Display the lyrics of the currently-playing iTunes track (or a user-defined track) on the command line.
JavaScript AppleScript
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Lyrist displays the lyrics of the currently-playing iTunes track (or a user-defined track) using LyricWiki on the command line. The iTunes track lyrics feature is currently only available on OS X as it uses AppleScript.

Screenshot of Lyrist in action

I always have the terminal just a keystroke away (thanks to TotalTerminal), which makes Lyrist very convenient for me; your mileage may vary.


  1. Download the latest version and unzip it.
  2. Intall Node if you don't have it on your system. You can install it from the Node website or alternatively, if you have Homebrew, by running brew install node.
  3. Open Terminal and navigate to the folder where you unzipped Lyrist's source files.
  4. Run make (this compiles the AppleScript).
  5. Run npm install (this installs the dependencies).

To easily run the script from anywhere, you can add an alias to it in your bash profile (located at ~/.bash_profile; you can create it if it doesn't exist) like so:

alias lyrist="/PATH/TO/lyrist/lyrist.js"

I like to run lyrist's output through less so I can easily scroll through it:

alias lyrist="/PATH/TO/lyrist/lyrist.js | less -XRq"


Using Lyrist is simple. When a song is playing (or paused) in iTunes, go to the terminal and type the name of the alias you just created above (lyrist in this case). Press enter. Voilà!

Alternatively, if you want to manually look up a song's lyrics, you can pass it in as an argument like this:

lyrist '<artist name> - <song title>'

For example, lyrist 'Iron Maiden - Dance of Death' will look up lyrics for Iron Maiden's Dance of Death track.

Note: If you didn't create an alias, navigate to the folder where you unzipped Lyrist and run ./lyrist.js.

Issues and Feedback

I'd love any feedback you have. Use the Issues tab for questions, bugs, and suggestions.