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I have attempted to identify the sections of this song, but I am not sure what to call the section between the Verse and the Pre-Chorus. I have labelled it as the Refrain. Is this correct?

[Verse]
I know you wanted me to stay 
But I can’t ignore the crazy visions of me in LA
And I heard that there’s a special place
Where boys and girls can all be queens every single day

[Refrain]
I’m having wicked dreams
Of leaving Tennessee 
Oh, Santa Monica 
I swear it’s calling me 

Won’t make my mama proud
It’s gonna cause a scene
She sees her baby girl 
I know she’s gonna scream

[Pre-Chorus]
God, what have you done 
You’re a pink pony girl 
And you dance at the club
Oh mama, I’m just having fun 
On the stage in my heels
It’s where I belong down at the 

[Chorus]
Pink Pony Club 
I’m gonna keep on dancing at the 
Pink Pony Club 
I’m gonna keep on dancing down in 
West Hollywood 
I’m gonna keep on dancing at the 
Pink Pony Club, Pink Pony Club 

[Verse]
I’m up and jaws are on the floor 
Lovers in the bathroom and a line outside the door
Backlights and a mirrored disco ball
Every night’s another reason why I left it all

[Refrain]
I thank my wicked dreams 
A year from Tennessee
Oh, Santa Monica
You’ve been too good to be 

Won’t make my mama proud 
It’s gonna cause a scene 
She sees her baby girl 
I know she’s gonna scream 

[Pre-Chorus]
God, what have you done 
You’re a pink pony girl 
And you dance at the club
Oh mama, I’m just having fun 
On the stage in my heels
It’s where I belong down at the 

[Chorus]
Pink Pony club 
I’m gonna keep on dancing at the 
Pink Pony club 
I’m gonna keep on dancing down in 
West Hollywood 
I’m gonna keep on dancing at the 
Pink Pony club, Pink Pony club 

[Verse]
Don’t think I’ve left you all behind 
Still love you and Tennessee 
 you’re always on my mind 
And mama, every Saturday
I can hear your southern draw a thousand miles away, saying

[Pre-Chorus]
God, what have you done 
You’re a pink pony girl 
And you dance at the club
Oh mama, I’m just having fun 
On the stage in my heels
It’s where I belong down at the 

[Chorus]
Pink Pony Club 
I’m gonna keep on dancing at the 
Pink Pony Club 
I’m gonna keep on dancing down in 
West Hollywood 
I’m gonna keep on dancing at the 
Pink Pony Club, Pink Pony Club 

[Outro]
I’m gonna keep on dancing
I’m gonna keep on dancing 
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  • 1
    Is there a specific part of the song you are confused about?
    – Peter
    Dec 8, 2020 at 2:20
  • looks right to me. Indeed, what specific doubts do you have? Dec 8, 2020 at 4:06
  • 2
    I don't know if that's actually a refrain
    – kian ツ
    Dec 8, 2020 at 5:29
  • 2
    Why the down vote and vote to close? This is perfectly fine question about terminology used in music, as well as musical form. +1 just to undo a downvote. Dec 8, 2020 at 15:26
  • Thank you for being kind. It was probably because of the way my question was worded. I'm just trying to get better at transcribing music/making it look clean.. and some people prefer if it was labeled correctly.
    – kian ツ
    Dec 9, 2020 at 8:54

1 Answer 1

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This question deals with terminology as it relates to both musical and lyrical form.

I think you need to look at the terminology with some flexibility. There are traditional/formal names for sections which come mostly from poetry and literature. Then there are the modern terms common in pop music which are more about musical form that lyrical content.

Verse. It has a specific meaning in literature, think "chapter and verse." In the bible it's a line, but in other uses it normally means stanza a group of lines that usually follows some formal design, a rhyme pattern, etc.

Chorus. Something recited by a chorus. Think ancient Greek theater, some of the text is recited by a chorus. In a song it's where everybody sings together in contrast to a solo part sung by one person. The text a chorus recites could be any unit of text, a line, stanza, etc.

Refrain. A verse that is repeated, or it can be a line or lines repeated. Like "rage, rage against the dying of the light" in the poem Do not go gentle into that good night.


Pop music uses these terms terms differently.

Chorus basically has the sense of refrain, a lyric repeated. In terms of performers it could be solo or group, no connection to the original meaning of sung by a chorus of people. Pop chorus is usually where the hook is.

Verse has more of a musical structure meaning. In some musical way the verse contrasts with the chorus. Lyrically the verse section does contain verses of text, usually not repeated so it maintains the traditional sense of the word.

Pre-chorus. It's basically a musical bridge to the chorus. I think this term also is mostly about musical structure rather than lyrics. It's a link between verse and chorus. Compare it to the usual bridge - sometimes called the middle eight - where verse/chorus pairs are repeated structurally and then the middle eight/bridge provides a contrast to the verse/chorus pairs. Pre-chorus is just a bridge inside the verse/chorus pair.


In this song the only confusing thing is the label "refrain", confusing because the traditional versus pop meanings of these terms.

I think the only sensible meaning for "refrain" in a pop song is to denote a repeated line, or lines, within a clear stanza. Like "who could ask for anything more?" in I Got Rhythm. You need some kind of limited meaning like that to avoid confusion with the other repeated lyric sections, like the chorus. Given that "verse" is really a musical - not lyrical - unit this means a "refrain" should be part of a stanza and within the musical verse section.

In this song the part you labelled "refrain" is two whole stanzas within a section musically contrasting with the verse. Given the part precedes the chorus it might be better to call it a "pre-chorus" or "bridge." I suppose you could label them "pre-chorus 1" and "pre-chorus 2."

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  • I think pre-chorus 1 and pre-chorus 2 is a better option than bridge. A bridge in pop music usually a distinct section that only occurs once and usually more than halfway through the song. Overall, though, the naming doesn't really matter, they could just be called section A, B, C, etc.
    – Peter
    Dec 8, 2020 at 16:34
  • @Peter, personally, I wish "bridge" was used for short connection instead of "pre-chours", I hate that term. The thing you call "bridge", I like to call "middle eight" but that terms has problems too. A, B, C... seems formal, which I like and would prefer. Verse/pre-chorus/chorus/bridge give people cookie-cutter templates to fill in, which other people seem to like a lot. Dec 8, 2020 at 16:41
  • I agree, I don't really like the term pre-chorus either. I think you could argue that in this song the verse, "refrain," and pre-chorus are really all part of the verse. Whole piece is Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Verse (short)-Chorus-Outro.
    – Peter
    Dec 8, 2020 at 16:52
  • Actual my initial thought just reading lyrics was - verse + "refrain" as just one unit, a complex verse. But, after listening, I understood the music is in four distinct sections. I figure these labels are more about musical form than lyrics and so I took that route. At some point the labelling level is arbitrary. There are labels for everything from the whole down to beat subdivisions. All songs aren't the same, so best to use what best explains each on a case by case basis. Dec 8, 2020 at 17:06

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