Yahoo and Gracenote have teamed up to create a searchable database of official song lyrics.
I’m shocked that this took so long. Clarifying song lyrics was one of the first satisfying uses I found for the internet. It’s immensely frustrating when you aren’t sure what an artist is saying, and are too poor to buy the album (or your favorite artist is so excessively, proudly artistic, when you do buy the album, you find the liner notes consist of baby photos and haiku). I never thought the Clash was “rockin’ the cat box,” but I have been guilty of appalling lyrical misconceptions, and sometimes third-party lyrics appear to have been posted by people more confused than I am.
To test this new database, I settled on the three songs that pretty much define my state of mind at the moment. It’s disappointing that my psyche can be captured in pop song lyrics – I would rather nothing less complex than a sonnet, or at least a villanelle, would do. But since it can, here are my three:
She said I think I’ll go to Boston
I think I’ll start a new life
I think I’ll start it over
where no one knows my name
-“Boston“, Augustana. This is annoying: it’s actually one of the top ten lyric downloads at Yahoo today. I am so unoriginal! I will stifle my urge to point out that I was listening to this song and putting it on mix cds a year ago, before it got heavy airplay and a piano-smashing video on VH1. Oops, I guess I didn’t actually stifle that urge, did I?
You’ll rescue me, right?
In the exact same way they never did
I’ll be happy, right?
When your healing powers kick in
You’ll complete me, right?
Then my life can finally begin
I’ll be worthy, right?
Only when you realize the gem I am
-“Precious Illusions“, Alanis Morrissette. A good test because it was popular a few years back. Has Yahoo made the effort to fill in the back catalogs of major artists? Apparently yes. I can now rest assured my whining is accurate.
Bible and beads
stacks of degrees
So you take all the things that you felt then and never did show
With a picture in your head of somebody that you never did know
Put ‘em all in a box and you leave ‘em down Cinnamon Road
All the money in the world ain’t never gonna let you go
-“Cinnamon Road”, Shawn Colvin. Predictably, this song’s not in the database, despite being a newer release, by an artist that did have a bona fide hit a few years back (“Sunny Came Home”). If Shawn Colvin is too obscure for Yahoo to include all her songs, I shudder to think of an adjective befitting most of my music library. . .
Hopefully they’ll grow the database; for now, consider it a sort of beta version.