Music Searches By Lyrics: Finding a song title when all you have are a few words

Music Lyric InformationHave you ever wanted to do a music search for a song when all you have is a small piece of the song's lyrics to go by?  Luckily this age old problem can be solved by one of the most powerful search engines on the planet, and this article shows you how to do it.

Most people think that doing a karaoke music search by lyrics involves going to Google or another search engine, typing in the scrap of lyrics that you remember, and then hoping that what you are looking for comes up on the first screen.  If you are lucky, then maybe it will, but some popular songs have lyrics that are quite common in everyday language, and so an ordinary web search may not pull up the song title that you are hoping for.  For example, if you ran a search for Bugle Boy you would see many pages of results for Bugle Boy jeans and such before you ever found an entry for "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" by the Andrew Sisters.  Luckily for you though, Yahoo's new Music Search lets you quickly and easily find the music you are looking for without the hassle of digging through pages of mixed results.

A Quick Primer on the Legalities of Free Music Lyrics

First of all, the vast majority of music lyric web sites that are out there are not operating within the bounds of copyright law in the United States. Several music publishers have begun to file lawsuits against major free music lyric web site owners on the basis that they are not paying for the use of the lyrics portion of a copyrighted work.  You see, the lyrics are every bit as unique and copyrighted as the chords and melodies you hear when the song is performed, but due to the overwhelming desire of users to find such lyrics the Internet has become awash with hundreds of free music lyric web sites , very few of which pay any royalties to the owner of the copyrighted music.

Yahoo Music is one of the few that has signed an agreement with music publishers to archive their lyrics and still provide them for free to the end user.  Other sites such as the Gracenote CD Database have also done so, but in many cases these results are available only to paid subscribers.

Doing a Music Search By Lyrics At Yahoo Music:

Surf over to http://music.yahoo.com/search and type in a few words of the lyrics to the song you have forgotten the name of.  A few seconds later you will get a listing of all of the songs in Yahoo's lyric database that match your request.  Doing the same search for Bugle Boy that was mentioned previously pulls up the Andrew Sister's version right off the bat, along with several other arrangements and other songs that simple have "bugle," and "boy," in them somewhere.  Click through to the page of the song you wanted and get a full printout of all of the lyrics to the song as well as an audio sample and the ability to purchase the music for immediate download.

Yahoo's Music Lyric Search doesn't stop there, however. You can search for music in many other ways as well, such as by title, artist, album title, or even search for videos. All in allYahoo has developed a very powerful and effective method for doing music searches by lyrics as well as by other means as well.  Try them out the next time you get a song stuck in your head and can't remember the title!

About The Author
Chad Criswell

Chad Criswell is a career music educator working in the Iowa public schools.  His articles have appeared in dozens of publications both online and in print.  He currently serves as the national music technology writer for NAfME's Teaching Music Magazine and has presented sessions at numerous music education conferences including the 2012 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.


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  • Guest - Lance

    the fire in your eyes is crazy and it burns right right through me

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  • Guest - Lance

    will someone tell me that song

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  • Guest - Lance

    laura that song is sang by sumblime

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  • Hi,<br />Looking for a song from the 60\'s, or so.<br />Slow song, played with an organ, male singer.<br />The only words I know sound like: Turning wilder, she don\'t care\"<br />Thanks!

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  • Guest - In

    I heard this song in a coffee bar,and I don't know the name, help please. I know only some words:<br />...The moon is wide,stars up in the sky. this what it feels like,yeah.<br />the moonlight stop shining (blah blah) ...

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  • Guest - Guest

    I heard a song somewhere and only know the chorus but I don't know what it's called...<br /><br />When the sun sets free it's free indeed and there ain't no chains that will enter me :-) <br />Thank you!!!

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  • Guest - Guest

    country song popular 1990 1991 0r 1992...a few lyrics female with beautiful voice " parched, standin knee deep in a river"

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  • Guest - Guest

    I heard a song, and even taped it, back in the 80's. I don't even know how old it was back then. It's sort of Blues / R&B combo. I don't know what genre to label it under.<br />"Hello, it's me outside your door. I couldn't sleep tonight. ... You see I've ran it through my mind at least a thousand times and it still comes out the same. Lord, I just can't make it without you and that will never ever change. Oh, Oh, Oh! Tonight's the night for making our dreams come true, and all the arguments we've had, somehow don't seem that bad, next to the thought of losin you. You see I've ran it through my mind at least a thousand times and it still comes out the same. <br />Hook: So, please don't say no, I've just got to be with you tonight.

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  • Guest - Guest

    Some people say that this song is performed by an Australian Heavy Metal Band? "Take some time to think about all the things you can do without can't complain that you...." Please HELP!!!!!!! The song itself KICKS MAJOR ASS!!!!!!! Thanks!

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  • Guest - Guest

    the funny old hill calls back and says lalo loy from far away

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