The Hired Heart

Jim Bartlett Gives an Example in Defence of the Rhymed Couplet

To illustrate his contention that rhymed couplets are unthinkingly much maligned, especially in songwriting, Jim has provided a song lyric, Hired Heart with a few general comments following it.

                                            So hard to start a new romance while ashes of the old
                                            Lie lingering on the bitter breeze of lost love blowing cold.
                                            The taste of heartbreak's bitter-sweet as sharp as any pain.
                                            So hard to start with a broken heart, but I long to love again.

                                            So hard to bid the love you've lost that final fond farewell,
                                            And cast all around to scent the trail of love's bewitching spell.
                                            But reek of heartbreak cloaks the line and folks fly from my pain.
                                            So hard to start with a broken heart, but I long to love again.

                                            So hard to turn your back on home, walk out and slam the door,
                                            Exchanging the old familiar sights for sites unseen before.
                                            New view of heartbreak's agony; a new horizon's pain.
                                            So hard to start with a broken heart, but I long to love again.

                                            So hard to hear her footfall fading down the long highway;
                                            Each clattering step stays with me yet through each long silent day.
                                            So silent, heartbreak's splintered crack; so silent screams the pain!
                                            So hard to start with a broken heart, but I long to love again.

                                            So hard her gentle kisses' touch I'll never feel no more,
                                            Her kissing I'm missing oh, so much; sweet memories so sore!
                                            Cold clutch of heartbreak's emptiness; cold shattered shards of pain!
                                            So hard to start with a broken heart, but I long to love again.

                                            So hard to trust, when your sixth sense, you'd held in high regard,
                                            Suggested you went and paid some rent to hire a heart not scarred;
                                            Not scarred by heartbreak's misery, not scarred by lost love's pain!
                                            Not hard to part from a hired heart; gone and lost my heart again!

                                           

                                  CODA:
                                            Not hard to part from a hired heart; gone and lost my heart again!
                                            Gone and lost my heart again.

General Notes by Jim

Background.
     The poem is a song lyric. It is an exploration of the phenomenon known as the 'broken heart' through all five senses. The bathos of verse 6 gives an impossible and mildly humorous solution to the problem experienced in the song is found by way of the 'impossible' sixth sense. The real solution however is in the final phrase of the final refrain!

 

Unities.

     Rhyming couplets in three line stanzas, each with a fourth refrain line. The refrain line in the final stanza is different as it contains the resolution. Regular scansion and note value: Each verse fits exactly over the top of the previous one. Anacrusis starts each line.


     Each stanza starts: "So hard". Ending each third line "pain". Ending each refrain line "Again".

Style.
     As a lyric I suppose we must classify this as 'light verse'. However, as the detailed analysis shows, I think it would be a mistake to write this one off purely because it is in rhyming couplets. There is plenty of proper poesy in place there - alliteration for example!