Referring to collections and songs

Every collection and song in the Music Content Management System (MCMS) has a unique External ID. Every song also has a Related ID, URI, and Music URI (which are not necessarily unique).

External IDs for collections

The External ID for a collection is composed of the collection type, plus the collection's ISO language code with capital letters. Here are some examples:

  • Hymns-ENG (English hymnbook)
  • Hymns-ISL (Icelandic hymnbook)
  • Hymns-JPN-Hani (Japanese [Kanji] hymnbook)
  • Childrens-FIN (Finnish Children’s Songbook)
  • MagEnsign-ENG (English Music from the Ensign)
  • MagLiahona-DEU (German Music from the Liahona)
  • HymnsChildrens-ELL (Greek Hymns and Children’s Songs booklet)

External IDs for songs

Song External IDs are composed of the collection External ID, plus the song "number." For songs in a book collection, the song number is either the page number (plus a letter, if there are multiple songs on a page) or the hymn number:

  • Hymns-ENG-30 (English hymn #30, "Come, Come, Ye Saints")
  • Hymns-ENG-124 (English hymn #124, "Be Still, My Soul")
  • Hymns-JPN-Hani-3 (Japanese [Kanji] hymn #3, "主のみたまは火のごと燃え")
  • Childrens-ENG-57 (English Children’s Songbook, page 57, "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus")
  • Childrens-ENG-145b (English Children’s Songbook, page 145, second song, "Kindness Begins with Me")

For songs that are part of a non-book collection – like songs from a church magazine – the "number" is defined as the title of the the song in English, with each word capitalized (including articles), with spaces and punctuation removed, and the year appended so that each song within a collection can be unique. Here are some examples:

  • MagEnsign-ENG-OLordWhoGaveThyLifeForMe2002 (English Music from the Ensign, "O Lord, Who Gave Thy Life for Me" from October 2002)
  • MagEnsign-ENG-SabbathDay1983 (English Music from the Ensign, "Sabbath Day" from March 1983)
  • MagLiahona-DEU-ComeFollowMe2015 (German Music from the Liahona, "Kommt, folget mir" from July 2015)

Related IDs

Every song has a unique External ID. Every song also has a Related ID, which is not unique, that is used to cross-reference it with other versions of the song – that is, any song in the MCMS that shares the same text (could be different tunes or arrangements). The External ID of the first version of a song that is entered into the MCMS (usually the English version of a song from the hymnbook or Children’s Songbook) becomes the Related ID for all other versions of that song that are subsequently entered.

For example, the External ID for English hymn #301, "I Am a Child of God," is Hymns-ENG-301. So, Hymns-ENG-301 is the Related ID that is entered in for all of the following songs so they can be linked together:

  • "I Am a Child of God," English hymn #301 (Hymns-ENG-301)
  • "I Am a Child of God," English Children’s Songbook, page 2 (Childrens-ENG-2)
  • "I Am a Child of God," English Young Women Camp Manual, page 77a (YWCampSongs-ENG-77a)
  • "Je suis enfant de Dieu," French hymn #193 (Hymns-FRA-193)
  • "Je suis enfant de Dieu," French Children’s Songbook, page 2 (Childrens-FRA-193)
  • All other versions of "I Am a Child of God" in other languages and collections

It's possible for more than one song in a single collection to have the same Related ID. For example, the External ID for English hymn #98, "I Need Thee Every Hour," is Hymns-ENG-98. So, these songs have the same Related ID, Hymns-ENG-98:

  • "I Need Thee Every Hour," English hymn #98 (Hymns-ENG-98)
  • "I Need Thee Every Hour (Men’s Choir)," English hymn #334 (Hymns-ENG-334)
  • All other versions of "I Need Thee Every Hour" in other languages and collections


Every song has a URI, which is a relative path for accessing the song in Gospel Library or on The URI starts with a category (music content is usually "/manual"), then the collection type (like "/hymns" or "/childrens-songbook"), then the name and subtitle of the song in English, all lowercase, punctuation removed, and spaces replaced by hyphens. Here are some examples of URIs:

  • /manual/hymns/the-spirit-of-god (Hymns-ENG-2)
  • /manual/hymns/an-angel-from-on-high (Hymns-ENG-13)
  • /manual/hymns/an-angel-from-on-high-mens-choir (Hymns-ENG-328)
  • /manual/childrens-songbook/jesus-wants-me-for-a-sunbeam (Childrens-ENG-60)

Every URI needs to be unique within a language. When the subtitle isn't enough to differentiate two URIs, we include the tune name (if available). Additionally, we can add another piece of information that is different between the songs, such as the tune name or music composer. Here's an example of two songs with the same name but different tune names:

  • /manual/hymns/tis-sweet-to-sing-the-matchless-love-meredith (Hymns-ENG-176)
  • /manual/hymns/tis-sweet-to-sing-the-matchless-love-hancock (Hymns-ENG-177)

The part of a URI that contains the song name does not need to be unique itself, but the entire URI does need to be unique within a language. Here are the URIs for two versions of the same song that appear in different collections:

  • /manual/childrens-songbook/all-things-bright-and-beautiful (Childrens-ENG-231)
  • /manual/young-women-camp-manual/all-things-bright-and-beautiful (YWCampSongs-ENG-78a)

The same song in the same collection type, but in a different language, should have the same URI. To specify a language, you can use the parameter "lang" at the end of the URI, with an ISO language code:

  • /manual/hymns/i-am-a-child-of-god (Hymns-ENG-301)
  • /manual/hymns/i-am-a-child-of-god?lang=eng (Hymns-ENG-301)
  • /manual/hymns/i-am-a-child-of-god?lang=deu (Hymns-DEU-202)
  • /manual/childrens-songbook/i-am-a-child-of-god (Childrens-ENG-2)
  • /manual/childrens-songbook/i-am-a-child-of-god?lang=eng (Childrens-ENG-2)
  • /manual/childrens-songbook/i-am-a-child-of-god?lang=deu (Childrens-DEU-2)

Music URIs

The Music URI is generally the same as the regular URI, except the category ("/manual") is removed from the beginning. The Music URI is used for accessing songs on the LDS music web site.

This page was last modified on 19 April 2019, at 11:40.

Note: Content found in this wiki may not always reflect official Church information.