Rosanne Cash's Take On This Classic R.E.M. Song Has Fans Pointing Out Her Error

After listening to one of your favorite songs enough times, you tend to unconsciously absorb it whenever it comes on without giving it a second thought. Ergo, the little quirks and peculiarities that it's composed of may escape your awareness. For instance, did you ever notice how Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" doesn't even have a chorus, yet it maintains its catchy rhythm and timeless luster? Or that "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette never once exemplifies irony in any of its clever little lyrical mantras? 

Rosanne Cash, singer-songwriter and daughter of country music legend Johnny Cash, just pointed something out about a popular R.E.M. song that's been a fan favorite for decades. She took to Twitter and remarked: "'Losing My Religion' doesn't have a single rhyme in the whole song. I sort of knew this but just did a deep dive to confirm. That's all, carry on."

No time for rhymes

Well, as it turns out, that's only mostly true. Throughout the entirety of "Losing My Religion," there really aren't any rhyme schemes that stand out to the listener. Even people who aren't devout R.E.M. fans can probably hum along to the iconic melody or may even know the chorus by heart: "I thought that I heard you laughing, thought that I heard you sing, think I thought I saw you try" (via Genius). The song is catchy without having to resort to traditional rhyme schemes, and you really don't notice it unless you look for it — or listen for it, rather. 

However, Rosanne Cash's proclamation that there isn't a "single rhyme in the whole song" is actually false, and patrons of the Twitterverse certainly aren't sleeping on the opportunity to point out her mistake. Take a look below to see some of the various reactions she summoned from her fans following the tweet. 

Hidden rhymes and diatribes

"Try, cry, fly, try". No end but internal in one line. Now I've got to go back and count the syllables in each verse/ line. Seems mostly 7," one user pointed out (per Twitter). This line doesn't actually come until the end of the song, which in its entirety is four minutes and 28 seconds long. It's a little adornment in the otherwise rhymeless conglomeration of words, but it's there nonetheless.

"Such that the half-rhyme 'century' and 'knees' juts out right into your face," another listener tweeted back. It's a crafty little delivery of syllables that almost stops at the border of rhyming, but crosses into the territory just enough to constitute an actual pattern of sounds. Otherwise, "Losing My Religion" really is one of those musical anomalies that successfully constructs itself upon a lyrical foundation that discards common phonetic practices. It would appear that you can have reason without rhyme — or a reason to listen, at the very least.