Lyrics and Libretti

This guide is a compilation of websites that offer lyrics and libretti across a broad spectrum of subjects. Please direct all inquiries to musiclib@bu.edu.

Children’s Songs

Judy and David’s Online Songbook

Judy and David’s Online Songbook contains lyrics to traditional children’s songs as well as original compositions by Judy and David, recipients of the 2002 SOCAN Award for Children’s Music.

KIDiddles

A strong collection of children’s lyrics with midi available for many songs. Songs are searchable by title, by subject or by keyword.

Mama Lisa’s World

Lyrics to nursery rhymes and songs sung by or to children in countries around the world are listed by country. Lyrics are written first in their original language followed by an English translation.

Christmas Music

International Lyrics Playground

Songs are listed alphabetically by title; entries include traditional Christmas carols and Christmas songs recorded by “popular” recording artists.

Libretti

Aria Database

This database, maintained by Robert Glaubitz, is a collection of texts and translations to over 1,000 operatic arias. Additional information such as setting, range, and available recordings is also available.

Kraus Libretti Collection

This database consists of over 3,000, Italian, mostly opera libretti donated by Hans P. Kraus to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The collection also documents Italian and other European musical performances from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. More information can be found on the collection’s information page.

Lied and Song Texts Page

A free web archive of the texts to over fifteen thousand Lieder in over thirty languages with thousands of translations. Recently the site has added texts to choral works, madrigals and part-songs. Songs are indexed by composer, poet, first line, title, language and song cycle.

Public-Domain Opera Libretti and Other Vocal Texts

On online directory to web sites posting opera libretti and vocal texts.

opera-arias.com

Opera-Arias.com is an aria database containing information about more than 150 Opera Composers, 450 Operas, 2,500 Opera Arias, 800 Opera Duets, 480 Opera Ensembles and a total of over 7,000 Opera Scenes.”

Folk Music

Digital Tradition Folk Music Database

Specializing in folk music and blues, the Digital Tradition Folk Music Database contains the words and music to over 8,900 folk songs. These songs have been collected over the last six years by Dick Greenhaus and friends. The database is text searchable and browsable.

Folk Music of England, Scotland, Wales and America

Most of the songs on this site are considered folk music from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and America. All songs are circa 1600 to 1922, and are organized by country or subject.

Folk songs of Various Countries

Folk songs are organized by country and subject. Subject coverage includes WWII, Sea Songs, Nursery Rhymes, and Kinderlieder.

Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

“The Max Hunter Collection is an archive of almost 1600 Ozark Mountain folk songs, recorded between 1956 and 1976. A traveling salesman from Springfield, Missouri, Hunter took his reel-to-reel tape recorder into the hills and backwoods of the Ozarks, preserving the heritage of the region by recording the songs and stories of many generations of Ozark history. As important as the songs themselves are the voices of the Missouri and Arkansas folks who shared their talents and recollections with Hunter. Designed to give increased public access to this unique and invaluable resource, this site is a joint project of the Southwest Missouri State University Department of Music and the Springfield-Greene County Library in Springfield, Missouri, where the permanent collection is housed. ” – Dr. Michael F. Murray , Southwest Missouri State University

Popular Music

American Song Lyrics

These lyrics are selected from the sheet music collection in the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library of Duke University. The bulk of the collection is from about 1830 to 1930 and was published in the United States.

American Popular Music Before 1900

A chronological subject guide to American popular music before 1900 prepared by the Kingwood College Library.

Leo’s Lyrics

Over 80,000 popular music lyrics are browsable by title, song name or album. You may also search by artist, title or keyword within the song lyrics.

LyricsnMusic

Popular music lyrics are integrated with artwork and concert dates as well as related material from YouTube, Wikipedia, iTunes and Amazon.

Risa Song Lyrics Archive

Popular music lyrics are accessible three ways: performer, title, and first line. The lyrics in the have been collected from the internet and direct submissions. Strong coverage of UK bands.

Sacred Music

Anglican Online Hymnal

This online hymnal contains texts and MIDI files of tunes used in much of the English-speaking world, with particular emphasis on the Anglican tradition. Currently, fifty-two Anglican hymnals from the past 140 years have been indexed. These 52 hymnals contain nearly seven thousand distinct texts and over eighteen thousand text/tune combinations.

Cantus: A Database for Latin Ecclesiastical Chant

CANTUS is a database intended to assist scholars in their study of the chants of the Office. It is made up of indices of the chants in sources of the liturgical Office.  It uses as models two older kinds of indices–those published in various facsimile editions of sources (for example, Palaeographie musicale ), and those presented by Dom Rene-Jean Hesbert in Corpus Antiphonalium Officii. The CANTUS Project is housed and maintained in the Faculty of Music at The University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada.

Cyber Hymnal

This site has over 4,700 Christian hymns & Gospel songs from many denominations. You can search for lyrics, scores, MIDI files, pictures, and history of songs by title, scripture allusions, people, countries, and meter

Presbyterian Psalter of 1887

Full text of the Psalter of the United Presbyterian Church of North America with Music. Pittsburgh: United Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1887.

World Music

Giga’s Dutch Lyrics Archive

Archive of Dutch lyrics.