3 Oct 2023

Creating a Lyrics Fetcher with Python: A Quick Guide to Web Scraping

As music enthusiasts, we often find ourselves eager to sing along to our favorite songs, but sometimes remembering all the lyrics can be a challenge. Wouldn't it be great to have a lyrics fetcher that quickly retrieves the words to any song we desire? In this blog post, we will explore how to create a lyrics fetcher using Python and the art of web scraping. Web scraping is a powerful technique that allows us to extract data from websites and utilize it in various applications. By the end of this quick guide, you'll have your own lyrics fetcher up and running, ready to fetch the lyrics of any song you throw at it.

Understanding Web Scraping

Web scraping is the process of extracting data from websites. It involves fetching the HTML content of web pages and then parsing and extracting the relevant information from that content. In our case, we'll use web scraping to visit lyrics websites, locate the lyrics of the desired song, and retrieve them programmatically.

Setting up the Environment

Before we dive into web scraping, we need to set up our development environment. Ensure you have Python installed on your system, preferably Python 3. Additionally, we will use some external libraries, such as BeautifulSoup and requests, to aid in the web scraping process. You can install them using pip:pip install beautifulsoup4 requests

Analyzing the Website Structure

To extract data from a website, we need to understand its structure. In this guide, we will use the popular lyrics website "Lyrics.com" as our data source. Open your web browser and navigate to a song's lyrics page on Lyrics.com (e.g., https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/xxxxx/artist-name/song-title). Right-click on the lyrics section and choose "Inspect" (for Google Chrome) or "Inspect Element" (for Firefox). This will open the browser's Developer Tools, allowing us to view the page's HTML structure.

Fetching the Lyrics

To fetch the lyrics, we need to follow these steps

Implementing the Python Script

Now that we understand the process, let's implement the Python script to fetch the lyrics. Here's a basic outline

import requests
from bs4 import BeautifulSoup

def fetch_lyrics(artist, song):
    url = f"https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/xxxxx/{artist}/{song}"
    response = requests.get(url)
    if response.status_code == 200:
        soup = BeautifulSoup(response.content, 'html.parser')
        lyrics_element = soup.find('pre', {'id': 'lyric-body-text'})
        if lyrics_element:
            lyrics = lyrics_element.text.strip()
            return lyrics
            return "Lyrics not found for this song."
        return "Error fetching lyrics. Please check the artist and song names."

# Example usage
artist_name = "Ed Sheeran"
song_title = "Shape of You"
lyrics = fetch_lyrics(artist_name, song_title)

Improving and Customizing

The basic implementation above should work for most cases, but web scraping can sometimes be fragile as websites change their structure over time. You can further enhance the script by adding error handling, handling different cases for song titles and artist names, and even caching the fetched lyrics to reduce the number of requests to the website.


Congratulations! You have successfully created a lyrics fetcher using Python and web scraping techniques. You can now easily retrieve the lyrics of your favorite songs and sing along to your heart's content. Remember to use web scraping responsibly and ensure you are not violating any website's terms of service.