Wikipedia:Lyrics and poetry

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A Wikipedia article on lyrics or poetry should have an analytical framework that describes the song and its cultural impact. This page discusses how they should be written. For how lyrics and poetry should be displayed, see: Wikipedia:WikiProject Poetry#Style for quoting from poems.


for that interpretation. Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate lyrics yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so.

To be included, works ought to fit into the framework of

b-side to a minor band shouldn't be included (see also Wikipedia:Notability (music) and deletion policy

Points to avoid

First you should bear in mind some important points to avoid:

License considerations

Copyrighted works

good articles and featured articles
on works still under copyright that should be used as guidelines are:

  • W. B. Yeats (includes block quotes from several poems)
  • "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles (includes selected lyrics inline)
  • "The Scientist" by Coldplay (includes selected lyrics inline and audio excerpt)
  • "Love Story" by Taylor Swift (includes selected lyrics inline and audio excerpt)
  • "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan (includes selected lyrics in block quotes and audio excerpts)
  • "Running to Stand Still" by U2 (includes selected lyrics inline and in blocks, and an audio excerpt)
  • "Last Post" poem by Carol Ann Duffy (includes selected lyrics inline and in blocks)
  • "Hey Ya!" by OutKast (includes inline discussion of selected lyrics)

Copyright-expired works

Generally, these expire in all countries (except Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Samoa) when all of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The work was created and first published before January 1, 1923, or at least 95 years before January 1 of the current year, whichever is later.
  • The last surviving author died at least 70 years before January 1 of the current year.
  • No
    Berne Convention
    signatory has passed a perpetual copyright on the work.

Consider the following:

National anthems

National anthems are generally considered to be a special case of fair use if modern, or copyright-expired if older. Examples include:

Wikisource instructions

If you are adding a new text on Wikisource, follow the local guidelines. Use Template:wikisource-inline at the top of the external links section to link to works on Wikisource (see the documentation). For example, use {{wikisource-inline|Anthem for Doomed Youth}} to link to the poem "Anthem for Doomed Youth". This produces the line below: Works related to Anthem for Doomed Youth at Wikisource

See also