiss
  • walk/talk and walkin/talkin
    • Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl" comes to mind; of course, it also has the inevitable "girl"/"world" rhyme.
    • "What's The Use Of Wond'rin'" from Carousel goes out on a weak note with "walk"/"talk", because Hammerstein had found "stay or go"/"know" not too convincing either.
  • miss you/kiss you
    • Worst offender is "Me and my heart we got issues/Don't know if I should hate you or miss you/Damn I wish that I could resist you/Can't decide if I should slap you or kiss you".
    • The Rolling Stones' "Miss You" from Some Girls has it in the very first verse.
    • Also kiss me/miss me, such as in Brooks & Dunn's "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" ("You'd better kiss me, 'cause...").
      • "She Loves Me Like She Means It" by Orrall & Wright uses "misses me"/"kisses me".
    • P!nk's "Leave Me Alone, I'm Lonely": Go away, give me a chance to miss you./Say goodbye it'll make me want to kiss you.
  • song/along (most often involving the phrase "sing along")
  • eyes/realize/disguise. "Lyin' Eyes" by the Eagles and "Save the Hero" by Beyonce are good examples.
    • Eric Carmen's "Hungry Eyes" is another popular one.
    • In love songs "eyes" is often rhymed with "sighs" or even "skies" (like "the skies above"). More recently, a lot of rap songs rhyme "eyes" with "thighs."
  • beauty/duty
  • town/down.
    • "New York, New York" from On the Town adds "groun'" to this rhyming pair.
    • Used twice in the chorus to John Rich's "Shuttin' Detroit Down", which only makes it worse by forcing it with the phrase "New York City town".
  • drink(ing)/think(ing). Ridiculously common in country music.
  • change/rearrange. Also shows up in "Lyin' Eyes".
    • Kiss' "All Hell's Breakin' Loose": "And we won't change or rearrange"
    • Part 5 of Fates Warning's A Pleasant Shade of Gray:
    Watched the days just pass
    As the seasons changed
    And the shifting sands
    Slowly rearranged
    Time's makin' changes, time's makin' changes in my life
    Time's rearrangin', changin' you and me
  • minute/in it
    • "This is my dream and I'm gonna stay in it / For another nine minutes" from "Another Nine Minutes" by Yankee Grey
    • Used e.g. in Toby Keith's "Should've Been a Cowboy" ("she'd have said yes in a New York minute / they never tied the knot, his heart wasn't in it")
  • cup/up.
  • knowledge/college (The Police's "Wrapped Around Your Finger," Steely Dan's "Reelin' in the Years," Lou Reed's "Adventurer")
  • There seems to be a trend (in hip-hop, at least) of changing the pronunciation of words to end in an "urr" sound; this allows the forced rhyme of there/here/hair/yeah/her/stare and numerous others...
  • air/care in too many songs to count
  • insane/profane
    • Slayer (Kerry King, mostly) like to use this one. Even when it makes no sense in the context of the song. I'm looking at you, "God Send Death".
  • crazy/lazy (K-ON!'s Ending Theme, for instance)
    • Sometimes you have to wonder how little "lazy" would be used in songs if it weren't for this. Joe Jackson's "Don't Wanna Be Like That" also throws in "hazy", just for the rhyme.
    • Even The Beatles are guilty of this... twice.
      • "I'm Only Sleeping" from Revolver: "Everybody seems to think I'm lazy / I don't mind, I think they're crazy."
      • "Honey Pie" from The White Album: "Honey pie / You are making me crazy / I'm in love, but I'm lazy..."
    • Oasis in "The Importance of Being Idle," which is reminiscent of "I'm Only Sleeping."
    • Best Coast had the misfortune of using it in three songs, which has resulted in their flanderization into a band that cannot go one couplet without talking about how things are crazy and simultaneously lazy.
    • "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer"
  • ten/again
  • Worse, again/in (or anything ending in "in"). Found mostly in country music, where the dialect makes "again" sound like it does rhyme with "in".
    • Taken to extremes with Billy Dean's "Only the Wind", where he rhymes "again" with "wind".
  • rhyming/timing or rhyme/time
  • charms/[hold you in my] arms. Like several of the examples above, made worse by the fact that nobody would ever say anything like "I love all your charms" unless they were singing a song and planning to work some arms into the lyrics at some point.
    • Kaskade's "Steppin Out'" is a straight example (your lovely charms / when you're in my arms), along with dance/romance.
