Was Paul Simon suggesting that "tear" is the antonym for "rhyme"?

Reply Sat 26 Aug, 2023 01:21 pm
In Kathy's Song, Paul Simon says

"And a song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme"

Regarding the fourth line, I'm a little flummoxed about the use of the verb "tear" (sung as "tare" like rip, or damage). Is it suggested that words that tear do not rhyme or do not sound good together, clash phonetically? Where did he get this use of the word "tear" from?
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Reply Sat 26 Aug, 2023 05:04 pm
I think what he means is that these aren't easy rhymes; that he has to shoehorn them in, to get them to work.
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Reply Tue 14 May, 2024 01:40 am
In Paul Simon's song "Still Crazy After All These Years," he sings the line "I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail; yes, I would, if I could, I surely would." In this context, he juxtaposes "sparrow" with "snail," suggesting a contrast between the two creatures. While the specific mention of "tear" as the antonym for "rhyme" doesn't occur in this song, the lyrics do reflect Simon's skillful use of wordplay and contrasting imagery. The song explores themes of introspection and self-discovery, using metaphorical language to convey complex emotions.
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