In the Jewel song Sara Swan Sleepyhead we have this passage:

There’s a knock at the door
A funny suit Sammy wore
And on his face an ear to ear grin

The bolded part seems weird to me. Is this correct grammar, and how common a usage is it?

  • 1
    Note that in a different context "a funny suit Sammy wore" could mean "a funny suit that Sammy wore"; e.g., "We all liked the funny suit Sammy wore yesterday." Such a use is fairly common. – apsillers Sep 6 '13 at 18:08
  • In songs and poetry, sentences and words are inversed so as to create rhythm. Instead of writing : Sammy wore a funny suit, words are inversed so as to create musical effect. – Sweet72 Sep 6 '13 at 20:57

It is called inversion, this case inversion of the position of the object with the rest of the sentence. It can be used for emphasis of the phrase in first position and it is correct. It is unusual, but not exactly rare.


I suspect the purpose of inversion may be to create an assonance "door"/"wore" for lyrics and song purposes. May it be so ?

  • You're absolutely right, that's the main reason here (poetry is always different from prose in these things). – Cerberus_Reinstate_Monica Sep 6 '13 at 17:42

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