Why are linking verbs or helping verbs sometimes omitted? Is it for a rhyme/rhythm in the sentence? Below is the lyrics of the song "Valhalla calling me". Why did the writer omit "is" in "Valhalla calling me"?

The 2nd line has no verb in it. How is that possible? What does this type of sentence structure usually mean? (I have found a similar sentence structure, where there is no finite verb, in many songs)


Ships on vigor of the waves are skimming
Barren summits to the verdant plains
Each horizon is a new beginning
Rise and reign
Far from the fjords and the ice cold currents
Ravens soar over new frontiers
Songs and sagas of a fate determined
Shields and spears
Vows of favour or the thrill of plunder
Pull together for the clan and kin
Clank of hammers and the crash of thunder
Pound within
The echoes of eternity
Valhalla calling me
To pluck the strings of destiny
Valhalla calling me
Valhalla calling me

  • In this case, the name of the song is Vahalla Calling. So he did it here to paint a picture -- all of his images are examples of Vahalla calling him. If it helps, song lyrics are more like poetry than narrative. Apr 2, 2021 at 12:46
  • 2
    Because it's a song. Here's a poem I wrote. Birds! Buildings! Windows! Are you wondering why there are no verbs?
    – EllieK
    Apr 2, 2021 at 14:08
  • These three are just nouns perhaps?
    – RADS
    Apr 2, 2021 at 15:03
  • 1
    @RADS - Correct. In a poem, as well as a song, I can do anything I want to do with the English language. Often times I may do something that has never been done before. A bird me swallered as me stomach turned soured. Might be a good poem but I wouldn't spend too much time trying to understand the structure. Poems and songs are not good places to begin an understanding of the mechanical structure of the language.
    – EllieK
    Apr 2, 2021 at 15:08
  • I am sure that whatever RADS language is, the same phenomenon occurs or a similar one.
    – Lambie
    Apr 2, 2021 at 15:34

2 Answers 2


As Astralbee says, poems and song lyrics often don't follow grammar rules very strictly. The writer will break grammar rules -- rearrange word order, leave out words that aren't essential to convey the meaning, etc -- to get a desired rhyme or rhythm.

In this case, yes, the intended meaning is "Valhalla is calling me" or "These things are Valhalla calling me".

RE the second line doesn't have a verb: The first and second lines together are one sentence. "Ships on vigor of the waves are skimming barren summits to the verdant plains." That is, the ships are skimming barren summits. In a poem or song lyrics, a line may be one sentence, or there could be several lines making up one sentence, or several sentences on one line, or sometimes even a sentence will end in the middle of a line and a new one begins.

  • I don't understand the sentence 'These things r Valhalla calling me'.........
    – RADS
    Apr 2, 2021 at 17:36
  • 1
    I meant, the ships skimming the sumits, the ravens soaring, etc, all are Valhalla calling to me. Valhalla is calling me through these things.
    – Jay
    Apr 2, 2021 at 20:23

First thing to understand is that this is a song - lyrics and poetry don't need to strictly follow the rules of grammar. They must of course be understandable, but things like rhyme schemes and syllable count are often more important than grammatical structure.

That said, "Valhalla Calling" does not necessarily require an auxiliary verb (ie "Valhalla is calling".


  • Outside the window, men are working.
  • Outside, I see men working.

  • Birds are singing
  • I hear birds singing.

In my two examples, the options with auxiliary verbs are what you might say if you were making a statement without any prior context. The options without auxiliary verbs are what you might say if you had already established that you were describing what you can see or hear, or what you might reply if you had been asked. Song lyrics and poetry are often written from a 'third person' point of view. You might find this article on voices in poetry helpful.

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