Tuesday, 16 November 2010

TUUNE (Saying it on repeat?) Damien Rice (and Lisa Hannigan) - 9 Crimes


What do you get from this beautiful song? The idea that repeating ourselves is acceptable, understandable and comforting too. It makes for waves of shared communication. How do we learn to speak? We listen and repeat? How do we understand? 

I get called on repeating the same thing more than once. Sometimes I reword it, mostly I don't. Because, sometimes, you just have to say it again.

In most situations, where people are experiencing extreme emotions, you can find a direct link between repeating yourself and the five stages of grief plus one or two:

SAY IT ONCE: maybe it wasn't so
SAY IT TWICE maybe they'll think it wasn't either


SAY IT ONCE: because you are angry at yourself for the realisation
SAY IT TWICE because you're angry the other person knows it too

SAY IT ONCE: while you convince yourself it's necessary
SAY IT TWICE you may convince the other person too

SAY IT ONCE: how you say it changes 
SAY IT TWICE misery loves the company of others, now they can be as bleak as you 

SAY IT ONCE: to confirm verbally what you already knew
SAY IT TWICE you say it for their benefit - when someone else believes it, acceptance becomes concrete 

Speak, echo, re-echo? A very human pattern of speech. 

Now I've picked on Damien for his layering of repeats can I just add... I love this track. 

I must get to the end of Chapter 14. I must get to the end of Chapter 14. Don't let me go to bed until I get to the end of Chapter 14 ;)


  1. I could see repetition being something that sets a character apart from other characters, or could be a pattern of speech- as well as the connotation you have already suggested...which was a good point.

  2. Hi Summer
    Repetition = the over-thinker? ;)

  3. Elaine, Summer got it right! Now focus on ending Chapter 14. Because you've repeated it; it shall be. :)

  4. Hi Crimey
    I have to admit, if my prevarication gets any worse it will take paper and a pen to cure it again. It's the internet wot does it. :)

  5. WOW. That was a very compelling video! And a little creepy... poor little dead head at the end. Maybe I'm not smart enough to understand it?

    Repetition: I used to believe it was necessary, but after reading books on the craft of writing... I wonder if it is. I may be undecided.

    From SELF-EDITING FOR FICTION WRITERS (by Browne & King) "...repeating is likely to weaken rather than intensify the power of that effect" (page 177).

    Whether you agree or not, this editing book provides insight for the side of avoiding repetition.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post! :)

  6. Hi Margo
    I mean in speech.
    In speech, no matter how you look at it, people under stress repeat. We are told to make dialogue real. Ritualistic: repetition is realistic. Realism is the key to writing. I'll take this up with Browne and King ;)
    Don't get me wrong, with the exception of writing an autistic character, the pressure would have to be great to let the character hit repeat but, if they were in-it-up-to-their-necks they have my permission to repeat.
    Keep the dialogue human - even if you have to switch to an internal dialogue to do it.
    NO! or No. Oh no. For God's sake no.
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I love the debate part.

  7. Elaine - I love a good debate also (thanks!)... I'm actually judging a high school debate competition this weekend for two solid days. :) I loved this post so much - I gave you an award on my blog! Check it out: www.margokelly.blogspot.com

  8. Margo, thank you for the lovely award I'll be over to see in my evening computer time :)