How to Cite Song Lyrics Using APA Format

APA style is the format accepted by the American Psychological Association for professionals in the social sciences writing scholarly papers and research studies. Mental health professionals discussing the connections between music, cognition and emotion may need to cite song lyrics in their papers; therefore, it’s important to know the correct format for writing these attributions.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations should be written in a simple, basic format that will help the reader find the source and should include the lyricist’s last name, followed by the date of publication. If there are two writers, they should both be listed. For example: “Whatever Lola Wants" (Adler & Ross, 1955).

Reference List Citations

Reference lists are at the end of the paper. Write the lyricist’s last name, followed by first and middle initial, the date the piece was written in parentheses, followed by the name of the piece, and the location and name of the publisher. For example: Adler, R. & Ross, J. (1955). Whatever Lola Wants. New York: BMG Music.

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