7 votes

What are some songs that use repeating lyrics as the central motif?

An example that I have come across is The Dear Hunter - What Time Taught Us, where after the first verse, the lyrics repeat until the end:

Love you crawl, it's all coming back now
But the thing of it is, that it never really was
Intuition never suited, so I kept it outside

[Repeat Start]
Be alive, cause nothing lasts for good or like you thought it would
Nothing's as it seems or what you thought it'd be

[Repeat 5x]
Alive, cause nothing lasts for good or like you thought it would
Nothing's as it seems or what you thought it'd be

So what are some songs that you know, that do the same (or a similar) thing? Doesn't have to be exact repetition, if there are small variations in the lyrics that's cool too.

11 comments

  1. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    Walk the Moon's "Iscariot" uses repeated lines for a solid build and release in its second half. EDIT: I thought of another one but it's not an exact fit with what you're looking for: "Relentless...

    Walk the Moon's "Iscariot" uses repeated lines for a solid build and release in its second half.

    EDIT: I thought of another one but it's not an exact fit with what you're looking for: "Relentless Fours" by Grammatics. There's a recurring chime motif at the beginning of the song that gets handed off to the cello around the 2 minute mark (with slight variation) which then gets picked up by the female vocalist as a countermelody and repeated behind the lead male vocalist until he joins it in unison for the a cappella section, after which he sings the last line repeatedly.

    EDIT AGAIN: I just remembered Pure Reason Revolution. They use vocal repetition quite frequently and to great effect. The song that brought them to mind for me was "Amor Vincit Omnia" which is built around repetition from the start but doesn't fully cash in on that until it starts looping the title lyric for the entire second half. Another example from them is the middle section of "The Bright Ambassadors of Morning".

    4 votes
  2. TooFewColours
    Link
    Quelle Chris - Box of Wheaties

    Quelle Chris - Box of Wheaties

    I'm ballin, y'all should put a nigga on a box of Wheaties
    I'm skatin', when I dip, just put me on a box of Wheaties
    I flip it for the gold, gone, put me on a box of Wheaties
    I hold up weight, these haters need me on a box of Wheaties
    I kick it, they should stick a nigga on a box of Wheaties
    I run it 0-100, put me on a box of Wheaties
    I par up bar for bar, pa, put me on a box of Wheaties
    I K.O. every day yo, put him on a box of Wheaties

    3 votes
  3. ntgg
    Link
    A lot of Clarence Clarity songs have repeating lyrics like that. The two that come to mind are Cancer™ In The Water and Will To Believe. Cancer™ In The Water only has the lyrics and about half of...

    A lot of Clarence Clarity songs have repeating lyrics like that. The two that come to mind are Cancer™ In The Water and Will To Believe.

    Cancer™ In The Water only has the lyrics

    Before I get out
    I'll put cancer in the water
    Before you got out
    You left cancer in me

    and about half of Will To Believe is just

    And the heart can’t always feel it
    But the head can always dream it
    And then stop dreaming, be it
    And I will

    with a bit of variation sometimes.

    There is also Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space by Spiritualized which, while not having repeated lyrics per se, does layer the verses over each other for the whole song.

    2 votes
  4. moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    Bo Burnham has a song called Repeat Stuff that goes into this. He comes back to repetition a lot, particularly in his show stoppers, We Think We Know You and his Kanye Rant.

    Bo Burnham has a song called Repeat Stuff that goes into this.

    America says we love a chorus
    But don’t get complicated and bore us
    Though meaning might be missin'
    We need to know the words after just one listen so
    Repeat stuff, repeat stuff, repeat stuff
    Repeat stuff, repeat stuff, repeat stuff
    Repeat stuff, repeat stuff, repeat stuff
    Repeat stuff, repeat stuff, repeat stuff
    Yeah

    He comes back to repetition a lot, particularly in his show stoppers, We Think We Know You and his Kanye Rant.

    2 votes
  5. SantalBlush
    Link
    The album "( )" by Sigur Ros repeats the lyrics, "You xylo. You xylo no fi lo. You so."

    The album "( )" by Sigur Ros repeats the lyrics, "You xylo. You xylo no fi lo. You so."

    2 votes
  6. 3d12
    Link
    Infected Mushroom - Drop Out

    Infected Mushroom - Drop Out

    (Sampled)
    But we all do sort of the same thing
    And that is rearrange what you thought was real
    And hmm, they remind you of the beauty of very simple things
    You forget, because you're so busy going from A to Z
    That there's hmm, twenty four letters in between

    (Repeat Begins)
    You turn to tune in and you drop out

    1 vote
  7. nothis
    Link
    You're not the boss of me now You're not the boss of me now You're not the boss of me now And you're not so big

    You're not the boss of me now

    You're not the boss of me now

    You're not the boss of me now

    And you're not so big