A refrain in poetry is a word, line, or phrase that is repeated throughout the poem's lines or stanzas. The term comes from music, where it refers to the same melody being sung by the singer (or played by an instrument) at each performance of the song.
In poetry, the repetition helps define the theme of the poem, gives it structure, and creates interest for the reader. Without the use of refrains, a poem may become confusing because the reader would have no way of knowing what part of the poem relates to what other part.
Some examples of poems that use refrains include "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, "My Country 'Tis of Thee" by William Wordsworth, and "Ode to Joy" by Ludwig van Beethoven.
Refrains are important elements in songs as well. A refrain can either be a single sentence or a series of words/phrases that repeat throughout the song. Some popular songs that feature refrains include "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" by Eddie Elman, "Puff, the Magic Dragon" by John Lennon, and "I'm Just a Bill" by Jerry Reed.
A refrain (from Vulgar Latin refringere, "to repeat," and subsequently from Old French refraindre) is a musical or poetic line or lines that are repeated; the "chorus" of a song. The term is used especially when referring to music. The term can also be applied to poems that are repeated at various points.
Refrains are often found in popular songs where the repetition helps to give the song structure and appeal. For example, the chorus of "Happy Birthday" is a refrain because it is repeated several times within the composition.
Songs with refrains include: "Happy Birthday", "I'm Sorry", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", and many more.
Refrains are important components in compositional techniques such as rubato, canon, and arpeggio. They can also help to attract attention to a section of music by repeating motifs or themes.
Repeating lyrics or melody within a song or piece is called paraphrase. Lyrics that directly quote other words or phrases but do so in order to comment on them or otherwise enhance their meaning are called allusions. Well-known songs that use this technique include "High Hopes" by Panic at the Disco and "The Boxer" by Joni Mitchell.
A refrain is strictly a literary device, and its most significant role in poetry is to provide emphasis and generate rhythm. When a line or phrase recurs in a poem or piece of literature, the readers notice. The device used to create this effect is called a refrain.
Refrains are often but not always at the beginning of sections of poems or pieces of music. They can also be near the end of such units. Some examples of refrains include: "The sea is my lover," "Sail away from here," and "Darling, don't go."
Refrains are useful tools for attracting reader's attention or for highlighting important words in poems. However, they can also be used unnecessarily, like when two consecutive lines contain the same word or phrase ("The sea is my lover / My mistress"), or when a writer wants to show the repetition of an idea without using prose (like when someone says "I love you" many times).
In poetry, refrains usually consist of one full verse plus a half verse or less. Sometimes there are more than one refrain in a poem or musical work.
A refrain (from Vulgar Latin refringere, "to repeat," and subsequently from Old French refraindre) is a musical or poetic line or lines that are repeated—the "chorus" of a song. The villanelle, virela, and sestina are all poetic fixed forms that incorporate refrains. So also does the opening verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner": "Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light..."
In music, a refrain is a section of a song in which the melody is returned to again and again; it may be performed by a single voice or instrument, or by several together. In popular music, refrains are often sung by groups of singers.
The term is also used for other repetitive sections in a song, such as the bridge of a ballad or an instrumental passage that returns to a theme or motif.
In classical music, a refrain is a special form of variation with a regularly recurring structure. It usually includes one or more verses of text, either by the same or different authors, followed by a choral response. Sometimes, but not always, there is a third part called a tag.
The term is also applied to similar passages in other genres, such as hymns and opera arias.