The library gets many requests for song lyrics: both classic standards from the early twentieth century and the latest singer-songwriter or hip hop artist. Here are some tools you can use to try finding song lyrics. If you get stuck, you can contact the Fine Arts Department at 216-623-2848 or email@example.com
A good overview of classic lyrics for standards is:
Reading lyrics / edited and with an introduction by Robert Gottlieb and Robert Kimball.
1st ed. New York : Pantheon Books, c2000. ML54.6 .R39 2000. i9780375400810
The library has complete lyrics collections for most major songwriters including Irving Berlin, Noel Coward, Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Frank Loesser, P.G. Wodehouse, Cole Porter, as well as the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Bob Marley. Here are a few recent titles:
Hammerstein, Oscar, 1895-1960.
The complete lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II / edited by Amy Asch.
1st ed. New York : Knopf, 2008. ML49.H12 H28 2008. i9780375413582
Mercer, Johnny, 1909-1976.
The complete lyrics of Johnny Mercer / edited by Robert Kimball ... [et al.].
1st ed. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009. ML54.6.M45 C66 2009. i9780307265197
Finishing the hat : collected lyrics (1954-1981) with attendant comments, principles, heresies, grudges, whines and anecdotes / Stephen Sondheim.
1st ed. New York : Knopf, 2010. ML54.6.S69 S66 2010. i9780679439073
The library has many collections of opera libretti both for individual operas and for significant composers. This includes major opera composers as well as collections of lyrics for lesser known works. There are also lyric collections for operettas including Gilbert & Sullivan. The library has the complete series by Nico Castel; some recent additions:
Wagner, Richard, 1813-1883.
Three Wagner opera libretti / with International Phonetic Alphabet transcriptions, word by word translations including a guide to the German I.P.A., and notes on the German transcriptions by Nico Castel ; edited by Marcie Stapp ; illustrations by Eugene Green ; foreword by Thomas Stewart..
Geneseo, N.Y. : Leyerle, c2006. ML49.W14 C32 2006. i9781878617682
Gluck & Monteverdi opera libretti : international phonetic alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, notes on the French and Italian transcriptions / by Nico Castel ; assisted and edited by Marcie Stapp ; illustrations by Eugene Green ; foreword by James Conlon. Geneseo, N.Y. : Leyerle, c2008. ML48 .G57 2008 i9781878617767
German miscellaneous opera libretti : with international phonetic alphabet transcriptions, word for word translations, a guide to the IPA and notes on the German transcriptions / by Nico Castel ; ill. by Eugene Green ; foreword by Thomas Hampson ; edited by Marcie Stapp. Geneseo, N.Y. : Leyerle, c2005. ML48 .G373 2005. i9781878617439
There are also lyric collections for many other types of music including art songs, spirituals, folk songs, rock ‘n’ roll, and rap/hip hop:
Simon, Paul, 1941-
Lyrics 1964-2008 / Paul Simon.
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2008. ML54.6.S556 L97 2008 i9781416586920
Lyrics / by Sting.
New York : Dial Press, c2007. ML54.6 .S85 S66 2007 i9780385339872
The anthology of rap / edited by Adam Bradley, Andrew DuBois ; foreword by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. ; afterword by Chuck D and Common.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010. ML3531 .A57 2010. i9780300141900
For recent pop songs, gospel songs and genres such as rhythm & blues, there are not many complete collections. You can sometimes use songbooks and the web to find lyrics.