song lyrics

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A song text or lyrics (also song text ; English : lyrics ) is the linguistic part of a musical work , which is composed of composition and song text. A form related to the lyrics is the libretto , which contains the text of an opera , an operetta , a musical or an oratorio .


This can be both the texting of an existing melody and the setting of an existing text in a conscious coordination situation. The combination of a conceptual content with a melody and the phrasing of the text are the result of a creative coordination process between the songwriter and the composer .

The lyrics are usually kept in a consistent meter and - if they are of good quality - give the song its rhythmic structure . Conversely, it is also possible for a composition to give the text its structure. Song texts appear in all song forms, for example in folk songs , in art songs up to hip hop . The English term lyrics still indicates the common ancestry of song lyrics and poetry .

Lyricists and composers are often different people. Members of bands often write and compose the lyrics themselves. In order to unite the lyrics and the musical composition of different authors in terms of copyright, Section 9 UrhG provides for a work combination that enables the uniform exploitation of both copyrights.


A song text consists of individual lines that can rhyme as verses and usually form stanzas or refrains or transitions . Often a poem or quote is also used as the lyrics. On the other hand, songs can become poems through the loss of the melody (for example: Collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Clemens Brentano and Achim von Arnim , book of songs by Heinrich Heine .)

Old song texts often allow conclusions to be drawn about the language change , but also about the social environment at the time they were written. In most cases they are based on either

In the sacred chants of the Middle Ages , the text was still the main characteristic of the music , but in today's development of pop music it has taken a back seat to melody or rhythm. The cause of this development is to be found in the fact that most of the texts of the mainstream pieces are sung in English and are not understood by those who do not speak this language sufficiently. But even in the Anglo-American countries of origin, song lyrics are often not understood because they make no sense or have very cryptic content. Often production techniques are used to make a song text incomprehensible ( reverb effects , drowning music). A counter-movement arose among the songwriters , in the singing movement and in the Neue Deutsche Welle . Here the lyrics played an extremely important role and formed a unit with the song again.

See also


  • Masen Abou-Dakn: Writing lyrics. Craft and dramaturgy . Authors' House Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-86671-000-3 .
  • Edith Jeske, Tobias Reitz: Handbook for songwriters . Authors' House Verlag, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86671-096-2 .

Web links

Wiktionary: lyrics  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations