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The "Original Song" Eligibility List. Hum Along

Look, I enjoyed the "Please Mr Kennedy" song scene in Inside Llewyn Davis as much as anyone -- I was laughing out loud -- but I am curious why people ALWAYS want novelty songs to be honored for gold? Is it because they don't take the Original Song category seriously? I'm still pissed that everyone was rooting for the 30 Rock gag song "Rural Juror" to beat Smash beauty "Hang the Moon" for the parallel Emmy category! "Please Mr Kennedy", which has been nominated for the "Critics Choice" and the Golden Globe is not Oscar eligible but here are the 75 songs that are.

As for other non Mr Kennedy songs that make great scenes from their movies? Just know that we're rooting for "So You Know What It's Like" from Short Term 12 and "Moon Song" from Her. If the former happens can we all agree to pretend it's as good as a supporting actor nomination for Keith Stanfield? Any other FYCs out there from this list? Which movies do you think use their songs well? 

5 will go on to Oscar nominations

     "Amen" from "All Is Lost"
     "Alone Yet Not Alone" from "Alone Yet Not Alone"
     "Doby" from "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues"
     "Last Mile Home" from "August: Osage County"
     "Austenland" from "Austenland"
     "Comic Books" from "Austenland"
     "L.O.V.E.D.A.R.C.Y" from "Austenland"
     "What Up" from "Austenland"


     "He Loves Me Still" from "Black Nativity"
     "Hush Child (Get You Through This Silent Night)" from "Black Nativity"
     "Test Of Faith" from "Black Nativity"

     "Forgiveness" from "Brave Miss World"
     "Lullaby Song" from "Cleaver's Destiny"
     "Shine Your Way" from "The Croods"


  "Happy" from "Despicable Me 2"
     "Gonna Be Alright" from "Epic"
     "Rise Up" from "Epic"
     "What Matters Most" from "Escape from Planet Earth"
     "Bones" from "For No Good Reason"
     "Going Nowhere" from "For No Good Reason"
     "Gonzo" from "For No Good Reason"
     "The Courage To Believe" from "Free China: The Courage to Believe"
     "Let It Go" from "Frozen"


     "100$ Bill" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "Over The Love" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "Together" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "Young and Beautiful" from "The Great Gatsby"
     "The Moon Song" from "Her"



     "I See Fire" from "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"
     "Bite Of Our Lives" from "How Sweet It Is"
     "Try" from     "How Sweet It Is"
     "Atlas" from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
     "Better You, Better Me" from "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete"
     "Bring It On" from "Jewtopia"
     "Aygiri Nadani" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "Har Har Mahadeva" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "I Felt" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "Of The Soil" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "Sawariya" from "Kamasutra 3D"
     "In The Middle Of The Night" from "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
     "You And I Ain't Nothin' No More" from "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
     "Let's Take A Trip" from "Live at the Foxes Den"
     "Pour Me Another Dream" from "Live at the Foxes Den"
     "The Time Of My Life" from "Live at the Foxes Den"
     "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
     "Monsters University" from "Monsters University"
     "When The Darkness Comes" from "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones"
     "Sacrifice (I Am Here)" from "Murph: The Protector"
     "The Muslims Are Coming" from "The Muslims Are Coming!"
     "Oblivion" from "Oblivion"


     "Sweeter Than Fiction" from "One Chance"
     "Nothing Can Stop Me Now" from "Planes"
     "We Both Know" from "Safe Haven"
     "Get Used To Me" from "The Sapphires"
     "Stay Alive" from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty"
     "So You Know What It's Like" from "Short Term 12"
     "There's No Black Or White" from "Somm"
     "Cut Me Some Slack" from "Sound City"
     "You Can't Fix This" from "Sound City"
     "Let It Go" from "Spark: A Burning Man Story"
     "We Ride" from "Spark: A Burning Man Story"


     "Becomes The Color" from "Stoker"
     "Younger Every Day" from "3 Geezers!"
     "Here It Comes" from "Trance"
     "Let The Bass Go" from "Turbo"
     "The Snail Is Fast" from "Turbo"
     "Speedin'" from "Turbo"
     "My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)" from "12 Years a Slave"
     "Make It Love" from "Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro"
     "One Life" from "The Ultimate Life"
     "Unfinished Songs" from "Unfinished Song"
     "For The Time Being" from "The Way, Way Back"
     "Go Where The Love Is" from "The Way, Way Back"
     "Bleed For Love" from "Winnie Mandela"   



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Reader Comments (27)

I loooooooove that Emily Wells song from Stoker.
And I loooooooove the Florence song from Gatsby.

