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April 25, 1999: pallet steaming spinning


I've started a crusade to download the lyrics from all the albums I own, to save me a little effort in generating the titles of these pages. (A little? To be honest, until I decided to download, I was thinking about listening through more than 100 CDs listening for bon mots.)

The trick is in how to find lyrics efficiently. The way I do this is to pick a distinctive line from one of the songs--but one that a reviewer isn't likely to quote--and search for that with AltaVista, which still seems to have the best raw data of the search engines I've tried. (I've started shifting to Google if I know the search is going to return a lot of hits.)

The best is to pick two unique lines from two different songs on the album, so as to find a site that has all the lyrics on a single page. I experimented a little with trying unique lines from two different albums, in search of complete compilations, but this rarely hits, so it probably isn't worth the effort.

The trick is using some unique line that would never otherwise appear, and avoiding searching for lines that you might misspell or misremember. AltaVista can match phrases even though they cross sentences or paragraphs, without you having to use appropriate punctuation, so I sometimes use this to grab sequences of words that span lines.

Some examples that I used:

You probably need to avoid stop words as the first word of the search. Anyway, just a helpful tip from me to you!

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attribution dammit: Steaming Sarah McLachlan