How Long Should My Song Lyrics Be?

Are you unsure just how many lines to write for your songs? Maybe you have a few good bars but you don’t know the right number to include?

In this guide, we’ll review the average length of song lyrics and how genre may affect the total number of lines.

How Long Should Song Lyrics Be?

The average song will have 6 sections at least, each containing 1 to 2 stanzas; those stanza will usually have 4 and 8 lines each. Make averages to a total between 24 and 96 lines of lyrics per song. These are merely suggestions based on averages; your songs can be longer or shorter if that’s how you want them.

Some of those sections I mentioned will be repetitions of the same lines. A chorus is usually 4 to 8 lines of lyrics. But, in most cases, you will repeat the same exact chorus between 2 and 3 times in your song.

However, these numbers will vary based on your personal writing style and the genre of music you make. For example, rap lyrics tend to have more lines per section than a rock or pop song. While some styles of music don’t even include choruses.

What Sections Should Be Included in a Song?

The sections of a song usually break down like this:

  • Verses (often two, but sometimes three)
  • Chorus (repeated two or three times)
  • Bridge (usually included instead of a third verse)

The most basic template would therefore be:

  1. First verse
  2. Chorus
  3. Second verse
  4. Chorus
  5. Bridge or third verse
  6. Final Chorus

The genre of music will usually influence how long many lines appear in each section. Let’s look at some common genres and see how they differ.

Pop & Rock

Pop and rock music will follow the basic template in most situations. Common variations would be:

  • Starting with a repetition of the chorus at the beginning of the song. If you do this, you may want to skip the final chorus. Too many chorus repetitions can irritate the listener.
  • Having no lyrics in the bridge, instead opting for an instrumental solo.

Hip Hop & Rap

Rap music tends to fill verses with more lines of lyrics. Instead of 2 stanzas of 4 lines, you may have 2-4 stanzas of 8 lines. This is common in old-school or underground hip hop that emphasizes lyricism or melody. Modern trap and emo rap will contain less lines.

My Average Lyrics Length

I’ve written a lot of songs, mostly in the styles of pop and indie rock. I took the liberty of building a spreadsheet with the number of lines and sections in 50 of my most recently-written songs. Here are my results:

Mean (Average number)Mode (Most common number)
Total Song Sections5.064
Number of Choruses2.342
Number of Verses2.062
Total Number of Lines29.4224
Note: The total number of lines includes all repetitions

Hit Song Average Lyrics Length

Lastly, let’s investigate the average length of lyrics for popular songs. For this, I went to the Billboard Hot 100 chart and analyzed 50 tracks. Of those tracks, I measured each of the following aspects:

  • total number of sections per songs
  • number of choruses, verses, and “other” sections respectively, and
  • total lines in each song

Because I just pulled songs from the main Billboard chart, it includes tracks from multiple genres.

Here are the results of that research:

Bar chart: Length of Hit Song Lyrics (Median & Mode)
Mean (Average number)Mode (Most common number)
Total Song Sections7.847
Number of Choruses2.763
Number of Verses2.082
Total Number of Lines48.7643
Note: The total number of lines includes all repetitions

I also broke down these results further for the 3 most represented genres: pop, rap, and country.

Here are the genre-specific numbers:

Bar chart: Average Song Length by Genre


Mean (Average number)Mode (Most common number)
Total Song Sections8.286
Number of Choruses2.892
Number of Verses22
Total Number of Lines45.2233
Note: The total number of lines includes all repetitions


Mean (Average number)Mode (Most common number)
Total Song Sections77
Number of Choruses2.42
Number of Verses2.22
Total Number of Lines55.259
Note: The total number of lines includes all repetitions


Mean (Average number)Mode (Most common number)
Total Song Sections7.087
Number of Choruses2.923
Number of Verses2.172
Total Number of Lines44.0843
Note: The total number of lines includes all repetitions


The results show us that, in general, the average hit song will have:

  • 3 choruses
  • 2 verses
  • Approximately 48 lines in total

But genre also impacts the number of lines in an entire song:

  • Pop tends to have the shortest lyrics
  • Rap averages a significantly higher number of lines than pop or country
  • All genres tend to have just 2 verses

But this does not mean you have to follow these averages in your own songs. This is simply a guide by which you can measure your own song lengths and see if you are under-writing or over-writing them.

As you can see, I average a much lower number of total lines in my own songs. But comes down to my personal writing style, and also the fact that I write longer lines but include less of them.

Other Articles to Consider

Thanks for stopping by. If you found this guide helpful, here are a few other articles you may enjoy:

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