  • holly/jolly in Christmas music.
    Susan: This is a time to be jolly. With mistletoe and holly. And other things ending in "olly".
    • Lynn Anderson's "Rose Garden" finds another word to rhyme with jolly: melancholy.
  • make up/break up is not as interesting a dichotomy as several musicians seem to think.
    • The Ronettes: "The best part of breakin' up/is when you're makin' up"
    • The chorus of Kim Sozzi's "Break Up": "We should break up / Cause baby I love it when we kiss and make up"
  • toy/boy (usually something about treating a guy like a toy)
    • The Christmas carol variant: toys/girls and boys
      • Heather Alexander's self-parody "December of Cambreadth" cries out with savage Celtic glee, "How many of them can we bring toys?!" That makes it worthwhile.
  • rest/best - as used in advertising: "You've tried the rest, now try the best" and so on.
    • Also showed up awkwardly in the chorus of Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in the Sky" ("When I die and they lay me to rest / I'm going to go to the place that's the best")
    • Tina Turner: "You're simply the best/better than all the rest!"
  • swagger/Jagger (Kesha,, Cher Lloyd, And She Whispered, and many others who jumped on that fad provide examples)
    • Todd in the Shadows said in his review of Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" (which, thankfully, does not contain the word "swagger") that he wishes there were such a word as "schmogerty" so that a more underappreciated rock star like John Fogerty could get his due as a stock rhyme.
    • Material Issue actually subverted this expectation a good 20 years before it became a fad among artists in "What Girls Want": "I want a man with lips just like Mick Jagger / Rod Stewart's hair and Keith Richards' stagger."
  • war/for, usually for the sake of wondering "what this fighting is for" or somesuch.
  • goodbye/cry/lies/eyes.
    • In "Shine On" by James Blunt: "And when silence meets my last goodbyes / The words I need are in your eyes"
  • rain/brain/pain/insane
  • advice/think twice
  • friend/end (usually something like "I'll be your friend to the very end")
  • mirror/clearer (Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" from Bad, Aerosmith's "Dream On", Sleigh Bells' "Bitter Rival")
  • wife/life/knife/strife
  • death/breath Appropriately enough, shows up in "Breath", Cledus T. Judd's parody of Faith Hill's "Breathe" ("I can smell your breath, it's choking me to death / The only who doesn't know is you...")
  • poet/know it (as in, "you're a poet and you don't even know it")
  • car/far
  • roam/home (most notably in the classic "Home! Sweet Home!")
  • history/mystery ("Yesterday is history, tomorrow's a mystery". "Reach for the Sky" by Social Distortion, as well as countless themes to educational shows.)
  • mine/divine
    • Ira Gershwin felt justified with using this obvious rhyme in "Mine" from Let 'Em Eat Cake because he also managed to think of "more than another Valentine."
    • Oscar Hammerstein II was somewhat embarrassed about using this in "All The Things You Are," but couldn't think of anything that fit the tune better.
  • Reno/casino (e.g. in the chorus of Doug Supernaw's "Reno," the verse of the Gershwin song "Beginner's Luck")
  • Knees/please (e.g. in the chorus of The Kinleys' "Please")
  • Mars/stars (it's probably easier to count the space-themed songs that DON'T do this.)
  • Tomorrow/Borrow/Sorrow (e.g. in Maroon Five's "Payphone", among many other examples.)
    • This one also shows up in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven": "Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow / From my books surcease of sorrow"
  • Season/Reason (many examples, but there's even a song titled "The Reason for the Season")
  • magic/tragic
  • Tonight/Light/Flight/Delight
  • You/do/blue/too
    • Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now": "Whatever it takes I will stay here with you [...] Whatever it takes is what I'm gonna do"
    • "Are Your Eyes Still Blue" by Shane McAnally:
    Are your eyes still blue
    I still remember how they used to shine
    Or did that change too
    After the day you said goodbye?
    You did what you had to do
    (Out with the old, in with the new)
    If I saw you, would I even know it's you
    Are your eyes still blue?
  • door/floor (e.g. "Gettin' You Home (The Black Dress Song)" by Chris Young: "Walkin' through the front door / Seein' your black dress hit the floor...")
  • Remember/surrender (e.g. "I Have to Surrender" by Ty Herndon; "A Night to Remember" by Joe Diffie)
  • Taxi/back seat
    • Hot Chelle Rae's "I Like It Like That"
    • Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You"
    • Lil Jon's "El Taxi"
  • stupid/Cupid
  • music/choose it/lose it/use it/abuse it
    • The Beach Boys' "Rock and Roll Music" comes to mind.

