I'm fond of Lee Ann Womack's "I Hope You Dance."
That is, I'm fond of about two-thirds of the song. Then Womack repeats the first verse as the third verse, and my fondness is gone. This annoys the hell out of me, and though it's not done all that often, it's still done too much.
As a storyteller and writer, I would never think of covering the same ground twice. It's the least interesting way to fill a page or time on the stage. And with music, repetition is already embedded in most songs in the form of a chorus. Adding a second layer of repetition seems crazy to me, and yet musicians - great ones, too - do this for reasons I will never understand.
A few notable examples:
- "Eight Days a Week" - The Beatles
- "Little Lies" - Fleetwood Mac
- "Never" - Heart
- "Walk of Life" - Dire Straits
- "Legs" - ZZ Top
- A whole bunch of Savage Garden and Christopher Cross songs.
- "Prove My Love" by The Violent Femmes, who actually acknowledge the ridiculousness of repeating the first verse by singing "Third verse same as the first" in the song.
With the exception of The Violent Femmes, who seem to note the silliness of the repetition and therefore escape my wrath via irony and self awareness, I can't listen to any of these songs (some of which I like a lot) without thinking that they are deeply flawed in some way.
Four lines. That's all that each of them needed. Just two more pairs of rhyming couplets.
Would it have been so hard to produce something original for the last verse?