A Tardy Pick Six: Oscar Winning Movie Songs

Friday, February 04, 2011
When the pick six didn’t get completed I was decided to throw one together quickly, sort of in homage to the passing of John Barry. He received Academy Award nominations for Born Free, the Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves. He is also famous for creating the sound of the Bond movies. While he isn’t on the pick six list…he deserves to be remembered for his wonderful movie scores.

6. Under the Sea (1989 Little Mermaid)
This might seem like a strange pick considering the plethora of Disney theme songs that were Oscar winners in the late 80’s and early 90’s (Beauty and the Beast, A Whole New World, Colors of the Wind, Can you Feel the Love Tonight) but let’s face it, I defy almost anyone to listen to Under the Sea and not want to get up and dance a little mamba to that calypso beat!

5. Take my Breath Away (1986 Top Gun)
Prior to 1986 Oscar’s musical favorites had been, how shall I say this nicely, my mom’s kind of music. I’m not saying they weren’t memorable….some of them downright classics….but nothing from my kind of current music had quite made an impact until this little ditty came along. Whatever you might think about the movie and Tom Cruise in general, this one has got to be in the top 6!

4. Lose Yourself (2002 Eight Mile)
Okay, there is a theme here, but who ever thought Oscar would go here? This was the year of the movie Chicago and U2 singing the theme from Gangs of New York, for heaven’s sake, and it goes to Eminem? Best unconfirmed story about this: he was sleeping when it was
announced.

3. The Way We Were (1973 The Way We Were) 
I still do not think there is a person who was alive in 1973 who can hear this song and not see Barbara Streisand brushing the hair away from Robert Redford’s forehead…something every breathing woman in America wished she could do just once. This song evokes every emotion about the movie, which makes it a classic.

2. Secret Love (1953 Calamity Jane) 
You might not have a clue what this song is, but your grandmother (or mother if you’re my age) certainly does. I had to choose something that harkens back to the glory days of the Hollywood Musical, and Doris Day singing the theme to this silly movie is a perfect example
of that.

1. TIE: Days of Wine and Roses (1962 Days of Wine and Roses) and Moon River (1961 Breakfast at Tiffany’s) 
While choosing a tie seems like cheating…I will say this: 1961 and 1962 were banner years for movie songs. Not only were these songs hugely popular, they perfect captured the mood of the movies they represented, with all the angst and less than perfect main characters. It was a time in Hollywood where everyone started talking about all the little secrets that had been taboo in the happy go lucky 40’s and 50’s, a time when Camelot started to appear as more of an illusion than a reality. These two themesongs bring all that to the surface with their haunting and beautiful melodies.

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