Created By: harharhar on December 8, 2013 Last Edited By: Pichu-kun on July 1, 2017
Troped

Lyric Video

A music video that contains only the song and the lyrics

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Lyric videos are videos meant to show the lyrics to a song while it is playing. Traditionally these are fan-made videos, however by the early 2010s many companies had taken notice to how popular these types of videos are on Youtube and began producing professional lyric videos. Official lyric videos can range anywhere from text on a still image, to Typographic Music Videos (also known as "Kinetic Typography" or "Typography Versions" for the official ones) where they're text-based but are meant to look visually appealing, to full-length music videos in their own right.

Another form of unofficial lyric video began to appear in the 2010s. It mixes the MAP (Multi-Animator Project) with the lyric video. The artist(s) create animations specifically around the song. They're common in fandoms such as Gravity Falls, Homestuck, Warrior Cats, and the Furry Fandom.

Examples:

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    Official Lyric Videos 
  • Abney Park's Not Silent (presented here following the Captain's introspection)
  • Alestorm's cover of Hangover.
  • AWOLNATION's lyric video for "Kill All Your Heroes" features a person with an astronaut helmet on doing things.
  • Before Blaqk Audio's single "Faith Healer" had a Calvin Klein-style music video, it had a lyric video which was just words on screen, but very flashy and whooshy and precise.
  • The Ur-Example might be Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" music video (well, actually a promotional clip taken from the beginning of a Bob Dylan tour documentary film, later treated as a standalone video), which is just Dylan in a alleyway, pulling away title cards to show you the lyrics.
  • The original video "leaked" release of Cee Lo Green's "F*ck You" had an artistic lyric video which went viral. A more traditional video was made after the song became a huge hit.
  • The lyric video to "Closer" by The Chainsmokers is a rare case of an official lyric video having more views than the music video. It has over 1 billion more views and counting. This is in part because the lyric video came out 3 months before the music video.
  • The lyric video to Daughtry's "Waiting For Superman" uses comic book style pop-art.
  • The lyric video to David Guetta's "Shewolf" is just a simple slideshow. It however doesn't actually show any wolves, just wolf-like dogs.
  • Katy Perry:
    • The lyric video "Unconditionally" features a woman singing the lyrics to another woman, who more-or-less just dramatically stares at the camera the entire video. Erika Linder is frequently mistaken for a man in the video, which was probably the director's intent.
    • "Roar" has a lyric video in the shape of Instant Messaging screen, complete with emoticons!
    • The lyric video for "Chained to the Rhythm" features a miniature house with miniature food fit for a hamster.
  • Jars of Clay's "Inland" video features the lyrics over nature footage.
  • The lyric video to "Suit and Tie" by Justin Timberlake is Deliberately Monochrome. It features a lot of scenery shots and focus on Timberlake in formal attire. It also uses the Smoking Is Cool trope.
  • Lady Gaga has one for "Applause" where the lyrics are shown over a night club scene.
  • The official music video for "Heroes" by Måns Zelmerlöw, the winner of Eurovision 2015.
  • The lyric video to "Wolves Without Teeth" by Of Monsters and Men features choreography done by twins Erna Jonasdottir and Hrefna Jonasdottir while they lip-sync to the song.
  • Pet Shop Boys' official video for "The Pop Kids" is the song lyrics (displayed one word at a time) over slow motion footage of dancers at a club.
  • The music video to "Beer" by Psychostick is a lyric video. It predates the rise of official lyric videos by several years. The video uses pictographs and intentionally looks amateur.
  • The video for "Fall on Me" by R.E.M. is an upside-down view of polluted industrial wasteland scenes while each word of the song's lyrics flashes on screen.
  • The lyric video for "Give Me Your Hand" by The Ready Set features a girl performing ASL to the viewer and to the people on the street.
  • Sia:
  • The lyric video to "Not Gonna Die" by Skillet is an animated video where a little girl gets chased by a hydra. It features heavy Christian symbolism (unsurprising considering Skillet is a Christian Rock band), such as the girl being watched over by a lion and her trying to use a slingshot on the hydra.
  • There's nothing particularly noteworthy about the lyric video to Sleeping With Siren's "If I'm James Dean Then You're Audrey Hepburn" besides that it uses the "more romantic", acoustic version of the song, instead of the original rock version full of screaming.
  • Stephanie Mabey's "The Zombie Song" has a lyric video featuring drawings alongside the lyrics.
  • Vampire Weekend has a music video for "Step" which is basically just words popping up on screen in front of nice grey urban backdrops.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • Weird Al once made a Lyric Video for his Perform This Way, a parody of Lady Gaga's Born This Way, after her label rejected that song. Once word got out that Lady Gaga herself never made the rejection, Weird Al made a proper music video for it.
    • Another Weird Al example would be his video for "Bob", which consists almost entirely of him holding up pieces of paper with the current song lines on them.
    • Weird Al Yankovic has an artistic lyric video for "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me".
  • The lyric video for "Chained to the Rhythm" features a miniature house with miniature food fit for a hamster.

