Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lyrics in Print

Short question: what's your opinion of songs in books?  I know Tolkien did it in pretty much every book he wrote, and I've seen a couple of other authors add the lyrics of really long songs to their stories.

Personally, I don't mind it if it's done well, but after reading The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it's hard to keep my attention through the entire song.  Four to six lines followed by story description is my preference.

But what about you?  What have you seen in print that you like?  What do you prefer to read?  Does it bother you, or does it excite you?


  1. I think it can work, but more often than not it's hard to imagine how the music/melody would go.

  2. It depends on the use of the lyrics. The lyrics themselves may foreshadow something I need to be aware of as I continue through the book. But if they're just a bunch of rhyming lines without purpose, I'd rather they not be there.

    Also, have to be careful wtih lyrics. Don't want to date the book with certain lyrics unless it is historically appropriate for the novel.

  3. I don't care for long ones and I'm sure I skimmed those in LOTR. I think the YA book Delirium had lyrics, but they were short ditties.

  4. I don't mind them, but I do tend to skim unless they're short. Also, I prefer if they're from songs I know and enjoy--something that I can hum along with almost. If they have no tune they're associated with, it's just poetry, imho.