from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In music, especially in comic operas, a song whose principal characteristic is a multitude of words rapidly sung or spoken to a simple melody.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But sometimes they are too restless to remain in their beds, and then they fall to earth; and if we could wait so long we might hear the children teach them their patter-song.


  • "He looked like an elephant when he put his trousers on wrong -- you know elephants have their knees the wrong way," Eileen once told the public in a patter-song.

    The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes

  • These attempts to take a census of his children generally occurred after a peasant had brought him up the drive -- "hat in one hand, and Squire in the other," as the patter-song had it.

    The Grey Wig: Stories and Novelettes

  • And they gratefully sang along at every chance, even the patter-song syncopations of some of Ms. Nash's choruses.

    NYT > Home Page


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