    Non-English examples 
  • German: Herz (heart) / Schmerz (pain). "Herzschmerz" even became a kind of German trope for overly sentimental songs, poems and other media.
    • Another common rhyme in German is Liebe (love) / Triebe (urges, drives, also shoots (of plants)). The poet Arno Holz famously said early in the 20th century that the first to rhyme "Liebe" and "Triebe" was a genius, but the fiftieth to do so was a cretin. About half a century later poet and satirist Robert Gernhardt countered this by saying that the first man to rhyme "Liebe" and "Triebe" was a decent craftsman, but nothing more, but the one who does it for the fiftieth time and manages to write an original verse is a real genius.
    • Gernhardt also pointed out the popularity of Sonne (sun) / Wonne (delight, bliss) and Brust (breast, chest) / Lust (pleasure, joy, delight, lust).
  • Swedish: dig/mig ("you/me"), hjärta/smärta ("heart/pain").
  • Russian: Любовь/кровь ("love"/"blood"). Nowadays only notoriously bad pop music still uses it.
    • {Romeo and Juliet}'s Russian translation even uses this as an adaptation of the "love/dove" one.
  • French: amour/toujours ("love/always") and similar to Swedish, toi/moi ("you/me") That latter one can also be rhymed with a whole lot of other words, particularly joie (joy) and voix (voice)
  • Portuguese: mim/fim/assim ("me/end/this way"), agora/hora/embora/fora ("now/time, hour/away/out") along with some present tense verbs in the third person (e.g.chora [cries], adora [loves], mora [resides]), and beijo/desejo ("kiss/desire") are extremely common. Also, amor/dor/calor/flor ("love/pain/heat/flower"). Amigo ("friend") will almost always be rhymed with comigo/contigo ("with me"/"with you").
    • Similarly to Spanish, rhyming two verbs with the same conjugation is a far too common trick. Additionally, verbs ending in -er (e.g. esquecer/ver/dizer, "forget"/"see"/"say") can easily rhyme with você ("you").
    • Jesus/luz/[R] ("Jesus"/"light"/"cross") is used extensively in Gospel music.
  • Spanish: canción/corazón ("song/heart"), amor/dolor ("love/pain"). quiero/muero ("I want"/"I die"), diferente/gente ("different"/"people"), contigo/amigo ("with you"/"friend"), mano/hermano ("hand"/"friend"), Also, since verbs only have so many endings, it's really simple to rhyme them; for example, a common rhyme is amar/soñar ("to love"/"to dream"). Another common "trick" is to simply use the diminutive of the word: all feminine words rhyme and all masculine words do too. It's usual to rhyme "bonito" ("pretty") whith the diminutive of any masculine word
  • Hebrew:
    • In Hebrew both ancient and modern there are two plural endings, -im and -ot. Since the final syllable (at least in modern and Sephardic Hebrew) is accented 90% of the time, and the plural endings are entire syllable rimes, in many Hebrew songs there are incredibly long stretches of ‘rhyming’ lyrics, to the point that it is considered an easy way out. This applies to many prayers as well, as in the G'vurot prayer: "mekhaye metim berakhamim rabim, somekh noflim verofei kholim wumatir asurim." Among people who are more familiar with the techniques used in poetry abhor this kind of rhyming, known as homeoteleuton, or, in Hebrew, kharuz dikduki (‘grammatical rhyme’). A half-decent way to make this acceptable would be at least to make sure that the consonant beforehand is the same (noflimkholim is somehow acceptable, metimrabim is not).
    • Since Hebrew vocabulary, like all Semitic languages, is made up from triconsonantalnote  roots fitting into a template of vowels and affixes between and around themnote , there are many words that rhyme with each other, most notably verbs. A good Hebrew rhyme would usually rely on words from different lexical categories (e.g. verbs and adjectives) or creative near-rhymes instead.
  • Like Spanish, Polish has flexion, meaning that endings carry gramatical information, hence a lot of verbs in the same form will rhyme, eg. "rymuje/kreskuje". Unlike Spanish, Polish inflects nouns and adjectives, too, broadening the rhyme pool, although overusing this is considered Painful Rhyme.

Alternative Title(s): Stock Rhyme


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