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Adding a second verse

As it happens, “Oh, Susannah” has two verses. If you don’t work with lyrics much, feel free to skip this section. If you plan to be working with vocal music, though, this section will show you how to add multiple verses.

This time, as an experiment, you’ll anticipate the passages where one syllable is sustained through more than one note, so that you won’t have to use the Shift Lyrics command after placing the lyrics.

To do this, you’ll create an invisible syllable within the lyrics. This syllable is simply a blank character, sometimes called a hard space. By pressing and holding down the key, typing 0160 on the numeric keypad, and then releasing the key (Mac: + spacebar), you produce an invisible character that Finale thinks of as a syllable, even though it’s invisible on the screen.

Remember that Finale looks for a space or a hyphen to indicate the end of a syllable—whether invisible or not. To convince Finale that this character is a syllable, you need to follow each invisible syllable with a space.

It [invisible syllable] rained all night the day I left, the wea-ther it was dry,

The [invisible syllable] sun so hot I froze to death, Su-san-nah, don’t you cry.

Oh, Su-san-nah, now don’t you cry for me,

I [invisible syllable] come from Al-a-ba-ma with a ban-jo on my [invisible syllable] [invisible syllable] [invisible syllable] knee.

The invisible syllables you added should make all syllables align with their notes. Finale also adds word extensions for you automatically. We added three invisible characters before the last syllable to skip measure 17, which we’ll be skipping over the second time through (we’ll talk about creating the repeat markings in the next section). Let’s delete this extra word extension.


To tell Finale to always break a Smart Word Extension at a particular barline, choose the Measure Tool, double-click the measure to the left of the barline, check Break Smart Word Extensions and click OK.

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