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Article start[edit]

I've started this article for song-lyric excerpts to provide a place to collect pithy and amusing lines from notable musicians who might not otherwise have a place for such quotes. Song lyrics have been rejected in the past, back when Wikiquote was primarily a collection of print quotes, but as Kalki has observed, they have become accepted, as long as they are only excerpts and not entire songs. (Even if a song is no longer under copyright, entire texts belong in Wikisource, not Wikiquote.)

I encourage anyone adding lyric excerpts to provide source information, just as we should with any quotes whenever possible. For lyrics, I believe the composer and/or artist, the name of the song, the first recording it appears on, and the year are a good set of data to make verification possible (not to mention making it easier for folks to track down copies for themselves!). All this information is available for most English-language pop music of the past 50+ years at All-Music Guide, to which I've provided a link. (Their album lists and dates for pre-1980 music, though, have some significant gaps.) I haven't provide a link to any particular lyrics website, because I find it easier to use Google to look up specific songs. (Others may decide to add such sites.)

I'm not sure if this article will make sense to the community, but I hope we can give it a try and see if it develops. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 23:30, 11 August 2005 (UTC)


Hi, Jeff. As the first editor on the page except you, I have a couple of comments:
1. Formatting: I am not entirely happy with the formatting. (See below for a suggestion)
2. Ordering: This page might get real popular real quick. I suggest thinking of ordering of quotes, if only to prevent duplication. (By wording of quote, by year of song, many possibilities).
3. All in all, excellent page, when I had this chorus stuck in my head, I had somewhere to put it. :)
~ MosheZadka (Talk) 08:14, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Alternative formatting:

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So for my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you
Kid Creole And The Coconuts, "If You Want To Be Happy"

With the usual hr-trick to separate quotes ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 08:21, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Welcome to the lyrics page, MosheZadka! I'm hoping this will be a way to encourage the growth of lyrics quotes, leading to many full-blown articles, while subtly reminding people (by way of example) not to import entire songs.
I started with an alpha-sort by artist (last name first), mainly because I wanted to keep the two John Forster quotes together. That would also help us track the popularity of any artist, either to create a subheading for them, or ultimately to spin off an entire article for them. (I just thought that through as I was typing; it sounds much better planned that it really was.)
As for formatting, I'm not particularly happy with it, either. My thoughts were this:
  • Standard bullet form, with the text in a single line, doesn't look good for rhyming lyrics, since the symmetry is lost.
  • Another common structure, "firstline bullet, subsequent lines indented", is better than using ugly HTML breaks, but the 2-bullet citation line which follows the quote, due to some oddity in the MediaWiki HTML conversion, is rendered not as a second-level bulleted list item, but as a double-bullet, which looks silly. (It may still be useful, though, so I don't rule it out.)
  • As you say, we could use the dialog formatting method, but I really hate using HTML for those half-width lines, even though I started them. I only recommend them because there's no better solution for dialog right now. I keep hoping I'll somehow find the time to (A) set up a development wiki, (B) learn how to use something like "---" to create the half-width lines, and (C) successfully lobby the MediaWiki community to adopt this convention (the hardest part, given the apparent total lack of interest in anything relating to non-paragraph, non-list text formatting). And I'm still bothered by how those lines are more visible dividers than the spacing between third- and lower-level sections, giving a feeling of squashing the last quote of one section with the title and first quote of the next.
  • Then there's always those BR tags. They're short, and they don't interefere too much with reading the text. On the other hand, they require gathering up the whole text into a single line during edit, so they're very editor-unfriendly. Yuck.
I'm still looking for other ideas. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:06, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Alphanumeric sorting[edit]

I've sorted the page by alphanumeric order of band name (artist by last name), added a note at the top to make that clear, and added some section headings to emphasize the point and provide some manageability as the list grows. (The smaller sections helped me notice and fix my own error in alpha sorting!) ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:44, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia links[edit]

