Additional information:

According to the source a noun 'lyrics' as text of a song it isn't a mass noun; It means that it has singular and plural cases for such noun, but according to its examples there're no cases with singular 'lyric' noun.


1) Does it exist the only option for the noun 'lyrics' as plural or sometimes the noun 'lyrics' could be singular in terms of using it for defining text of song entity

2) In case when the noun 'lyrics' can be only plural then can I treat (perceive) the noun 'lyrics' as a mass noun in spite of Oxford dictionary determination? - I think no because mass nouns are uncountable


singular: Her first lyric for the song is great

plural: Her first lyrics for the song are great

  • 3
    A noun can only be called a count noun if it can combine with the cardinal numbers. So if you're happy saying that so-and-so wrote 15 lyrics, then yes, it can in examples like that be called a count noun.
    – BillJ
    Apr 5, 2017 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


Lyrics is a tricky word. I've often seen the word lyric used in a singular form, particularly when referring to a particular line or a couplet of a song.

Around a century ago, in January 1917, Writer's Monthly chronicled the birth of a song called There's a Quaker Down in Quaker Town, using the singular form to refer to the title line:

Berg took the lyric to a number of other publishers, only to become a laughingstock. But again he went back to the Morris firm. This time he showed the lyric to Alfred Solomon, a composer, under contract to Morris. Solomon liked the lyric and wrote a melody for it. Then he offered the complete song to Morris.

In the modern era, Beach Boy Carl Wilson tosses around the words lyric and lyrics in an almost seemingly interchangeable way:

"On the first day of our collaboration, Brian played me the melody for a song he'd written. If I remember correctly, the original melody sounded exactly the way it does on the album, and someone had already written lyrics. Brian never played me the existing lyric -- he played the instrumental trace and said, 'I don't even want you to year the lyric that's been written." He ... then went to the piano and made a second tape, with him playing the melody and singing dummy lyrics. I took the cassettes from that first day home, and wrote the lyric to what became know as 'You Still Believe in Me'."
Source: "Wouldn't It Be Nice: Brian Wilson and the Making of the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds", Granata and Asher, 2016.

I would say that a song has lyrics, but we can refer to the lyric of a song, a term which often refers to a subset of the song's full lyrics.


As a singular noun is mostly means "A short poem that expresses the personal thoughts and feelings of the person who wrote it"

As a plural noun is most often means "The words of a song"

As a mass noun is means "Lyric poetry as a literary genre"

If you want to speak about a particular part of the lyrics of a song it is better to say:

  • The second line of the lyrics has a grammar mistake in it.
  • The chorus in the lyrics is amazing.

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