Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Sometimes online tools have the information you need to track down a popular song.
Verifying Song Titles, etc.
These first three books are the best place to start when verifying song information. They all have indexes of both composers and song titles and the first two have their own unique additional information. For more information on the particular titles, see the notes below the citation.
Note: These texts are all located behind the reference desk. Ask the staff member on duty for assistance.
American Song: The Complete Musical Theatre Companion by
Call Number: ML128.S3 B561996 4 vols (Reference stacks)
Information about musicals including run dates, theatre, cast, composer, lyricist, librettist, producer, director, choreographer, costumer, set designer, and song list. Vols 3 and 4 titled "American song : the complete companion to Tin Pan Alley song."
The Great Song Thesaurus by
Call Number: ML128.S3 L39 1989
Contains subject index. Also has information about advertising jingles, "elegant plagiarisms" (tunes "borrowed" from the classical literature),and first lines. An older edition is available in the reference section.
Popular Music, 1920-1979 by
Call Number: ML128.P63 S52
Most extensive coverage. Special sections dedicated to publishers, important performances, and awards. Later volumes cover dates through 1994.
Other Popular Song References
Additional information about popular songs can be found in these books. They aren't as comprehensive as the texts above but they each have a unique approach or contents.
Some are located behind the reference desk and some in the general reference section. The location is noted below the citation.
Who wrote that song? by
Call Number: ML120.U5 J22 1994 Reference
Covers musical genres from classical to musical theater to jazz to film themes to mainstream popular. Also contains a quiz.
The complete encyclopedia of popular music and jazz, 1900-1950. by
Call Number: ML102.P66 K46 Reference
Approaches popular music from a record collecting perspective. Contains information about record release information, who performed the song, what show or musical it's from, if any, biographies of singers and songwriters, awards won
Songs of the theater by
Call Number: ML128.S3 L48 S66 Reference
As the title suggests, covers specifically musical theater. Indexes by songs, shows, and authors.