What is a Strophic Song?

Question: What is a Strophic Song?

Answer: Simply defined, a strophic song is a type of song that has the same melody (tune) but different lyrics (words) for each stanza (strophe). This varies from the through-composed song (or additive form) which has a different melody for every stanza.

The strophic form is sometimes referred to as the AAA song form, although it can include a refrain. A refrain is a line (also can be the title) that is repeated at the end of every verse.

The strophic form can be seen in art songs, ballads, carols, hymns and folk songs. "Silent Night" and "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks at Night" are but some examples of strophic songs. While "O Susanna" and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" are examples of strophic songs with a refrain.