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Just heard a song "Majestic" and as I am continuously trying to improve my English, I noticed something a bit unclear to me.

A sight for sore eyes
To the blind would be awful majestic
It would be the most beautiful thing
That they ever had seen

Why is there the past perfect tense? Would it work with the present perfect ("have seen"—because they still might see it in the future)?

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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about song lyrics. –  JeffSahol Jul 30 '13 at 1:03

1 Answer 1

Try to not look at song lyrics with the same grammatical rigor as other forms of communication. Often, artistry will trump construction; words may be used simply because they make the right sounds for the accompanying music.

In this case, the line "That they ever had seen" is equivalent to "That they ever saw", rather than "That they have not seen". The phrase "ever had seen" is a regional/cultural construction in the US (I unfortunately don't have any references to describe its history).

You could use the present perfect construction "have seen", but I imagine the song needs the extra two syllables in the lyric for rhythm.

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Thanks..with past simple (ever saw) what would it mean? Simply unreal time? –  Liedank Jul 25 '13 at 13:24

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