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJA

I feel like BLACK NATIVITY being an original musical should matter more to people. Why does it feel like no one else cares about that movie? "He Loves Me Still" had me in tears. Listen to the catch in Angela Bassett's voice.

And then, of course, there's ALL IS LOST's "Amen", with that beautiful, telling refrain: "I'll never say goodbye/I'll never tell you lies/I'm never gonna die/Amen."

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWalter L. Hollmann

I was not expecting 12 Years a Slave to have a song eligible. And upon re-listen, not sure how it can work contextually with the whole ceremony.

Pharrell's "Happy" is so infectious. I hope it does get nominated.

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Wow, that song from Stoker is original? What a fantastic moment in the movie. I'd love to see it nominated! Doubt it'll happen though...

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

Thanks for reminding me about Rural Juror beating Hang the frigging Moon. Ugh. Not only was it beautifully sung but so great writing! The parallels with Ivy and Leigh with Marilyn and Gladys!

The full Bombshell soundtrack is legit my favorite music album of the whole of 2013.

Sorry, Beyonce.

Anyways, my top picks (from the movies i've actually seen)

Young and Beautiful - Lana Del Rey (The Great Gatsby)
Over The Love - Florence + The Machine (The Great Gatsby)
Atlas - Coldplay (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
You And I Ain't Nothing No More - Gladys Knight (The Butler)
and 5th place is still up for grabs.

Let It Go is supposed to be a really awesome one but i still haven't seen Frozen.

Honestly? I'm totally on board with Young and Beautiful but i don't think the world is ready for Lana Del Rey to have an Oscar. Florence's contribution to the soundtrack is way more relevant to the movie and is suitably dramatic but it barely even featured.

(though the movie relied on Young and Beautiful just a *little* too much.)

I like You and I Ain't Nothing No More too but i couldn't tell you where that song is in the movie to save my life. I only happened to hear about it beause i stumbled across the soundtrack on Spotify.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

I was just complaining about "Please Mr. Kennedy" earlier tonight. I love Inside Llewyn Davis and appreciate that people want to give it awards, but the whole point of that song is that it's supposed to be terrible. Which it is, if you ask me. I have to wonder if it'd be as much of a talking point if there were another original song in the film that people could get behind.

To me, even though it's not actually Oscar eligible, the support behind it in this category is really indicative of the whole problem with this category of late. With a dearth of contenders, we end up with super-specialized nominees that really only work within the context of their films. The Skyfalls and Falling Slowlys of the category are rare and usually win by default for being the only nominated song that stands alone; more often than not since 2000, we end up with a winner that only those who've seen the film can appreciate. Really, as nice as they may be within their film, do songs like "Into the West," "I Need to Wake Up," or "Man or Muppet" really deserve to be heralded as musical triumphs? Compared to the iconic tunes of the 80s and 90s that won this award, they just seem so trivial.

It may be sacrilege to say on this blog, but it's for this same reason that I've got very lukewarm feelings toward "So You Know What It's Like." I just can't imagine the average music listener giving two hoots about it.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

What, only one song's eligible from Frozen?? The whole playlist itself is gold!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

"Stay Alive" from "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is gorgeous. I hope it is nominated.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Walter FTW. The music in Black Nativity is incredible.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

My two favorites are the Stoker song and Over the Love from Gatsby.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Jeff -- this was actually Disney's decision. They only submitted Let it Go. To be declared eligible you have to be both originally written for the film AND submitted by the studio for consideration.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

derreck - I think it was a song from the tony awards ceremony that beat "hang the moon" at the emmys. but it's still a "joke" song (a very silly one), and last year "it's not just for the gays anymore" also beat "let me be your star". I'm sort of tired of this 'trend' too, like nathaniel.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Young and Beautiful better be nominated!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I'm rooting for Short Term 12. How could you not? A song that's actually integral to the plot of a film having a chance at a nomination? A character defining moment that sets the tone for the rest of the film with music? And a minimalist rap song with emotional heft from a non-established superstar? Academy, you know what to do.

