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Memorize the Words to a Song You Enjoy

Updated on December 30, 2012

Sing, sing a song,
Sing out loud, sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last your whole lifelong
Don't worry that it's not good enough
For anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song (Words and Music by Joe Raposo)

Always singing - asked to join the band and sing!
Always singing - asked to join the band and sing! | Source


Thank you Joe Raposo! Joe hit the heart of the matter in that song....just sing! Don't worry how it sounds to others, just sing! Singing makes you happy, opens your heart with your voice. So, okay, you agree with the premise but you don't know the words to any're kidding right? You know how to sing the Happy Birthday Song, don't you? Of course you do and if you stop and really think about it the words of other songs will slowly creep into your brain.

How many times have you heard a song on the radio and couldn't get it out of your head all day long? Maybe that's a sign that you should be singing!

Sing anywhere!
Sing anywhere! | Source

How to Start Memorizing Words

There are tons of tips for memorizing words...words to scripts, text at school, and yes, songs. Some say to start with the most important words, others say look for patterns or special phrases. That's easy enough in a song after all there is a chorus and a verse. The verses paint the picture while the chorus (usually sung over and over) is where it comes together. Songs often set a mood and the particular mood you are in on a particular day might be the reason you pick a song. Songs can tell a story and it might be one you relate to or one you find particularly romantic or funny.

So once you've picked a song you like, one whose music appeals to you and whose words you like because of the story they tell what do you do next? REALLY listen to the words.

Quote by Abigail Adams

Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. Abigail Adams

Autistic Colin Memorized song from Oliver

Repeat the words

Just like when you learned how to tie your shoes, if you do it over and over again you get better at it. Listen to the song you want to learn; again and again. Keep repeating it.

I had a cockatiel that I wanted to teach how to talk. I didn't have all day to work with him so I got a tape recorder (hope you're old enough to remember them) and recorded my voice saying "Hey Trouble" (his name was Trouble), four or five times. I set up the tape recorder to keep playing that little phrase over and over, several times a day. Within a few short weeks he was saying "Hey Trouble"! I'm not saying you're for the birds, but repetition is often considered one of the first principles of learning.

Do you remember reading a poem over and over in high school to try to remember the lines? Same thing here. Listen to the song over and over until you start to remember the words. If you're an 'aural' learner (auditory-musical) you've got it made. You can also listen and watch on YouTube!

I know that sounds so obvious but it may not be. Play the song whenever you can. In your house when you're cleaning, in your car, on your MP3 player. You don't even really need to be paying attention. Sooner or later it shifts from short term memory into long term memory.

When my kids were very young I listened to the West Side Story Album a lot (yes, I would sing along). Anyway, my children were playing and to the naked eye not paying attention to my music. When my youngest son was a teenager he decided to take singing lessons to see if he could join a band. One week during his lesson his instructor started playing "Maria" from West Side Story and my son started singing it. She asked him how he knew it and he said he had no idea, he had never heard it before. When he came home and asked me I told him how I used to play it. It was background noise to him but he learned every word to every song on that album ... the best part is, HE NEVER KNEW IT!

Read the Music and Learn the Notes

This image license is public domain.
This image license is public domain. | Source

Read The Lyrics

Some of us are visual learners and need to see things. If that's you, find a copy of the words of the song and read them over whenever you get a chance. Make sure you have a few copies around so you can read them at home, or while you're waiting on line in the grocery store. Sometimes writing the words to the song by hand will help you remember them -- instead of just typing on your computer.

Every so often, listen to the song and read the lyrics. Maybe a little chant will help you on your way.

Now you're putting song to music. The important thing though is to read the lyrics...if you know the music, great, sing along!

Sing like nobody can hear you!
Sing like nobody can hear you! | Source


That's right...sing....sing the song every chance you get, every the shower, in the car...everywhere. Sing often. Its not necessary to sing loud, actually its not a good idea to sing too loud, its not good for your throat. Just sing that song over and over. It may help to start by humming the tune then adding the words.

On the web site Offbeat Band, it says "Practice the harder parts more often. Our tendency as humans is to go through the path of least resistance and play the easy parts of a song. You have to make a conscious effort to play the hard parts more often." So too with the words. Sing the whole song and learn the hardest parts first.

I do need to add, if you're lucky enough to know how to play an instrument, learn the song on your instrument so you are able to accompany yourself singing...double jeopardy for learning!

Practice even after you've mastered the song. We have a tendency to forget things easily. If you want to really remember the words dust off the song and bring it out into your brain once in a while.


What amazes me is I can remember the words to all the songs I learned as a teenager but I can't remember where I put my car keys an hour ago! I probably know hundreds of songs, and you do too. Someone once said "music is powerful brain food" and I agree totally.