    Notable Unofficial Lyric Videos 
Community Feedback Replies: 34
  • December 9, 2013
    DAN004
    Not sure if noteworthy, TBH.
  • December 9, 2013
    harharhar
    Hm, if that's the case, would it be better to put these examples into one of the available tropes? Like, I dunno, tropes about simplcity? A generalizwed version of Deliberately Monochrome? Do we have that kind of trope around?
  • February 12, 2014
    AMNK
    IMHO this could be only limited to official or Ascended Fanfic cases. In those cases I guess it would be a valid trope.

  • February 13, 2014
    Duncan
    • The original video "leaked" release of Cee Lo Green's "F*ck You" had an artistic lyric video which went viral. A more traditional video was made after the song became a huge hit.
    • Weird Al Yankovic made an artistic lyric video for "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me"
  • February 19, 2014
    needsanewhobby
    Adele's Skyfall.
  • February 19, 2014
    hevendor717
    Before Blaqk Audio's single "Faith Healer" had a Calvin Klein-style music video, it had a lyric video which was just words on screen, but very flashy and whooshy and precise.
  • February 19, 2014
    hevendor717
    Vampire Weekend has a music video for "Step" which is basically just words popping up on screen in front of nice grey urban backdrops.
  • February 19, 2014
    hevendor717
    The Ur Example might be Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" music video (well, actually a promotional clip taken from the beginning of a Bob Dylan tour documentary film, later treated as a standalone video), which is just Dylan in a alleyway, pulling away title cards to show you the lyrics.
  • March 11, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    Up For Grabs, right? I was going to make a YKTTW for this but it turns out it already exists.


    Lyric videos are videos meant to show the lyrics to a song while it is playing. Traditionally these are fan-made videos, however in recent years many companies have taken notice to how popular these types of videos are on Youtube and have begun producing professional lyric videos. Official lyric videos can range anywhere from text on a still image to full-length music videos in their own right.

    Examples:

    • The lyric video to Katy Perry's "Unconditionally" features a woman singing the lyrics to another woman, who more-or-less just dramatically stares at the camera the entire video. Erika Linder is frequently mistaken for a man in the video, which was probably the director's intent.
    • The lyric video to "Not Gonna Die" by Skillet is an animated video where a little girl gets chased by a hydra. It features heavy Christian symbolism (unsurprising considering Skillet is a Christian Rock band), such as the girl being watched over by a lion and her trying to use a slingshot on the hydra.
    • The lyric video to "Wolves Without Teeth" by Of Monsters And Men features choreography done by twins Erna Jnasdttir and Hrefna Jnasdttir while they lip-sync to the song.
  • March 11, 2016
    Koveras
    Another Weird Al example would be his video for "Bob", which consists almost entirely of him holding up pieces of paper with the current song lines on them.
  • March 19, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    Grabbing since no one has claimed this in a while.
  • April 16, 2016
    Lawman592
    The video for "Fall on Me" by REM is an upside-down view of polluted industrial wasteland scenes while each word of the song's lyrics flashes on screen.
  • July 30, 2016
    alnair20aug93
  • August 3, 2016
    Screwhorn77
    The official music video for "Heroes" by Måns Zelmerlöw, the winner of Eurovision 2015.
  • August 3, 2016
    MetaFour

    Also, it's worth mentioning that Weird Al's "Bob" music video is a parody of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" video.
  • September 18, 2016
    alnair20aug93
    bump
  • October 24, 2016
    alnair20aug93
  • October 27, 2016
    shadowbeast
    Abney Park's Not Silent (presented here following the Captain's introspection) Alestorm's cover of Hangover
  • October 29, 2016
    MetaFour
  • January 25, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • January 29, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • March 27, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bump.
  • April 18, 2017
    sarysa
    A worthwhile mention goes to the fact a certain subset of these used to be called Typographic Music Videos or Typography Version for the official ones. I think "lyric video" has become the standard term though, but I KNOW this used to be called something like Doom & Gloom (typography [version])

    Typographic videos are the ones with moving text and other effects that made them more entertaining than your typical fan-made lyric video.

    edit: Kinetic Typography is another term.
  • April 19, 2017
    MetaFour
    Yes, Kinetic Typography definitely deserves a mention. For another example, see this, a fanmade kinetic typography video for Sia's "Academia".
  • May 18, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    • The lyric video for "Chained to the Rhythm" features a miniature house with miniature food fit for a hamster.
  • June 1, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Launching soon?
  • June 5, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Is the OP still around?
  • June 11, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Nope.
  • June 20, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Well, let's launch it.
  • June 23, 2017
    alnair20aug93
  • June 26, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Bumping for launch.
  • June 26, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Any cleaning up needed beforehand?
  • June 29, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Which index?
  • July 1, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    I think Music Video Tropes is what I could think of.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=w9w2von452zkw93h2au7wvhj