Alliteration is one of the important literary devices in which consonant sounds are used in the initials of two or more successive words. Using consonant sounds at the start of the words creates a type of rhythm in the verses. These sounds are called alliterative sounds. In songs, these alliterative sounds create a rhythm, melody, and music. A few examples of the alliterative sounds in songs are as follows.
Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran
I took the supermarket flowers from the windowsill
I threw the day old tea from the cup
Packed up the photo album Matthew had made
Memories of a life that’s been loved
Took the get well soon cards and stuffed animals
Poured the old ginger beer down the sink
Dad always told me, “Don’t you cry when you’re down”
But mum, there’s a tear every time that I blink
The alliterative sounds of /f/ and /m/ create a rhythm as well as melody in this stanza taken from “Supermarket Flowers” sung by Ed Sheeran. Although this melody occurs in the first three verses, there are no such alliterative sounds in the next five lines though there are several consonances. This shows that alliterative sounds even if they have intervening sounds such as “had” in the third one, create a type of rhythm.
The Show Must Go On by Queen
The show must go on
The show must go on, yeah
Inside my heart is breaking
My makeup may be flaking
But my smile, still, stays on
This stanza from the song The Show Must Go On by Queen, where the sounds of /m/ and /s/ are used in quick succession in the last two verses. These verses show the best alliterative sound usage in a song that creates a new metrical pattern with the assistance of consonants. This combination of consonance and alliteration creates rhythm.
My Immortal by Evanescence
These wounds won’t seem to heal, this pain is just too real
There’s just too much that time cannot erase
When you cried, I’d wipe away all of your tears
When you’d scream, I’d fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
And you still have all of me.
Despite the use of two alliterations /w/ and /h/ in the above verses create a rhythm that moves to the next line and gets merged with the repetitions of “you…” in a what that it becomes a melody in itself. This shows Evanescence’s expertise in singing this song.
Coaster by Khalid
Maybe you weren’t the one for me
But deep down I wanted you to be
I’ll still see you in my dreams
All the things that I did for you
Just wasn’t it for you
So I’ll be coasting, I’m roller coasting
Through my emotion
I will be coasting, roller coasting
I’m hoping that you’ll come back to me
These two stanzas occur in “Coaster” sung by Khalid. The three alliterative sounds of /d/, /s/, and /c/ with the last one having an intervening sound of /r/ create a rhythm and melody. This shows the expertise of Khalid in using alliterative sounds.
Praying by Kesha
I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’
I hope your soul is changin’, changin’
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin’
I’m proud of who I am
No more monsters, I can breathe again
And you said that I was done
Well, you were wrong and now the best is yet to come
‘Cause I can make it on my own, oh
And I don’t need you, I found a strength I’ve never known
I’ll bring thunder, I’ll bring rain, oh
When I’m finished, they won’t even know your name
This stanza is from ‘Praying’ a song by Kesha. Despite the repetition of the word praying, the usage of alliterative sounds of /p/, /ch/, /m/, /w/, and /n/ sounds are prominent. There are total five alliterations in the first two verses and two in the verses occurring in the middle. This usage of alliterations has created a novel rhythm and melody.
Who Knew by P!nk
Remember when we were such fools
And so convinced and just too cool
Oh no; no no
I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I’d give anything
The above stanza is taken from the song “Who Knew” by P!nk. In terms of alliterations, you can find three repetitions of consonant sounds in the example. All of them have no intervening sounds and the second one has three initials in the words. The consonant sounds such as /w/, /n/, and /k/ create a good melody in the song.
Hearts Don’t Break Around Here by Ed Sheeran
She is the sweetest thing that I know
You should see the way she holds me when the lights go low
Shakes my soul like a pot hole, every time
Took my heart upon a one way trip
Guess she went wandering off with it
Unlike most women I know
This one will bring it back whole
Daisies, daisies perched upon your forehead
Oh my baby, lately I know
This stanza from the song “Hearts Don’t Break Around” by Ed Sheeran has four alliterative sounds of /l/, /w/, and /d/ in quick succession after every other verse. Although there are two sounds in which there are two intervening sounds, the melody created by these alliterations has created a good metrical pattern.