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Most songs start with an instrumental intro before heading into the first verse or chorus. Some even have a fade-in. A Lyrical Cold Open is the musical equivalent of a Cold Open, where the vocalist jumps in with lyrics at the very beginning, often adding an element of surprise or impact. Makes the song instantly recognizable to anyone who's heard it before, with the first line often becoming one of the most memorable parts.

A capella songs don't count, nor does Studio Chatter.




Film - Animation

Film - Live Action

Live Action TV

  • The Pushing Daisies version of "Morning Has Broken". "Birdhouse in Your Soul" does this as well, although it's also true of the original version.
  • "Philosopher's Song" in one of the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketches.
  • "Heart of Gold Montage" from the Firefly soundtrack, which starts with Arabic vocals.

Music - Alternative

  • All Time Low - "Dear Maria Count Me In"
  • Chevelle - "Tug-O-War"
  • Cobra Starship: "The City is at War" and "Guilty Pleasure"
  • The Dresden Dolls: "Delilah" and "Bad Habit"
  • Heavily used by alternative/indie band Blue October, in tracks like "Blue Skies", "Calling You", "Sound of Pulling Heaven Down", "X-Amount of Words", and hidden bonus track "It's Just Me".
  • Evanescence: "Going Under" and "Exodus"
  • Hole - "Doll Parts"
  • My Chemical Romance: "Famous Last Words" and "Teenagers"
  • Heavily used by Saves The Day: in some songs like "Certain Tragedy" and "Firefly" they launch into the vocals instantly, while in others like "At Your Funeral" and "See You" they come in after just a single note.
  • The Used - "The Taste of Ink"
  • They Might Be Giants - "Bangs", "Birdhouse in Your Soul", "Narrow Your Eyes", "Thunderbird"
  • Three Days Grace - "Pain"
  • "Pennyroyal Tea" by Nirvana
  • "All Guns Blazing" by Judas Priest
  • Marianas Trench: "Say Anything"

Music - Country

Music - Metal

  • Delain - "The Gathering"
  • Iron Maiden - "Can I Play With Madness" (the Title Drop, no less)
  • Rammstein has several songs that use this trope:
    • Herzeleid off of Herzeleid.
    • Ich Will of Mutter

Music - Pop

  • 3OH!3 - "Don't Trust Me"
  • Belinda Carlisle - "Heaven is a Place on Earth"
  • Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes - "I've Had the Time of My Life" (as mentioned under Film above)
  • Billy Joel - "The Longest Time"
  • The Corrs - "Breathless"
  • Don McLean - "American Pie"
  • Eric Clapton's version of "I Shot the Sheriff"
  • Fleetwood Mac - "Monday Morning"
  • Florence and the Machine: "Kiss with a Fist", "I'm Not Calling You a Liar", "Cosmic Love", "Falling", "Addicted to Love", "Bird Song", and "Shake it Out".
  • Fuckin' Perfect - Pink
  • Gary Puckett and the Union Gap - "Young Girl"
  • Gonna be here, by Junko Noda
  • B'coz I Love You by Hitomi Yaida
  • Jefferson Airplane - "Somebody To Love"
  • Kitto Wasurenai, by ZARD
  • Harry Belafonte - "Banana Boat Song", better known by its first line "Day-o, day-O, daylight come and me wan' go home..."
  • Nena - "99 Luftballons"
  • Nickelback - "How You Remind Me" and "Rockstar"
  • Pat Benatar: - "Shadows of the Night"
  • Plain White T's - "Hate (I Really Don't Like You)"
  • The Playmates - "Beep Beep"
  • The Righteous Brothers: "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" and "Unchained Melody"
  • Rihanna - "Where Have You Been" and "Don't Stop The Music"
  • Smash Mouth - "Allstar"
  • Celine Dion - "Because You Loved Me"
  • Anna Nalick - "Breathe (2 AM)"
    • Anna does this again in "Shine" and in "Car Crash" with one of her characteristic unusual metaphors ("I think I love you like a car crash, dear")

Music - Punk

  • The Clash: "London's Burning", "Know Your Rights"
  • Green Day, "Basket Case"
  • The Offspring, "Self-Esteem", "All I Want" (though it's Scatting in both cases) and "Why Don't You Get A Job?"
  • " I Went Out With A Hippy" & "Now I Love Everyone Except For Her" by Frenzal Rhomb
  • "Killing Away" and "Panic Attack" by OFF!
  • Motion City Soundtrack:
    • Delirium
    • Stand Too Close by
  • Rancid - "Roots Radical"


  • Kanye West - "Dark Fantasy", "All of the Lights" (if not counting the album's interlude)
  • Nicki Minaj - "Roman Holiday", "Pound the Alarm".

Music - R&B

  • Betty Everett - "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)"
  • Clarence "Frogman" Henry - "Ain't Got No Home"
  • Four Tops - "Standing in the Shadow of Love"
  • Otis Redding - "These Arms of Mine"

Music - Rock

  • "Banana Co." by Radiohead
  • The Beach Boys - "Barbara Ann"
  • The Beatles were fond of this trope, doing it in "Eleanor Rigby", "Girl", "Happiness is a Warm Gun", "Help!", "The Long and Winding Road", "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Nowhere Man", and "Yellow Submarine".
    • And solo as well: Paul McCartney on "Another Day", "Bluebird", "Junk", "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey". John Lennon on "Happy Xmas (War is Over)", "(Just Like) Starting Over".
  • Bon Jovi - "You Give Love a Bad Name"
  • Elvis Presley - "Heartbreak Hotel"
  • Fats Domino - "Ain't That a Shame"
  • Foo Fighters - "Best of You", "Breakout", "This Is a Call", and "Lonely As You"
  • Genesis - "Looking for Someone", "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight" and "Supper's Ready"
  • "Gold Soundz" and "Stop Breathin'" by Pavement
  • Jefferson Starship - "We Built This City"
  • Journey - "Any Way You Want It"
  • Kansas - "Carry on Wayward Son"
  • Lita Ford - "Kiss Me Deadly"
  • Ozzy Osbourne - "Crazy Train"
  • Pink Floyd - "Mother", "Young Lust", "A New Machine" parts 1 and 2.
  • The Rolling Stones - "Ruby Tuesday"
  • Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody", "We are the Champions", "Bicycle Race", and "I Want It All"
  • Roxy Music - "Do the Strand"
  • Sparks - both halves of the medley "Propaganda" and "At Home, At Work, At Play"
  • Styx - "Renegade"
  • Yes - "I've Seen All Good People" and "The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)"

Music - Other

Video Game