What it is: A name-the-song-title trivia game where knowing song lyrics is key

Best for: Anyone in any group size! Or at least anyone old enough to identify songs based on their lyrics. Since my three-year-old can do this with Disney songs, I’d say the age range is pretty inclusive. It’s also an especially great game for music lovers.

What you need: Bits of song lyrics. I provide a huge list (free!). You can also think of your own.

How to play: Basically, one person reads a line or two from a song and everyone else tries to guess the name of the song. There are three ways you can play.

Version one: Free-for-all

Before you play, if you’re using my printable song lyrics, there is a particular way you can prepare them to make playing much easier. Just watch this video:

Now that your slips of paper are prepped, let’s play!

To play competitively, have everyone sit in a circle. Take turns drawing a song lyric from the cup. The person who draws the song lyric can peek at the answer, then reads (NOT sings) the lyric of the song.

As soon as the reader starts reading, everyone else is able to start guessing the name of the song. But once someone shouts a title out loud, they are not allowed to guess again that round. So, for example, say Elijah starts reading, “Tranquil as a forest but on fire within.” Then Juan might shout, “Be a man!” Elijah knows, however, that this is not the correct name of the song because he’s looked at the answer (it’s actually “Make a Man Out of You” from the Disney movie Mulan). So Elijah would tell Juan no and either continue reading or, if he’s read the whole line, wait for other people to guess. Juan is not allowed to guess again, even if he remembers the right name of the song.

If the reader wants, they can wait to look at the title of the song until after they’ve read the lyric out loud, if they want to give themselves a chance to guess (to themself).

Whoever guesses the actual song title (the one written on the paper) first gets to keep the paper slip. If there is a tie, see who can name the artist first. Then the next person in the circle draws a paper and reads it aloud. Whoever has the most paper slips at the end of the game wins! 

If no one can name the song, Elijah can sing the lyric or recite more of it, if he knows the song. He could also, if he wants, provide hints on the artist (like, “It was sung by Donny Osmond”) or song (like, “It’s from Mulan“). If there’s still no one who can name the song, no one gets the paper and play passes to the next player.

If you want to play not-as-competitively, let the reader sing the song lyrics if they wish. It’s easier to guess, but some people might enjoy getting to sing a little 🙂 Also, when you’re playing not-so-competitively, the best part is when a song lyric is read, no one can remember the title, and everyone bursts into song as they try to remember what it’s called. You might not be able to stop your players from doing this!

Version two: One at a time

Another way you can play is have one person guess at a time. So, for example, if it were Juan’s turn, someone else (like Elijah) would read him the song lyric. Juan on his own would get a chance to name the title of the song. You could even give him a certain time limit like 10 seconds. If Juan can’t name the song in time, play can open up to other players. The first to name the song title (or, if there are ties, the song title and the artist) gets the slip of paper.

Version three: Single player

If you are on your own, you can still play this game! Just prepare the printable slips of paper as shown above (and REALLY make sure you don’t peek as you do). Then draw yourself a paper one at a time and try to guess the song! Unfold the paper to see if you’re right. It’s actually a pretty fun trivia game on your own. This would work great as a two-player game, too.

In my printable, there are four categories of songs: Disney songs, 80s songs, songs released before the 80s, and songs released after the 80s up to the present decade (which right now includes the 2010s). I tried to stick with top 40s or well-known songs so, if you are at least a little familiar with a certain era of music, hopefully you have a good chance. There are a few tricky ones thrown in there, though!

We played this at our last family reunion and it was a lot of fun. I printed off papers from each of the four categories and put them in separate cups. We did one round of each. Again, my favorite part was when everyone would burst into song (and possibly dance), as shown at the end of the video below:

Have fun playing (and singing!)

Free printable: Song lyrics and titles

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