Okay, you may fudge a few words here or there, but you can fix that in a hurry by following one or all of the steps in this hub. Stick to songs you really like not some song just because its popular or someone else likes it. Its easier to memorize something you enjoy.

Have fun with it, sing! Make memorizing the words a fun, learning experience.


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Its never too late Paul ;) Thanks so much for stopping by and for the votes and shares, I really appreciate it. Hope you have a great day!

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      6 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      These are really excellent tips for memorizing words to songs. It is so important to do this when you are expected to sign a karaoke song and don't have the teleprompter. I would have loved to try to sing so many songs if I had only taken the trouble to learn the lyrics. Constant practice is so important. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      We know the song "Maria" is the best....I imagine you singing, brightening your classroom. I need to go check out Honey BB's challenge...I will say a prayer in memory of Allison Wyatt.

      To you my dear friend, God Bless and Merry Christmas!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Mary,

      What a cool son... what a cool song choice from West Side Story, if I do say so myself...!

      I actually belt out song lyrics in my classroom...they are appropriate to the mood and content...usually to break a tough moment of sharing...

      I love to follow the words to a song and usually have no difficulty remembering lyrics...however, anything else and I need the list or calendar as a prompt for my aging memory!

      In response to Honey BB's challenge, I wanted to include one of your hubs...which is the 26th of 26 of those I have read.

      This hub is in memory of Allison Wyatt (07-03-06) and may her sweet soul rest in peace.

      Merry Christmas to you and yours. Love, Maria

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Hawaii, I can only add God Bless to that!

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      ...I returned to Kaua'i from O'ahu, brokenhearted because my parents could no longer afford sending me to that private school for part-Hawaiian children, and attended a high school there. There were lots of good memories, so it all turned out for the best. Years later, my heart soared to see the two Beamer brothers make it big in the entertainment business.

    • profile image

      Tina Truelove 

      6 years ago


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I love your suggestion Tina...."the keys are in the hall, the keys are in the hall, height ho the derry oh the keys are in the hall" :)

      You picked two mighty songs to know the words to Glimmer!

      Oh, hawaiiandodysseus, here we sang in the entry-way to stores to get that echo effect! And you stopped singing with Keola and Kapono because?

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Mary, I love this hub! I was a closet singer as a pre-teen. When I went away to a private boarding school during my early teens, I met up with a couple of guys who invited me to sing with them in the dormitory stairwell for that lovely echo-acoustic effect. They later became the popular brother duo, Keola and Kapono, whom I'll be showcasing in a future hub.

      Your hub tugged at the strings of my ukulele heart. Great job, Mary, as usual! Aloha!

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Ha this cracked me up. I think I know the lyrics to every song on the radio, but my husband and daughter inform me that I really don't. Except for Bohemian Rhapsody and the French National Anthem. Both of those I can sing perfectly (the lyrics, not the tone). Voted up. This made me smile today.

    • profile image

      Tina Truelove 

      6 years ago

      Good tips for memorization! I am "racing the clock" right now so I didn't read everyone else's comments, but just in case someone hasn't suggested it . . . um . . . perhaps when you come in the door and put down your keys, you should start singing a song about where you left them . . . then, you will remember the song and where you placed your keys. :) Maybe I need to try that!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Joan the song is in the heart...I agree about the oldies although there were a few of them that were questionable to ;) So glad you enjoyed!

      As for you Effer, you made me smile and chuckle at the same time! Thank you and friends like you are my dreams come true.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I understand there is a special song that must be sung today........Plug your ears, here I go......

      "Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Mary (Tillie)......Happy Birthday to you!"

      Wishing you ......your dreams come true!...........Love, Effer

    • joanveronica profile image

      Joan Veronica Robertson 

      6 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi there, I greatly enjoyed this Hub! I come from a musical family, of which I was, I think, the least talented. I have sung all my life in some choir or other, and still attempt it now, even though my voice is not what it was and my breath is too short after breaking my "floating ribs". I'm already enjoying Xmas carols, of which I of course remember all the words. I also remember most of the oldies, both the melody and the words. But... I need a tune, not this collection of sounds of the present day, with no tune that I can detect! On the teaching and learning side, I do agree, a song is so helpful! Good brain food! Loved this Hub, voted up, and ABI! Thanks for this spirit raiser!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you for the Birthday wish and you are right, memorizing is memorizing and we sure did it in school....not sure they still do though ;)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      Happy Birthday Mary and totally loved how you compared singing a song to memorizing a poem line by line, because that I what I was actually thinking when I first read this. It reminded me of having memorize "Oh Captain, My Captain" back in middle school, but seriously great job here and thanks for sharing!!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      CrisSp no one knows what it is about singing in the shower but seems a lot of people do it. Oh, and singing in the car most definitely! Glad you enjoyed my hub!