I'm shocked that only one song from Frozen is on the list. What happened? Is Disney playing conservative to guarantee a nomination? I don't get it. You have a two-time Tony Award-winning composer making his feature film musical debut and you choose the Wicked knock-off as the only song to support? I don't get it.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

My bets:

Let it Go, Frozen
Happy, Despicable Me 2 (It is what it says and it's better than the stuff he composed for the first one.)
Becomes the Color, Stoker (Supremely moody song that I bet we'll see a LOT of in future films.)
The Moon Song, Her (the musicianship is a bit standard, but the lyrics are very good and Karen O's voice does exactly what it needs to.)
Over The Love or Young and Beautiful, The Great Gatsby

No way:

My Lord Sunshine (bog standard riff on the concept of a "blues standard." Probably serves it's scene in the movie very well, but please not here.)
I See Fire (sigh. Really, Pete? You have the power (and let's not kid ourselves here, Peter Jackson DOES have that power) to choose any artist imaginable for a song that illustrates the power and danger of Smaug, and you go for the gentle guitar ballading of Ed Sheeran? There's a place for guys like Sheeran, but I'm pretty sure this is NOT one of them. No, if you want to sell an audience, with a song, on the power and danger of Smaug, you go with heavy metal (like, say, Mastodon) or you go home and abandon the idea of a song. The Academy would probably never DARE nominate a heavy metal song, but that's the only way I could imagine the concept working both IN and OUT of context.)
Black Nativity (If Loves Me Still is the actual height of their musical and lyrical creativity, I'd not be saddened by seeing it empty handed. Angela Bassett's voice is BEAUTIFUL and sells the song, but, sadly, a beautiful voice alone doesn't distract from the other two song aspects being lackluster.)
A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) (Oh, bleep. Crank up the head-ache inducing party song. Seriously, this is only a step or two away from "Like a G6.")

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

But isn't the category about songs written especially for a film that contribute to the story? Which would make the Kennedy song perfect. As well as many others. Just because they don't become mainstream hits (Grammy's anyone?) shouldn't make them any less honorable.

I mean, we don't discredit period costumes that win because on one would wear them on the street today.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Well, Disney is just an idiot for not pushing all out for its songs..

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Original Song is weird in that there are two ways the song can be used. It can either be included in the film or the first film in the closing credits. It has to be written for the film, however.

Dear Mr. Kennedy was not originally written for Inside Llewyn Davis. That's why it's inelligible. It fits that film perfectly (like Your Song (?) in Moulin Rouge), but it wasn't written for that film.

Shoot, there was pushback to disqualify Falling Slowly from Once--a song written for the film--because it was previously released on an album by Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard (that only existed because they collaborated on the score to Once).

Took me a second to remember the song from Stoker. I have my hopes set too high again. A quirky electronic track with ambient elements lifted from the film's sound design getting an Oscar nomination? I can dream.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I'm glad "Please Mr Kennedy" isn't eligible because you know they'd lazily give the award to it. Now they're forced to either give it it to a girly song ("Let It Go", "Young and Beautiful" maybe?) or left of centre (Short Term 12).

There's actually quite a few excellent songs on here. "Let It Go", the tracks from GATSBY, "He Loves Me Still" from BLACK NATIVITY which is an incredibly tune and I'd be rooting for it to be nominated, the SHORT TERM 12 track, THE BUTLER tracks, "Oblivion", STOKER, TRANCE... and I love that Harvey Weinstein secretly recorded a new track for the American release of THE SAPPHIRES that's written by Diane Warren. I mean, I certainly don't remember "Get Used To Me". I think the Australian end credits tune was "Gotcha" (also original as far as I'm aware), but it got replaced by Harvey. Sneaky. Great song though, actually.

