Suppose you’re trying to come up with a name of a tune and you only know a handful of words. The song title is on the tip of your lips, you’ll know it in an instant, but right now you feel as blank as a piece of pristine sheet music or the Beatles’ White Album. Don’t sweat it – you’ve got an ace up your sleeve right on the same device you’re using to read this.
If you’ve got a computer with an Internet connection, or even a tablet or smartphone, you’re no more than a few clicks or taps away from that song title. And you’ve actually got quite a number of options on how to get it.
Start your engines
Your most immediate choice is as basic as basic gets. Let the big three search engines dazzle you with their song spinning power. It’s as simple as typing in the word “lyrics” followed by the words you know. That’s all there is to it.
For example, what if you look up a jazz standard and a bit of classic rock ‘n roll? First, see what the search engines can do with “Fly to Me To the Moon.” Suppose you only recall four words: on Jupiter and Mars. Call up your search box and enter “lyrics on Jupiter and Mars.” Here’s what you’ll get:
- Google: The world’s leading search engine displays three, correct results on the first page, including one in the very first position. One link even offers a video to watch (or sing along with).
- Bing: Not to be outdone, Microsoft’s latest version of search also turns up a trio of desired results on page one, and including the leadoff position.
- Yahoo!: Not to be outdone, the old, venerable Yahoo! tops the competition here with four positive results right on its first page of results.
Let the search engines try this one on for size from Paul McCartney’s “When I Saw Her Standing There”: well my heart went boom.
Entering “lyrics well my heart went boom” in Google resulted in a first-page listing that was 10 out 10 correct. Curiously, Yahoo! and Bing both displayed only one result for The Beatles.
As with all search engines, more in, more out. In other words, the more info you type in that search box, the better. The more unique you make it, the more refined your results will be. As soon as you blow out The Beatles search phrase to include “when I crossed that room,” both Bing and Yahoo! return a full page of Beatles results.
The choice is yours
Trying to find song titles with just a few words doesn’t begin and end with search engines. There are some powerful sites out there dedicated precisely to that purpose. Here are three of the top websites from a fairly inexhaustible list.
- Lyrster: This website is just what the song doctor ordered: title searches based on simply a few words. Lyrster easily finds “When I Saw Her Standing There” and “Fly Me to the Moon.” Links on the results page display the full set of lyrics and more, including streaming audio and video.
- MP3Lyrics: This site is a powerful archive that catalogs, obviously, MP3 recordings. It’s page one results exhibits 10 different covers of “Fly Me To the Moon” by Neon Genesis Evangelion, Michael Bolton, Brave Combo, Perry Como, Matt Dusk, Agnetha Faltskog, Diana Krall, Ray Price and Steve Tyrell – and of course Frank Sinatra. MP3Lyrics comes up with seven renditions of “When I Saw Her Standing There,” with a little help from Paul McCartney, Tiffany, Bob Welch, Mxpx, The Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John. Clicking on the results here brings up a complete page of lyrics and plenty of additional information.
- lyricfinder.org: If you don’t mind yet another Google powered entity, this site culls together its results from multiple sources around the web. It does just that with great success for both sets of partial lyrics used in this article.
So you’ve got lots of ways to find a song, even when you only know a few of the words. Words and lyrics and song titles – they’re really no more than simple lists. And a list is no different from a table, like a set of rows and columns in a spreadsheet. Put together a collection of tables and you get databases, and that’s what the World Wide Web is all about. When it comes to a bit of song detection, your best bet is the Internet, the biggest repository of song titles and lyrics in the music universe, and Tuneup media coupon codes for additional discounts, you sure want to save some dollars.