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How do I format and cite partial song lyrics at the beginning of a chapter? Can all lines be centered?

e.g.:

Chapter 19

Sweet Dreams

Sweet dreams are made of this

Who am I to disagree?

I travel the world

And the seven seas,

Everybody's looking for something

Eurythmics

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  • I found a link that may help you. It seems the best advice would be along the lines of what surtsey said. It seems fairly costly for people to do lyrics and I doubt most new or unknown writers have the ability to pay the required fees and royalties. mademers.com/the-perils-of-using-song-lyrics-in-your-book – ggiaquin16 Jul 7 '17 at 22:16
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Yes, and italicized, if you wish. Stephen King staggered NIN lyrics in The Dark Tower series; others have put them justified left. I would, however, not double space them, as it makes it seem like poetry.

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  • While this directly answers the question, it should be noted to readers and the OP that adding in lyrics to a book can be very costly as I have found multiple sources citing the advice against such practices unless you have the means to afford it. – ggiaquin16 Jul 7 '17 at 22:19
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The short answer is you may format the lyrics any way that pleases you.

The long answer is: don't do it at all!

Permissions for the use of song lyrics are extremely hard to get (Why would the Eurythmics want to associate themselves with you?).

If you obtain permission: the first thing to do is to refinance you house.

For one line of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”: £500

For one line of Oasis’s “Wonderwall”: £535

For one line of “When I’m Sixty-four”: £735.

For two lines of “I Shot the Sheriff” £1,000.

Note: that's pounds-sterling no US dollars!

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    Can you cite a source for those numbers? Not that I doubt you, it is just useful to know where they come from. – user16226 Jul 6 '17 at 11:38
  • Goodbye Emily - Michael Murphy. – Surtsey Jul 6 '17 at 11:55
  • @MarkBaker I don't know how credible the guardian is... but it seems this article is where he got his figures... theguardian.com/books/2010/may/01/… – ggiaquin16 Jul 7 '17 at 22:14
  • Also bumping this answer... while it does not answer the question on how to format lyrics in a book, it is advice worth listening to for people interested in doing this. Though, this probably would have been better as a comment since it is not an answer to the question. – ggiaquin16 Jul 7 '17 at 22:23

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