My favourite end credits song this year, however, is "Garden's Heart" from HOW I LIVE NOW and it's not eligible. Hmmm.

Secretly hoping for a "A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)" nomination because that'd be a fun performance on the show and the song is catchy as hell.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

"Stay Alive" by Jose Gonzalez (written by Ryan Adams) is easily the best song of the year.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike V

This poor Oscar category has been abused more than a whore on Fleet Weekend.

Remember when Diana Ross lobbied to change the eligibility rules so that "Do You Know Where You're Going To?" could be nominated, when it had already been recorded by Thelma Houston two years earlier? It lost to "I'm Easy" from Nashville.

All the glaring omissions, all the terrible winners. I so wish something could rescue this category and give it some dignity, because when it's done correctly, it can be so fun and truly entertaining.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I'm still very confused as to how Young and Beautiful missed at the Golden Globes, but it better redeem itself with an Oscar nomination!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

I just don't understand -"Sweeter Than Fiction" (from "One Chance") was nominated for a GG last week and is eligible for an Oscar nomination, but according to the IMDB the film will open next year! Is it eligible just because it was screened in a few festivals?

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn D.

Glenn: I point you to Happy, if you want fun and catchy. A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got), is lyrically disingenuous (parties do kill people, guys, especially for the hardest partiers) and, though I like the more atmospheric opening thirty seconds, it sets itself to "pop a Tylenol now" mode after that, in terms of instrumentation. Pharell Williams song, meanwhile, seems genuine (just as simplistic as your suggestion, but not wrong-headed in it's simple mindset) and doesn't have to cause clattering headache inducing sounds to get his infectious energy across. Which is why I said that I'm betting that A Little Party is a NO WAY. As for Bassett's beautiful redemption of Black Nativity's lyrical and musical blandness: That's more an achievement of ACTING than it is an achievement of MUSICIANSHIP. (Yes, singing is an aspect of musicianship, but they nominate the songwriter(s), not the person who's singing it onscreen, right? And neither of the songwriting/production aspects, sadly, pass muster in my book.)

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I'm rooting for "In the middle of the night"...well written, brilliantly performed, came at an emotional point of its film...its a great song that I hope doesn't go unnoticed.

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkbjr

John D -- qualifying release. the movie is on the oscar eligibility list for all categories this is why qualifying releases are stupid. It's such a bad system when a film doesn't really belong to any particular year and yet awards are based on years. I personally don't think films shoule be eligible unless they open within the calendar year for open-ended runs... but of course there's no way to police whether a run is meant to be open-ended.

kbjr -- can you remind me how it plays / when it plays in the film? i guess i need to see that film again. dont remember the music that well

December 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Now that we really have all the contenders laid out here, I think the potential for this being a great set of nominees just went up, oddly. There's some great tunes here that service their films perfectly and if they really tried, I think we could end up with both songs that are great additions to their movies and songs that could potentially be amazing to see performed live on the telecast. I'm talking about the Gatsby songs, the Karen O tune from Her, Coldplay, Pharrell, Frozen with Idina, the Short Term 12 rap (even tho I wasn't crazy about it), something from the musically-inclined-and-therefore-welcomed Sound City and Black Nativity and that moody piece from Stoker. So about a dozen contenders that could make this category seem worthwhile this year.

I'm too lazy to look it up and see which one but as I recall, one of those Austenland songs is hysterical and had everyone rolling in the theatres when it was playing.

And look, no one is saying Lana Del Rey has to win this Oscar but it would be cool for them to spotlight a song that is a) so liberally used in a big commercial movie that was a hit b) written specifically for it c) perfectly captures an angle of the story from within d) is performed by a polarizing figure in pop culture and e) is part of a film that hit all the targets when it came to its music choices. It's not my favorite song of the year (the lyrics are a tad simplistic) but her vocals are great, the mood is perfect and the marriage of song and film gets bonus points so I see no reason why not.

December 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

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