John Forster says he died in the 19th century, whereas this page has him writing lyrics well into the late 20th century. This is probably not the same person...and so should not link to a wp link about someone else. ~ MosheZadka (Talk) 07:56, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Oops! And to think I just advised a Wikipedian to check his links before saving. I obviously failed to do so here. Not only that, but I made 2 links where there should have only been one. I was really asleep at the wheel! Thanks for calling my attention to it. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 05:59, 26 August 2005 (UTC)

Merged in Cream[edit]

Attached history:

   * (cur) (last)  07:54, 19 September 2005 MosheZadka (stub -> people stub)
   * (cur) (last) 03:08, 18 September 2005
   * (cur) (last) 21:03, 1 September 2005 MosheZadka (stub)
   * (cur) (last) 02:54, 1 May 2005
   * (cur) (last) 15:19, 14 April 2005 Rmhermen
   * (cur) (last) 21:43, 13 April 2005 (fix)
   * (cur) (last) 21:42, 13 April 2005 (8-))

Gross-out songs transwiki[edit]

Some song lyrics for "gross-out songs" appeared at The lyrics were all uploaded by Wikibooks:User:Hoishand182 at 25 December 2005. No one else edited to lyrics except to add "transwiki" or "votes for deletion" templates.

Wikibookians considered moving the songs to Wikisource, but because of the uncertain copyright status, I decided only to quote them. I put the quotes on this Lyrics page; if they are too disgusting, someone might need to separate them to another page. --Kernigh 20:11, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Merge of "God Defend New Zealand"[edit]

I've performed a de-facto merge into this article of the former lyrical content of God Defend New Zealand prior to its deletion. Here is the edit history, to give credit to its contributors:

  • (cur) (last) 02:36, 17 October 2006 (UTC) 121a0012 (Talk | contribs | block) (+vfd)
  • (cur) (last) 00:55, 30 May 2006 (UTC) Brian New Zealand (Talk | contribs | block) m (New Zealand moved to God Defend New Zealand: Quote from New Zealand national Anthem, Don't even know if it should be on WQ)
  • (cur) (last) 11:46, 8 July 2005 (UTC) MosheZadka (Talk | contribs | block) m (cat, cleanup)
  • (cur) (last) 11:46, 8 July 2005 (UTC) MosheZadka (Talk | contribs | block) m (God Defend New Zealand moved to New Zealand)
  • (cur) (last) 11:45, 8 July 2005 (UTC) MosheZadka (Talk | contribs | block) m (wikisourcepar)
  • (cur) (last) 18:15, 5 June 2005 (UTC) Zhaladshar (Talk | contribs | block) (touch up)
  • (cur) (last) 04:27, 5 April 2005 (UTC) Rmhermen (Talk | contribs | block)
  • (cur) (last) 06:01, 20 July 2004 (UTC) (Talk | block)

Jeff Q (talk) 04:50, 24 October 2006 (UTC)


I just re-removed a section of "Anonymous" songs that Fys had earlier removed as "non-notable, unsourced, pointless". Although I didn't directly consider notability or "pointfulness", I will point out that one contributor's argument that "Of course it's unsourced -- these songs are anonymous!" is not accurate for Wikiquote purposes. Wikiquote collects quotes that have been published in reliable sources. Many such sources cite quotes by "Anonymous" or "Unknown". What makes them arguably notable is that existing publishers found them quoteworthy enough to include them. Like Wikipedia, Wikiquote relies heavily on existing publications to separate the notable from the stuff people just post because they can. And like Wikipedia, one important inclusion guideline is "verifiability, not truth". Just because something exists doesn't mean it deserves a place here. By providing specific published sources even for "anonymous" quotes or lyrics, we strive to ensure that our quotes are verifiably accurate and already found to be quoteworthy. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 16:16, 18 February 2008 (UTC)


  • God of nations at Thy feet,
    In the bonds of love we meet,
    Hear our voices, we entreat,
    God defend our free land.
    Guard Pacific's triple star,
    From the shafts of strife and war,
    Make her praises heard afar,
    God defend New Zealand.