If you want to learn some songs a nice place you might want to start is みんなの歌 （みんなのうた）.
I stopped studying French at age 13, but still resonating around my brain are such lyrics as “Bonjour monsieur bonjour madame, bonjour mademoiselle, je me presente, je m’appelle Fabian Petit, Je suis Fabian Petit…”, and, “tu as un animal? ” The reason for me saying this is, of course, that I think lyrics have a wonderful way of sticking to your brain, whether you want them to or not (cut to me singing the “tu as un animal” song to myself).
Moving on, みんなの歌 simply means “songs for everyone” and that’s what they are. They are aired on NHK everyday around 4.30ish and, more importantly, any time you like on YouTube. If you do happen to catch them on TV everyday you’ll be pleased to see that they keep the same songs for a week or two so you can get lots of practice in before you display your skills at karaoke (yes, they have most of the songs at karaoke).
I personally love these songs simply for what they are (aside from the Japanese practice), my favourite is 「僕は熊」 “I Am A Bear” (scroll down linked page to view). From which you can learn a useful phrase like:
my main rival is fried shrimp
Another favourite is「じーじーの絵手紙」(「じーじーのえてがみ」), “Grandfather’s Picture Letters“).
From this you can learn a phrase like:
“playing on on the boat I got a wee bit aroused“, or a less
risqué translation might be “playing on the boat, its all a bit exciting“.
Truth be told, this next song gives me a bit of a headache, but it’s got a good message so I shall throw caution to the wind. It’s in support of the もったいない campaign, もったいない in this case means “wasteful”, but beware its multitude of meanings.
It’s called もったいない.
「お水の流しっぱなしは Ah~ もったいない」
「おみずのながしっぱなしは Ah~ もったいない」
“leaving the water running is Ah~ wasteful”
And that makes sense in any language.
There are plenty of みんあの歌 songs around and new ones coming out on NHK all the time and all the videos have subtitles too so you can learn the words fairly trouble free. Enjoy!