The American Songwriter Blog: “On and On,” And Then Some

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Is there an echo in here?

As I was listening to Bruce Springsteen’s Working on A Dream album today, I was struck by a particular lyric in the romantic ballad “This Life”:

“We reach for starlight all night long, but gravity is too strong/
Chained to this earth we go on and on and on and on and on.”

Where had I heard that line before? Not the bulk of it, just the last nine syllables?

“On and on” is a very popular phrase in the canon of rock lyrics. And it seems that if you write “on and on,” you just can’t help but tack on some extra “ons.” This is perhaps doubly true of “on and on’s” distant cousin, “round and round.”

Here are some songs that employ this very device. Can you think of others? Let us know.

Erykah Badu – “On and On”
Jack Johnson – On and On”
Wilco – “On and On and On”

The Kinks – “Life Goes On”
Led Zeppelin -” Bron-y-Aur Stomp”
Journey – “Don’t Stop Believing”

Perry Como – “Round and Round”
Germs – “Round and Round”
The Cure – “Round and Round and Round”
Prince –  “Round and Round and Round”

Same Idea, different words:

The Who – “Squeeze Box” – (“in and out and in and out”)
Toad the Wet Sprocket – “All and All” (“all and all and all”)
Wilco – “We’re Just Friends” – (“over and over and over again…”)


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  1. This is just some input from a seasoned song writer musician .

    I think song writing should be paying attention to world community in regard to
    womens struggle with life experience . Example ( Song For My Son ) is a song about children weapons or a son away at war . It is a culturally diverse performance .This song has over 54.000 views and growing on You Tube . I invite you to view it and hope you enjoy

    Song For My Son -Preformed by Jackie Jones & Mickey Carroll

    Song For My Son – Preformed by FF Bascombe written by Mickey Carroll

    All the best with your ongoing creative song writing adventure

    Love & Music

    Mickey Carroll
    Grammy nominee
    Gold Record recipient

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