Recent derivations have shown that when noise in a physical system has its energy equipartitioned into the modes of the system, there is a convenient relationship between the cross correlation of time-series recorded at two points and the Green's function of the system. Here, we show that even when energy is not fully equipartitioned and modes are allowed to be degenerate, a similar (though less general) property holds for equations with wave equation structure. This property can be used to understand why certain seismic noise correlation measurements are successful despite known degeneracy and lack of equipartition on the Earth. No claim to original US government works Journal compilation ?? 2010 RAS.