What Bieber, the Beatles Share in Common

Canadian singer and classic band like the same rhymes
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2014 3:20 PM CST
In this June 28, 2013 file photo, Justin Bieber performs at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.   (Photo by Powers Imagery/Invision/AP, file)

(Newser) – Think the Beatles and Justin Bieber have nothing in common? Not so: They each used do/you more than any other rhyme, which isn't so odd considering that Madonna, Prince, Kanye West, Bob Dylan, and most other top-selling pop musicians between 1960 and 2013 favored it too, reports Slate. According to an in-depth analysis of rhymes in Billboard's Top 100 Songs for that period, simple rhymes with words like be, me, to, and you are the most common, and half of the top 20 rhymes include either you or me (before you cringe, Shakespeare favored it in his sonnets with me/thee).

It's fascinating to click on Slate's graph and see how certain rhymes have risen and fallen in popularity. Do/you topped out in 1998-99 with songs like Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" and Britney Spears' "...Baby One More Time," while cry/goodbye was more popular in the 1960s with Elvis Presley's "Marie's the Name" and Marty Robbins' "Don't Worry About Me." Occasionally an artist or group comes along (like Queen) that rarely re-uses a rhyme, while most (like Bieber) keep drawing on the most popular ones. The Beatles may be rhyme repeaters, but Fox News argues that they'll remain popular in 50 years because of their enormous effect on pop music styles.

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