How to find a song by the lyrics with Apple HomePod

Set up your Apple HomePod to search for a song by lyrics.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
2 min read
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

No doubt you've heard about Apple's new iPhones it announced last week. Do you also know that it enabled new features for the Apple HomePod as well? One specifically lets you search for songs by their lyrics.

So when an annoying earworm strikes, you can scratch that musical itch with just a bit of the vocals -- no track title or artist needed. Here's how to give your HomePod smart speaker this ability, and what to say to make it happen.   

Put iOS 12 on your iPhone

First confirm that your iPhone has been updated to iOS 12.  All of the recently announced HomePod abilities won't work unless your phone is running iOS 12. 

Check out our guide to updating to iOS 12 here.

Fresh HomePod software

Also confirm your HomePod is fully updated. Head to the Apple Home app, tap the arrow icon at the top left of the screen and scroll to Software update to ensure you have the latest HomePod software.

Apple HomePod plays music, controls your smart home

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How does that song go?

From here, searching for songs by their lyrics is a breeze. Just say, "Hey, Siri, play the song that goes…." and insert the bit of lyrics you recall at the end. For example, asking for a song that goes "You can't be what you were" pulls up the post-punk classic Badmouth by Fugazi.

For the HomePod to find the tune you want, however, it does have to be in the Apple Music library. Apple advertises that it has 50 million songs in its library, so there's a good chance it will find what you want.

However, at the moment requesting searches of songs with foreign language titles (other than default English) is hit or miss. For instance, if you ask for Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi by Dutronc using the lyrics, "Avec ma vie, mon petit chez-moi" will be unsuccessful. Requesting the song by title works just fine.