Friday, 4 March 2022

Citing a song in APA format

Sometimes APA throws us a curve: how do we cite and reference a song? Particularly as often the song writer is different to the singer, or - for that matter - the singer's persona.

The APA guide (2019, p. 345) details the format for citing a recorded song as: 

Songwriter's Family Name, Songwriter's Initials. (Copyright year). Title of song [Recorded by Performer Initials Performer's Family Name but only include if different from the songwriter(s)]. On Title of album [Medium of recording]. Location; Label. (Date of recording but only if different from copyright date).

So, a couple of examples:

Clarkson, A. M. (1990). Doin' the Do [Recorded by Betty Boo]. On Boomania [CD]. UK; Warner Brothers.
U2 & Bono (1987). One Tree Hill [Recorded by U2]. On The Joshua Tree [LP]. Dublin; Island Records.

What is interesting is that this is one APA entry in the 7th edition which still contains the location, alongside the 'publisher', so to speak, but uses a semicolon.



  • American Psychological Association (2019). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association: The official guide to APA style (7th ed.). Author
  • Shapiro Library (28 February 2020). FAQ: How do I cite a song or album in APA Style.

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