In my novel, I am writing a scene where my character digs up a memory of a song a lady sung to him in the past. He runs into the lady again, several years later and he is recanting the song to her. Would the song be a new paragraph and in single quotes/double quotes or italics? Example below:

“Yousif, what did you just say?” she asked with a puzzled look. He stood from the seat before hoarsely muttering the song again, “And you live a life worth living and you make my world—” She scooted up in the bed and quickly straightened herself up.

So the songs is, "And you live a life worth living...." I've seen places where a whole song starts in a new paragraph and formatted in the center of the script.

Thanks in advance.

  • It recalls me of sonnets in Shakespeare's plays, novels....
    – Zenix
    Jan 25, 2020 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


I would treat it like it was a quotation. Because it is direct speech, it means that there would be inverted commas within inverted commas.

"'And you live a life worth living and you make my world --'"

By the way, you use a dash at the end which indicates he is interrupted, but you don't include the interruption.

  • Thanks for the interruption catch. I dont understand. I see. So since he is repeating what she sand its should be inverted commas within inverted commas. Wow I would have never guessed that.
    – Alex
    Jan 28, 2020 at 0:59
  • 1
    It is not very clear on the screen, but there are single quotation marks and double ones. Whichever you use normally go around the whole thing and the other around the quotation itself. Jan 28, 2020 at 16:36
  • While technically correct, I wouldn't consider this a good solution because it isn't easy to read it as intended. I don't think I've ever seen nested quotes used except when the quote is embedded in a longer statement, such as "'Wise men say,' as the song goes." Jan 29, 2020 at 2:45

The center justification is called a "block quote" and should be used when the quote is typically four or more lines. Typically I see songs broken in rhyming couplets for normal quotes, so you may want to break the quote in a format such that:

"[Song line one]," He sang, "[Song Line Two]"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.