When it comes to music, I’m a lyrics maniac. It started with those little booklets that came packed inside cassettes and CDs. I would read the lyrics off those passionately, and would be similarly disappointed when the label failed to enclose the lyrics. When the Internet came along, I was looking for lyrics for any new song I encountered, wanting to make sure I really knew what this song was about. After all, aren’t the lyrics at least half of the song?
It seems I’m not alone in my fixation. The term “lyrics” is a super popular one on Google, and the amount of websites offering song lyrics is pretty much endless. After all, what better way is there to earn some money off ads without actually creating any content? It’s not surprising, therefore, that many of these websites are strewn with endless ads, with the actual lyrics, obviously not the most important element on the page, getting buried between confusing banners and dubious links.
Is there a way out? Of course! And naturally, we’ve done the hard work for you and came up with several clean and simple lyrics resources you can use anywhere, without having to worry about sketchy ads or NSFW popups. Happy singing!
When you search for a song’s lyrics on Google, most of the websites you’ll find will look something like this:
True, it’s not that bad, and at the end of the day you really do get what you came there for. Ads are not necessarily a bad thing, of course, but when they’re confusingly placed, they can get pretty annoying. In addition, many of these websites are full of all kinds of links, some sketchier than others, which you can never be sure you really want to click.
In short, you can get lyrics in seconds off all these websites, but if you’re in the habit of searching for lyrics often, you may want a cleaner, nicer solution.
On The Web
Lyrics.net is a huge music and lyrics database, residing in a website that’s really quite fetching. The website includes more than just lyrics: Search through artists and albums to find short biographies, discographies, albums covers, and, of course, lyrics. You can also search the database by typing in a line from a song you remember.
The main part of the lyrics pages on Lyrics.net is devoid of any banner ads, and the only unrelated link is the “Send Song Ringtone to Your Cell” link which seems to do what it says (in some countries). The are some banner ads at the bottom of the page, but these don’t get in the way of your lyrics. The site’s search algorithm is not the best, and finding specific songs is a bit harder than it should be, but the overall experience is a much nicer and clear one than most similar websites.
LyricsnMusic is another website worth checking out, dubbing itself “a lyric and music search engine for music people by music people.” Again, this is much more than a lyrics-finding website, also helping you find YouTube videos, playlists, upcoming concerts, and even MP3s to buy on iTunes and Amazon. Here too you can search the database by typing in some lyrics you already know.
LyricsnMusic doesn’t have any ads which I could see, and probably makes its living off affiliate links to iTunes, Amazon, and others. The only unrelated link on the lyrics page is the same “Send Song Ringtone to Your Cell” link as found on Lyrics.net. The website is clean, well-designed, and the search results are easy to browse and understand. Overall, this is a true keeper for lyrics and music lovers.
If you have a line from a song stuck in your head and want to go from there, the above websites are an excellent choice. But at times you’d be listening to music on YouTube, Grooveshark or Spotify, and would just want to sing along. For this, the quickest solution are lyrics add-ons.
YouTube Lyrics for Firefox automatically displays song lyrics for YouTube, Grooveshark and Spotify. You can choose your favorite lyrics sources from the available list, and without even having to restart your browser, start enjoying automatic lyrics. As soon as you load a song in one of these websites, the lyrics will appear on the right side of your window, letting you switch sources easily if you think the lyrics are not accurate.
You can also use the YouTube Lyrics add-on to search for lyrics manually. Simply type your query at the bottom of the window, and the add-on will search through its sources and display the lyrics for you. This works with lines from songs as well as with names of songs and artists.
For Chrome users, there’s a similar extension called Lyrics for Google Chrome [No Longer Available]. The extension works with YouTube, Last.fm, Google Music, and Grooveshark, displaying an icon in the omnibar whenever a song is played in one of these websites. Clicking the icon displays the lyrics.
You can set the lyrics to appear on the page itself, as shown above, in a new tab, or in a pop up window. Lyrics for Google Chrome also couples as a lyrics-finding websites, which makes it doubly useful. At any time while browsing, type the word “lyrics” in Chrome’s omnibar, and enter your query after that. This will automatically perform a search in the extension’s database and come up with clean results. There are no ads anywhere while using this extension, but there is a donate button for the developer, so you can easily support them if you want.
There are many more must-have Chrome extension for music lovers where this came from, don’t miss them!
On Your Desktop
Many music players display lyrics, and your favorite one might be doing so already. I can’t mention every single player that does this, but there are two clean, simple and free ways to get song lyrics on your desktop I want to introduce you to.
Musique is a free, cross-platform music player for Windows, Mac and Linux, which among its other feats can also display lyrics for almost any song you throw at it.
There is no way to search for lyrics or type up a line from a song and find the whole thing, but if you like reading lyrics as you listen, Musique can be perfect for you.
If you’re an iTunes user, a little Mac OS X app by the name of Get Lyrical can help you add song lyrics to iTunes, for easy sing-along sessions. Since I don’t own a Mac, I couldn’t test Get Lyrical myself, so if you have experiences to share about it, add them in the comments.
Craving to know the words of a song? There are no more excuses! Whether you choose a website, an add-on, or a desktop app, you’re now all set to have all the lyrics you want at your fingertips, without the unnecessary clutter.
Know of the other great lyrics resources that should have made it into this article? Tell us about them in the comments.
Image credit: Dyanna Hyde