Knitting A Sonic Fabric, Part 1

A close look at John Mayer's use of assonance in the song "Badge And Gun."

I listened to John Mayer’s Wildfire and was stopped dead by this line from “Badge And Gun”: Gimme those jet black kick back lay down nights alone Why does it sound so good? Might be the internal rhyme between black and back?   Gimme those jet black kick back lay down nights alone Simple internal rhyme doesn’t begin to explain why this line sounds so attractive. Take a look at the vowels: Assonance Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in stressed syllables, close enough to each other to be heard. Listen to the short i (as in it) in gimme and kick: Gimme those jet black kick back lay down nights alone And the long o (as in go) in those and alone Gimme those jet black kick back lay down nights alone The vowel repetitions create an additional layer of sonic connections to help to knit a small piece of this lovely sonic fabric. But there’s more in addition to the simple assonance. Look: Hidden Assonance Many vowels contain more than one sound. They’re called diphthongs. They create hidden assonance. First, there are the straightforward diphthongs, oi (as in boy) = long o (as in go) + long ē…

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