Best (and worst) Academy Award Winning Songs of all Time…

Posted by on August 24, 2011

“Best Song” is a category in which Oscar is quite often terribly wrong (I will still never forgive the Academy for ignoring Eddie Veddor’s brilliant set list from Into The Wild).  That being said, they sometimes get it really right.  Below is my list, in reverse order of the Top 10 “Best Song” winners through the years:

10) Can You Feel the Love Tonight (1994) – During the 90s, Disney won 5 Best Song Oscars.  While some of them nauseate me a bit, it’s hard to deny Elton John’s work in The Lion King.

9)   Theme From Shaft (1971) – Its actually hard to believe that the Academy was ever cool enough to realize the brilliance of Isaac Hayes.  ”You say that cat Shaft is a bad, mother-..Shut your mouth, I’m only talkin’ about Shaft…”   Classic.

8)   Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (1947) – OK, its definitely a dated, creepy song, but this one makes the list for sheer catchiness.  Who amongst us hasn’t walked down a sidewalk, singing or whistling this song at some point in their life?  (OK, maybe it’s just me).

7)  Evergreen (1976) – Sappy, but beautiful.  Still a wedding favorite.

6)  Lose Yourself (2002) – Like Shaft, its surprising that this one got through the stodgy academy.

5)  My Heart Will Go One (1997) – I don’t particularly love this song, but it is undeniably an epic song from an epic movie.  For good or for bad, it will stand the test of time, which I think is a key criteria for this sort of list.

4)  The Way We Were (1973) – Great songs take you back to the moment, the movie, the period – and this one immediately does that.

3)  Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (1969) – Just a great, great song.  Period.

2)  Moon River (1961) – Beautiful and timeless.  Henry Mancini has written a lot of crappy songs in his day, but this was not only his best (sorry, its way better than the theme from Pink Panther), but it is one of the all-time great songs.

1)  White Christmas (1942) – This is such a part of American life that it almost feels like it transcends “song-ness”, sort of like “Happy Birthday to Me” is more than a song.  White Christmas is the definitive Christmas song, and has been sung and listened to for almost 70 years.


So what was the worst “Best Song” of all time?  It’s a tie:

The Morning After (1972) – C’mon?  It’s a terrible, depressing, crappy song from a pretty bad (but fun) movie (The Poseidon Adventure).

Its Hard Out Here for a Pimp (2005) – What the hell?  Did the Academy think that this was going to be hip and memorable like Shaft or Lose Yourself?  The only memorable part of this award was that the winners (Three Six Mafia) were as surprised as the rest of the world when they won the Oscar.

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