A Lyric Canon for ENGL 5324

back to the syllabus

These are the central primary texts for our course this semester, though the primary material is by no means limited to these lyrics. Page numbers refer to the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, 2nd edition, eds. Ellmann & O'Clair. Basically, read everything here, especially including the "song" lyrics, which you should read in the same way you read the lyric "poetry." All writers are arranged here by date of birth.

By each writer's name, I have linked to an informational site. Many of these links go to the Composers and Lyricists Database at You can hear some songs at http://www.angelfire.com/dbz/jd/jazzmusic.htm and at its sister site http://jdhay1.tripod.com/jazzmusic.htm. Lyrics associated with Billie Holiday are available at http://www.ladyday.net/song/songs.html.

Props to Todd Peach, without whom this page, and maybe this course, would hardly be possible.