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Lyrics are words, typically consisting of verses and choruses, that make up a song. A lyricist is a writer of songs. Nevertheless, the words for an extended musical composition such as an opera are generally referred to as a "libretto" and their creator as a "librettist" Lyrics may either be overt or implied in their importance. Some lyrics are abstract, virtually unintelligible, and their interpretation stresses shape, articulation, meter, and speech symmetry in those situations. Rappers may also produce songs that are intended to be spoken rhythmically rather than sung (often with a combination of rhyming words).

'Lyric' derives the adjectival form of lyre from the Greek λ ü lyricus (lyrikós), via Latin lyricus. It first appeared in English in the mid-16th century, relating to the translations of Petrarch by the Earl of Surrey and his own sonnets. Greek lyric poetry had been defined by the manner in which it was sung accompanied by the lyre or cithara, as opposed to the chanted formal epics or the more passionate elegies accompanied by the flute. The intimate essence of each of the Nine Lyric Poets' verses contributed to the modern sense of "lyric poetry" but the original Greek meaning, words set to music, gradually led to its use as "lyrics" first attested to in the 1876 Diction of Stainer and Barrett.

A song is a musical arrangement that the human voice wants to perform. This is mostly achieved using cycles of sound and silence at distinct and set pitches (melodies). Songs contain numerous forms, including the duplication and variety of sections, for example. A wider meaning of the word song can apply to instrumentals by semantic expanding.

Written words specifically created for music, or for which music is created specifically, are called lyrics. If a pre-existing poem in classical music is set to written music, it's an art song. Songs that are sung without distinct contours and rhythms that rise and fall on repetitive pitches are called chants. Songs written in a simplistic style which are informally taught "by ear" are often referred to as folk songs. Common songs are considered songs that are written by skilled musicians who sell their records or live shows to the consumer market. Professional songwriters, composers, and lyricists frequently compose these compositions, which have wide appeal.

Lyric poetry is a formal style of poetry which, usually spoken in the first person, communicates personal emotions or feelings. Song lyrics are not identical to that, but they are mostly in the lyric mode. The word derives from a lyrical genre of ancient Greek literature, characterized by its musical accompaniment, traditionally on a stringed instrument known as a lyre. In literary theory, the term owes its meaning to the division formed by Aristotle between three broad poetry categories: lyrical, dramatic, and epic.

In the early years of the 20th century, in the United States, Europe, and the British colonies, rhymed lyric poetry, typically reflecting the poet's emotions, was the dominant literary style. The Georgian poets of England and their predecessors, such as A. The lyrical form was employed by E. Housman, Walter de la Mare, and Edmund Blunden. William Butler Yeats admired the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore for his lyrical poetry; Yeats likened him to the poets of the Troubadour when the two met in 1912.