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How To Cite Song Lyrics

How To Cite Song Lyrics In All Formats With Examples


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Music is a great stuff that has won many hearts of people in the global world. A big number of individuals love to listen song lyrics in their homes or places of work. In this article we have explained clearly on how to cite a song if you want to include a song in your essay. We have explained how to cite written song lyrics and audio recordings whether you want to cite it in Chicago style, APA, MLA or Harvard format. The goal of this article is to prepare you to cite written song lyrics on your own and to be able to pick out a paper writing service if you need to.

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Citing an Audio Recording

If you are citing an audio recording, you should have the following information with you. It include the following:

  1. Name of the singer
  2. The name of songwriter
  3. Song title
  4. Album title
  5. Edition of the album
  6. Track number
  7. Publisher
  8. Publication year
  9. Database or the website where the song was sourced
  10. Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
  11. Names of the contributors

How to Cite a Song Lyric in MLA Style

The style to cite a song in MLA format depends on which type of device you listened to. If you want to cite a song lyric that you accessed via online streaming, you should following this procedure.

  • Write down the group or the performer as the author.
  • The song lyrics in quotation marks.
  • The name of the website in italics and the uniform resource locator.
  • Don’t include the name of the band.

How to cite songs in physical styles

If you want to cite song lyrics you got from physical styles you should include the following details. Include the information about the album as it appears on the year, distributor, and title. This style applies to music you accessed and downloaded via a media player.

How to quote lyrics

You should write the lyrics of the song with a similar format. We advise you to separate the lines with a symbol slash and come up with four or more lines written at once as a quote block. If you quote the lyrics by transcribing include a song for example the description on the YouTube accompanied by the booklet.

Optional Information to Include in an MLA Citation

MLA style citation is flexible; some information are not a must in lyrics citation but can be written down when necessary. For instance, if your research paper focuses on the song of a particular singer, you can include it in the position authorship of the musician, with the description of his or her role. The main singer should be included later in the slot contribution.

In classical music, it is more essential to cite the song writer rather than the singer in the order of author position. You can write down the conductor or the performer after the title.  If the performance seems irrelevant, you should not include the information entirely.

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Frequent Asked Questions about MLA Citations

  1. Whom do I include as the writer of a song in MLA format?
  2. Must I give information about the song in citation of MLA style?
  3. How do I write a source with a page or author numbers in MLA

Tips on how to Cite a YouTube Video in MLA

The MLA YouTube citation include the following:

  • The creator of the video
  • Title written in quotation marks
  • YouTube written in italics
  • Uploader
  • Date
  • Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

Citing a Website in MLA

The MLA website song citation has the following details.

  • Author
  • Title Page
  • Name of the website
  • Date
  • Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

Tips on how to cite a poem in MLA

When quoting a song lyric in MLA you have to rightly write the quote and cite the name of the poet. You should include the line or page numbers if available.

APA format is the style accepted by the American Association of Psychology for specialists in the social sciences working on research studies and scholarly papers. Mental health students researching on the connections between emotion, cognition and music probably may cite song lyrics in their paperwork; therefore it is crucial to know the correct style for writing these styles.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations need to be written clearly, in simple format that will assist the readers get the source. It should include the musician’s last name, followed by the publication date.

List of Reference Citations

List of references is included at the end of research work. Write the musician’s last name, followed by first and finally the middle name. The date when the song was written should be included in parentheses, followed by the piece name, publisher’s name, and location.

How to cite a song from a webinar

Information discussed in a webinar can be a great useful addition to any research paper. Webinars are usually hosted and written by experts in particular topic like song lyrics discussion.  A webinar is a great resource where students need to cite the information from the expert professionally. Below are citation guidelines that you need to know.

The Reference Page

When citing a webinar, you should do it on the reference page in accordance with this manner.

  • Writer Last Name, 1st Initial, and 2nd (The Year, followed by Month, and Day). Include the title of the webinar (Webinar).
In-Text Citation

When explaining about the information shared in the webinar the body of your research, must have a parenthetical citation, like this: (Writer last name, year). For the example given here, the in-text citation should be like this (Richard, 2013).

Citing a Song Lyric in Chicago Style

Here are two different ways to cite a song lyric in Chicago format. The first way depend if you accessed the song either offline or online. Offline accessibility of a song lyric include for example cassettes, vinyls, or CDs. Online accessibility is the streaming of song lyric in online platforms like YouTube.

This is the way to cite a song lyric in Chicago style.
  1. The name of the artist: Write the name of the artist as given here; for example ‘Lady Kimberly.’ If it’s a regular name you should reverse it.
  2. Song title: You should give your song a specific number in the list.
  3. Number of the song: You should give the official title of the song.
  4. Album title: Write down the title as given in the source.
  5. Publisher: The publisher’s name should be presented in full.
  6. Publication year: The year of publication should be included in citing of the song lyric.
  7. Format of the song: You need to create a description of the song format.

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Citing a Song Lyric in Harvard Style

The song lyric Harvard referencing format needs writers to use narrative or parenthetical in-text citations.  In the in-text citations it must have the production date and the surname of the artist. For the parenthetical in-text citations, learners should separate the surname of the artist and the date of the production with space.

The citation schemes for song lyrics in Harvard style should appear in this format:

  • Date of the Surname
  • Name of the song

Go through this sample here.

Knowles-Carter 2010.

In case of a narrative in-text citation it should appear as follows.

Knowles-Carter (2010) sang about the significance of great romantic love.

 Source Entry for Lyrics in Harvard Style

Reference entries in Harvard format should feature on the last page of the research. As a policy, Harvard referencing should have the songwriter’s name, producer, song’s title, and medium. The title of the song should be included in the sentence. A proficient writer must use punctuation marks where necessary to separate all the information in the paper. Source entries should start with the author’s name followed by the other names in initials. Check this example that we have given here.

  • Knowles-Carter, BG 2010, Irreplaceable, CD, Entertainment Parkwood.

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Wrapping Up

There are a couple of varieties citation styles that you can use in citing song lyrics in your research work. You should note carefully that every citation format has laws that you should adhere to. The similarity of these styles is that they have in-text citations references list. In the case of APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard referencing formats rely on dissimilar policies. One should know the difference among these styles when citing song lyrics in an essay.

When you cite song lyrics in your research you should use quotation marks. If your quote has several lines, you should have a block quote. You are advised to provide the name of the album that has the song. For example if you are writing references in accordance with the MLA format, you should have the name of the artist first then followed by the name of the song, the date, and the recording studio. You must remember these tips in your research work.

  • Reference entries in Chicago, Turabian, and MLA contain song titles in a case title.
  • Titles of the songs should appear in sentence cases for Harvard and APA styles.
  • In all styles, students are not limited to use narrative or parenthetical in-text citations.
  • It is only MLA format that does not need an author-date style in the in-text citation.

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