How to View Song Lyrics in the Linux Terminal

Listening to music relieves us from stress and makes us more productive at work. Sometimes, you may want to sing along to the melody of your favorite song, but have difficulty identifying the correct verses instead.

Luckily, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your/home and launch a web browser to find lyrics online. Lyrics-in-Terminal is a command-line app that displays song lyrics within the Linux terminal.

Installing Lyrics-in-Terminal on Linux

Lyrics-in-Terminal serves two distinct use cases. First, you can use it to identify the lyrics of the currently playing track, and second, you can look up the lyrics of a song stuck in your mind by just specifying its name in the command.

But before all that, you’ll need to install Lyrics-in-Terminal. Since this is essentially a Python package, you will need to have Python and PIP installed on your system. Most Ubuntu-based Linux distributions will have Python installed, but if yours doesn’t, follow our guide to installing Python on Ubuntu.

Then, before using PIP to install Lyrics-in-Terminal, install the python3-pip package.

how to view song lyrics on linux

With the script, you can view the lyrics of a particular song using the -t flag. Note that you can get your desired results using only the name of the song, but if you want the results to be more accurate, it is recommended that you specify both the name of the song and the artist.

But this is not the best thing. Invoking Lyrics-In-Terminal without any arguments will scan for the song currently playing on your system and display its lyrics accordingly.

Display the lyrics of the currently playing song

By default, if you just type the song into Terminal and hit Enter, it will start scanning for any active Spotify sessions, both the desktop client and the web version. If found, Lyrics-in-Terminal will extract the song name from Spotify and display its lyrics.

that’s not it. You can also specify the name of a media player (other than Spotify) as an argument to the lyrics command. Supported players are VLC Media Player, Audacious, Rhythmbox and MPD.

In lyrics view, you can press H to see the various keybindings that work with the interface. Some are obvious Up and Down to navigate through the song line by line and Left and Right to go to the next page.

You can also align text left, right, and center using the J, K, and L keys. There’s also an option to switch between lyric sources: r for google and r for azlyrics.

If you find an error in the song’s lyrics, you can edit the locally saved copy by pressing e. Hit U or D, respectively, to update or delete a song in the local cache.

Now you can sing along to your favorite tracks

Lyrics-in-Terminal isn’t just a simple tool that displays the lyrics of a song, it’s your entry pass to enjoying music the way it was really meant to be, by singing along.

Chances are you might not be impressed with the command-line interface of Lyrics-in-Terminal and will instead stick to the classic way of browsing Lyrics websites. Nevertheless, you will be spoiled for choice considering the vast number of lyrics websites available on the internet.

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