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by Dan Weiss

July 13, 2014

One-Verse Songs

by Dan Weiss  |  July 13, 2014

Some songs only need to make their point with one verse. When Dean Wareham sings "I don't want to go to your party" and "I just want to be your tugboat captain" on Galaxie 500's cult classic "Tugboat," what more needs to be said? Queens of the Stone Age's "Feel Good Hit of the Summer" merely lists drugs, and Pearl Jam's "Daughter" only needs to set the scene once ("Alone, listless, breakfast table in an otherwise empty room…" before bearing down on the chorus, fighting for the abused title character. Sisqo's "Thong Song" is one of the catchiest sequences of all time, with words strung together like beads -- or as he puts it, "cruise to the crews like connect the dots" -- and a then-timely nod to "Livin' la Vida Loca," all while sinuous violins unspool. When the Ramones say they don't want to go to the basement, or Cheap Trick want you to want them, what else needs to be said? Less is more when the second verse is the same as the first.

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