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Finding the Name of a Song When You Only Know a Few Words

Updated on August 11, 2010

Think about the last time you heard a song on the radio and just absolutely loved it. Now, imagine that you have no idea what the song is called, and the radio DJ doesn't make the effort to announce it when it's over. For most people, this frustration often wears off during the next song and they forget all about it. But wouldn't it be great if there was a way to figure out exactly what the name of that song was so that you can go and download it later? The good news is that you can! All it takes it about ten seconds of listening during the song and access to Google at some point before you forget what you've heard.

The Lyrics

Sometimes, the name of the song is pretty easy to guess, just based on the lyrics. But that is rarely true, and sometimes the song's title is never even mentioned. For times when you can't think of the name of the song, all you need to do is listen. While the song is playing, try to pick up on a few key phrases. For example, if the song "American Idiot" by Green Day was playing (and I didn't know what it was called), I could discern the lyrics: "one nation under the new media." The longer the lyric, and the more of them you can remember, the better your chances of identifying the song.

Remember Or Write It Down

This is probably the hardest step: you now need to remember what you've heard until you have access to a computer. If your memory is as bad as mine, simply jot the lyrics you heard down on some paper.

Use Google's Search Operators

Google is a powerful tool. One aspect of search engines that many people don't realize is that it can search for exact phrases and distinct words at the same time. So when you get to a computer after you wrote down your lyrics, simply head to Google and type the following into the search bar:

Obviously, you would replace the lyrics part in quotes with the lyrics you heard. Basically, this is telling Google that you want to return a song (since you typed "lyrics to") and that song should contain the words you put in quotes. Remember that the words in quotes are an EXACT match. If you skip a word of type "a" instead of "the," the song may not be in the results. That's why it's important to listen carefully during the song.

Multiple Lyrics

If you listened carefully and were able to get multiple lyrics from different parts of the song, you can type that in as well like this, separated by different quote sections:

Once you enter your lyrics, hit search and look through the results. You should hopefully find your song.

I have seen several other sites that claim to find the name of a song based on some lyrics you type. But I have yet to find a site that is as good as plain old Google. Good luck song searching!

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    • Skaditch profile image


      8 years ago from Los Angeles

      If you have any Apple products like Ipad, Iphone or Ipod you can download free apps like Shazam or Sound Hound. If you use these apps it will listen for 30 seconds and then give you all of the information.

    • xnotion profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Sure thing TexasT! Thanks for stopping by!

    • TexasT profile image


      8 years ago

      That happens to me all the time. Thanks for the info on how to find out the song title.


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