Christian Songwriting: Lyric Writing - Rhyme Patterns 2


ABCB means that lines 2 and 4 rhyme, but that lines 1 and 3 don't rhyme at all. The verses of Keith and Melody Green's song, "So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt" all use this rhyming pattern, as does "The Power Of Love" (written by Mylon LeFevre, Skip Benicky, Sal Oliver, Scott Allen and Ben Hewitt), and Carman's "Marchin' And Movin'." It is also illustrated in the following extract from my song, "Thank You":

Thank You that in every situation Your guiding hand is there to see me through. And thank You that in my suffering when there seemed nobody, Every moment of my trial there was You.

You could also vary this pattern by using dissonance on lines 1 and 3:

I don't know if I'm there in your thinking. Maybe you believe in the power of the heart. I know you say that it's you I should be thanking For every single time you gave me a new start.


AABA is where lines 1, 2 and 4 rhyme with line 3 being totally different. Dion DiMucci's song, "Only God Can Change A Heart" is a good example here because, as we've already noted, it also uses internal rhyme.


AAAA is where all four lines rhyme as in the chorus of "Can't Make Me Stop" (written by Bob Halligan, Jr. and Rick Cua) or Lennon and McCartney's "Yesterday." However, care must be taken that this pattern isn't especially noticeable to the listener, because if it is, it may prove to be a little boring.


AAAB is where the first three lines rhyme and the last doesn't as in the verses of "I Love Jesus Now" by Dion DiMucci and Bill Tuohy. This can be extended to become AAABCCCB as in the bridge of Legend Seven's "Soul Surrender" (written by Randy Ray and Dann Huff).


ABABCC is where lines one and three, two and four, and five and six rhyme. This is getting away from the standard four line verse, and gives you the opportunity of putting in a little more lyrical content. A variation of this is ABCBDD and good examples are Billy Smiley's and Bob Farrell's "Because Of Who You Are" sung by Sandi Patti, and the verses of DeGarmo and Key's "Talk To Me".

These are some of the most common rhyme patterns that you can use, but it is certainly not an exhaustive list. I have used others, and I am sure that your imagination can lead you to various other possibilities. So, be creative.

Now read: Lyrical Hooks

Lyric Writing - Rhyme | Lyric Writing - Lyrical Hooks | Song Content - Song Plan | Song Structure | Musical Elements | Rhythmic Devices | Melody Writing | Writer's Block