Unnecessary repetition. Wasted opportunity.

I will never understand why songwriters repeat the first verse of a song as their third verse. Thankfully, it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it can completely ruin a song.

Lee Ann Womack’s chart topping song I Hope You Dance is a perfect example of this. It’s a beautiful song and ideal for father/daughter and mother/son dances at weddings, but for reasons I will never understand, the first and third verses of the song are identical.

It’s still a lovely song, but I’m convinced that the unnecessary repetition prevents it from becoming an all time classic.

King Harvest’s Dancing in the Moonlight suffers this same problem. Though I still like a song a lot (and my wife loves it), the first and third verses are identical. The song has managed to remain in the public conscious for almost forty years, perhaps because the repetition is a little less noticeable in this song. While the lyrics play an enormous role in Womack’s song (and are probably the song’s most defining feature), Dancing in the Moonlight is more about the song’s overall musicality. You don’t need to know the lyrics of the song in order to enjoy it. 

Also, every single rhyme in the song is an –ight rhyme. There are only so many of those words in the world.

Not only does the decision to repeat verses strike me as unnecessarily repetitive, but it also represents a lost opportunity. The songwriter and musician had a chance to say more without appearing to say too much, but when given the chance, they opted not to.

I don’t understand it.