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Best 10 Apps for Song Lyrics
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Song Lyrics

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Lyrics are the words in a song which usually consist of different parts such as the versus and the chorus.

The word “lyric” stems from the Latin word “lyricus,” which, in tern, was derived from the Greek word “lyrikos.” The first appearance of the word “lyric” in the English language emerged in the mid-16th century and was used to reference the Earl of Surrey’s translations of works by the scholar Petrarch.

Greek lyrical poetry was described as such due to the fact that it was often sung in accompaniment with the lyre - a stringed instrument with the appearance of a small harp. This has led to the modern understand of the word “lyrics,” which are most often described as “words set to music.”

However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the word “lyrics” was commonly used in its modern form. The word was also adopted by writers in the 1950s to describe lines of poetry. As a singular, the word “lyric” can be used to refer to the complete set of words in a song or to reference a single line or phrase.

The most notable difference between a poem and a song is that a song is set to music while a poem is not. However, this distinction can grow a bit muddled when considering that some songs that are well-known today were once poems that had melodies added to them at a later date. The opposite has also occurred, in which a song’s tune has been lost over time, leaving only the lyrics to be interpreted as a poem.

For example, nursery rhymes could be songs or poems. The music art of rapping can also be considered some combination of the two.

During the Baroque period, lyrics were prose (not single or paired lines) and consisted of rhetorical sentences, paragraphs with an opening gesture, some form of amplification, and then a closing feature. These, too, were accompanied by music

Today, the internet is full of websites with song lyrics that people can reference at will. However, this act is often controversial as some of these websites contain lyrics that have been copyrighted and are, thus, infringing on the rights of the owner of the copyright.

The MPA, or Music Publishers’ Association, works as a representative for music companies that produce sheet music. In 2005, MPA started a campaign against certain lyrics websites which were violating these copyrights, claiming that these sites were illegal and that the people who ran the sites should be put in jail.

At the time, licenses for lyrics could be gathered from sources using one of two sites, LyricFind or Musixmatch, which compiled a list of songs and their lyrics from around the world.

The very first company to begin offering licensed lyrics was Yahoo!, which was followed soon after by MetroLyrics and Lyrics.com. These sites continue to be some of the largest for looking up lyrics today. Additional websites that now offer licensed lyrics include SongMeanings, AZLyrics and one of the off-shutes of the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, called LyricWiki.

While copyright infringement on song lyrics has become more well-known and understood by the general public, there are still a number of sites which offer free, illegal access to copyrighted materials. Recently, after a site called LiveUniverse (owned by the co-founder of MySpace, Brad Greenspan) ws found to have copyrighted lyric materials, it was ordered by a United States federal court to cease all actions and remove all unlicensed lyrics from the entirety of the website. 

Song lyrics, like poetry, can also be studied within the realm of academia. Just like with other works of literature and creative writing, lyrics are considered to be a commentary on society. By analyzing these “comments” made by musical artists, scholars can track patterns in opinion and behavior over time.

And, just like with literature, lyrics often have themes that fall under the political and social spectrums; both implied and explicitly stated outright. Other figures of speech, like metaphors, similes, hyperboles, and symbolism - among many others - can also be found in musical lyrics.

One of the more popular studies of lyrics completed by scholars is an analysis on the singer/songwriter’s “sense of unity” with the accompanying music. Researchers look into how a song’s music compares or contrasts in tonal quality with its lyrics. This often leads to a more complex understanding of the meaning of the lyrics as a whole. 

After a report conducted in 2009 by McAfee, a computer antivirus software company that individuals can use to protect their computers and mobile devices from harmful spyware, it was found that searches containing the word “free” along with lyric-related searches are most likely to have “risky” results on search engines.

Starting at the end of 2014, Google changed its algorithm to include song lyrics when an individual searches for similar terms. As a result, when the name of a song is Googled, its lyrics pop up directly on the results page.

Some of the most searched songs and song lyrics include titles like Revelation, Fight Song, the Pokemon Theme song, The Duck Song, Sally's Song, the Friends theme song, Work Song, the South Park theme song, and songs from Disney hits like Moana and Frozen.

Searches for things like sad, happy, and love songs, along with “favorite” songs are also prevalent.

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