      Gypsy, there's just something about a songs...they stay in your head!

      Being able to carry a tune has nothing to do with singing Louisa ;)

      I know Michelle, I was going to write about learning your times tables through song but didn't want to get boring.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Memorizing a song helps me forget the bad, if only for a moment. It's also a good way to teach concepts to kids too! Mary, this is a great hub!Sharing!

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 

      6 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Loved this! I'm always grateful to my mother, who encouraged us kids to sing. We had family singalongs on car trips and camping trips, even though none of was partucularly muusically-oriented. I am also a big fan of humming! Voted up, awesome, sharing.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and interesting. Yup, you're right. Remember hundreds of songs which come popping into my mind at the oddest times because of something I see which reminds me of a certain song but what I was doing just now before the song came along - a total blank. lol Passing this on.

    • CrisSp profile image


      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I like your conclusion because I can relate to it...remembering all the words of my favorite song(s) and yet, I can't remember where I put my keys. Lol!

      I'm not gifted with a great voice but I sing good enough in the shower and I sing out loud with my daughter in the car when we're driving along. Love that!

      Great hub, very much enjoyable. Voted up and sharing. Thanks.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Mohan, music is the best thing man ever invented! I love to embarrass my kids by singing in public ;) Glad you liked my message!

      Effer we travel along the same tracks you and I...if I only had a brain! Night GF.

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Music, songs, singing, all dominated my childhood, with a musician Dad and a mother who loved to play music all day long to fill the air with inspiration.....Love to sing. And if you're really quick-witted......and forget a few words.....just make them up! LOL

      This was a fun and cheery kind of hub, Til Thank you. Just what I needed to read before calling it a day!!!

      Weeeeee're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of OZ. We hear he is a wonderful wiz, if ever a wiz there was... if ever, if ever a wiz there was, the wizard of Oz, is one because.....because because because......BECAUSE ....UP+++ G'night, Til!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      You're so right about singing- I do love remembering all the songs from my childhood and my teens. I do try to memorise new songs ( even just to annoy my kids by singing their favourites loudly) .and love the various lyrics, absolutely great hub and message here, Mary. Voted up / awesome.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Great Vinaya! Keep on singing.

      Steve, I believe the most popular version was Peter Paul and Mary though it was written and sung by John Denver.

      Oh Jools, how wonderful! Glad you liked my hub.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      6 years ago from North-East UK

      I sing all day long but my favourite band sort of sing in tongues so I could never really 'learn' the lyrics - today I've been singing 'Sailing' by Rod Stewart all day; not even sure what prompted it but I do love a good sing-song :o) Loved this hub!

    • Steve West profile image

      Steve West 

      6 years ago from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

      I remember singing with my dad. " I'm leavin on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again, oh babe I hate to go." I can't remember artist.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      I always want to sing my favorite song, however, I can hardly follow the scale. Thanks for this easy guide.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I'm like you Xstatic and will sing with or without provocation ;) My email is the same, if you can't get it let me know and I'll email it to you.

      Definitely SS, sing and your troubles melt away (for awhile anyway).

      We seem to have had similar childhood's Billy! Glad you enjoyed my hub.

      Funny how our brains work Faith Reaper. Do you remember the TV Show Name That Tune? You would've been great on that! God Bless.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Music is powerful brain food indeed! What is funny about me, is that I can remember all the children's songs growing up to sing to my grandchildren, but when it comes to every other song in life, I really cannot remember but a few words until I heard the first note or first couple of notes of the song, then my brain is triggered and all the words come back to me. Funny how the brain works. So, for me it is actually hearing the notes of a song, and then the words are remembered, but not until those first few notes are heard.

      Interesting hub. Really enjoyed it. Voted up +++ and sharing

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My earliest memories are of song in our household when I was growing up. Everyone sang and sang often. I love this hub, Mary! For me, I simply have to hear the song a number of times to memorize the comes a little harder now that I am an advanced age, but I eventually get them memorized.

      Great hub!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      6 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Memorizing a song is a good stress reducer also. Keep humming the song, or singing it. You worries melt away. Until they return again just enjoy.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      This is great Mary! I sing when requested (not often) and sing sometimes when not requested, can't resist karaoke if I go in, and sing in the shower as well. I do remember the words to so many old "standards." I hve about 1800 songs on my IPAD and we listen every night during dinner. There are many versions of my favorites so I guess that reinforces the words for me.

      BTW, someone sent some really good old photos of tv/movie entertainers and I was going to forward to you, knowing your interest in old movies, but your email must have changed since we did the joint project.


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