Feb 10 2009

Oscar Focus: Best Original Song

Published by at 3:33 pm under Blog,Movies,Music,Music Review

Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Film – all major categories at the Annual Academy Awards Ceremony, but I always look forward to hearing who wins the Best Original Song. Last year, seeing Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová win for Falling Slowly was probably one of my favourite Oscar moments of all time. I was so proud and I had no idea why.


Glen Hansard and Marketa IrglovaBut that’s the joy of the Oscars – we become invested. People watch the red carpet’s catwalk, gawp at the clothes they could never possibly afford, laugh at the fashion faux pas, ogle Scarlett Johannson, await the arrival of TomKat and Branjelina, and then cheer on their favourite film, actor, star. The glitz and OTT Hollywood glamour are pivotal to the show’s success. And it is a show – it’s a long time since it’s been seen as a simple awards night. The comic host, the special guests, the gushing speeches and, of course, the music acts all combine to make it one of the most spectacular nights of the year.




It was the 7th Academy Awards before they introduced the Best Original Song category. In 1934, three songs were nominated: The Continental from The Gay Divorcee (innocent times) beat off competition from Carioca (Flying Down to Rio) and Love in Bloom (She Loves Me Not). The original requirement was that the nominated song appears in a motion picture during the previous year, regardless of when the song was written or whether it was written specifically for the film. The rule was changed after the 1941 Academy Awards to ensure that the song nominated must have been written for the film and not been recorded elsewhere prior to appearing in the film. It was this rule that brought into question the eligibility of Falling Slowly in last year’s Awards. Satisfied that the song was a pivotal element in the movie Once and that previous recordings of the song were not significant enough to break the rule, the judges allowed it through.


— Falling Slowly —




The 1930’s saw some now classic songs take the gong. Lullaby of Broadway (Gold Diggers of 1935), Over the Rainbow (Wizard of Oz) and When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio) are still heard today and in 1938 Thanks for the Memories (The Big Broadcast) beat Jeepers Creepers (Going Places) for the Oscar.


— When You Wish Upon a Star —




The 1940’s stand out simply because of the sheer number of songs nominated each year. The first half of the 40’s saw an average of 10 songs a year up for the Award. Some significant losers include Baby Mine (Dumbo), Chattanooga Choo Choo (Sun Valley Serenade), That Old Black Magic (Star Spangled Rhythm) and Bibbidy-Bobbidi-Boo (Cinderella) while White Christmas (Holiday Inn), Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Song of the South), Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Neptune’s Daughter) and the fantastic and heavily covered Swinging On A Star (Going My Way) picked up the Oscars.


— Swinging on a Star —




The 1950’s were keeping a firm hold on old Hollywood. Show tunes, classic themes and love ballads were still all the rage. The Ballad of High Noon (High Noon), Secret Love (Calamity Jane) and Three Coins in a Fountain (Three Coins in a Fountain) were the best in the early 50’s while the latter half of the decade honoured Gigi (Gigi), the brilliant Que Sera Sera from The Man Who Knew Too Much and High Hopes from A Hole in the Head, made famous by Sinatra. High Hopes would be a strong contender for my favourite of all Oscar winning songs. 1955 saw a nomination but not a win for Unchained Melody from the film Unchained. Needless to say, this went on to be one of the most covered songs of the 20th century (all hail Robson and Jerome). 🙂 Incidentally, it lost out to the very twee Love is a Many Splendored Thing from the film of the same name.

— High Hopes —


— On to Page 2 of 3

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9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Oscar Focus: Best Original Song”

  1. Darraghon 10 Feb 2009 at 3:50 pm

    *officially impressed*

  2. Will Knotton 10 Feb 2009 at 4:51 pm

    So the oscar night party is at your gaff then?

    Or is it a case of you playing an oscar night DJ turn?

  3. Ianon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:03 pm

    For me Wall-E ’s Down to Earth should claim the Oscar.

    I’ve not seen Slumdog Millionaire yet, but on listening to the two songs nominated, there both ‘crap’ to put it bluntly.

    All three are a bit of a let down compared to last years winner obviously.

    Fantastic post Darren btw 😉 fair play to ya ! 🙂 Must have taken a bit of time and research.

  4. Darrenon 10 Feb 2009 at 5:17 pm

    @Darragh Well, thank you very much.

    @Will I’ve just asked for the Monday after the Oscars off from work. It’s straight after the blog awards, so I’m not sure who would be up for another party, I will definitely be watching the show. I’ll give it some thought over the next day or so.

    @Ian I spent ages reading up on it. It’s just so interesting. I know it’s a long post but I enjoyed writing it so much. I’m hoping to do another Oscar Focus on Best Actress next. (If I can find the time) 🙂

  5. Dermoton 10 Feb 2009 at 7:40 pm

    thanks for the history lesson .. i guess? 😛

    but good first half of the post 😀

  6. raptureponieson 10 Feb 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Hudson Hawk!!!!!!!

  7. B'dum B'dum B'dum B'd-on 11 Feb 2009 at 1:50 pm

    How d’you get time for such long posts?

    You can’t do a post this size about best original song and not mention Elliott Smith!

    I tend to quite like the best score a lot more, even though the rightful winner usually doesn’t get it(morricone hasn’t won once!).

    Was delighted when Eminem won with his last great song, odds were meant to be so low that he didn’t bother turning up.

    Finally watched Once, hugely disappointing but I adored Bachelor’s Walk so I probably had silly expectations.
    Falling Slowly shouldn’t have been allowed in either. Jonny Greenwood got disqualified cos they thought his Morricone-esque one may’ve been made for Radiohead’s new album… meanwhile falling slowly WAS a f*cking bonus track on the Frames one(not sure what edition)

  8. Darrenon 11 Feb 2009 at 1:51 pm

    @Dermot Is that because you only made it half way before giving up with boredom? 🙂

    @RP Thought you might like that alright.

  9. Lottieon 11 Feb 2009 at 8:03 pm

    How can there only be three this year?

    I just can’t get over some of the songs that were written for the movie. I mean why Up Where We Belong? What has that got to do with the movie?

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