ABAB and ABAC Song Forms

The ABAB or ABAC song form is another structure found in jazz and musical theater. A great example of ABAC is Put on A Happy Face (Adams/Strouse 1960), from the musical Bye Bye Birdie.

AGray skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face;
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.
BTake off the gloomy mask of tragedy,
It’s not your style;
You’ll look so good that you’ll be glad
Ya’ decide to smile!
APick out a pleasant outlook,
Stick out that noble chin;
Wipe off that “full of doubt” look,
Slap on a happy grin!
CAnd spread sunshine all over the place,
Just put on a happy face!

The ABAB form is less common but has been known to work in some of The Great American Songbook such as Fly Me to the Moon (Howard, 1954).

Song Spark Workbook

Sign Up For Our Newsletter and Receive the Song Spark Workbook for Free!

You'll also get tips on songwriting, how to deepen your faith, and important notices about the contest.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Success! Please check your inbox (and spam folder) to confrim your subscription.

Subscribe to the Catholic Song Contest newsletter and stay updated.


Get in touch, we will be happy to help!