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How should I reference song lyrics in APA Style?

Last Updated: May 12, 2016  |  16332 Views

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It depends on how you accessed the lyrics. For example, if you derived them directly from the song, please see "How to Cite Recorded Music in APA Style (+ Playlist)" in the APA Style Blog (includes examples of in-text citations). However, if you retrieved the lyrics from another source, such as a YouTube video, sheet music, or an artist's website, please use the appropriate formatting. Finally, if you retrieved the lyrics from a CD's liner notes, I'd suggest using the following formatting, which is adapted from "Music recording" on page 210 in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (American Psychological Association, 2010):

lang, k. d. (2008). Shadow and the frame [Liner notes]. On Watershed [CD]. New York, NY: Nonesuch Records.

The in-text citation to liner notes should provide the person's last name, the year, and the track number: (lang, 2008, track 10) (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 210).


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

Answered by Theresa BellBookmark and Share

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