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The Top 25 Best Original Song Winners So Far (Updated for 2023)

On to the newest list of the lot! Continuing a tradition I’ve been keen on for years, I’m ranking the new crop of Academy Award winners. For nearly all of the Oscar categories, you’ll see me list the top 25 recipients of that prize. Sometimes, our newest winner will appear. Other times, they’ll be relegated to the Honorable Mention category. Who knows, maybe one or two won’t even make the cut? It’s a list series that I’ll do each and every single year, in the weeks after the ceremony concludes. So, while this is a fun way to think about the Oscars in the aftermath of the latest telecast, it’s also a beginning for another column here on the site. Of course, definitely show us your own lists as well, in the comments section below. We’re definitely keen to know what you think!

Today, Best Original Song is the category that’s in the barrel. For my money, the winners here are some of the best, pound for pound, of any category. Now, the nominees themselves these days don’t stack up to where we once were at, but still…the victors are beyond reproach. Just look at one of our most recent winners in No Time to Die‘s song of the same name by Billie Eilish. It’s certainly good, but as it as good as the best Bond titles? No. And where does it even rank on this updated list?. You’ll see where it fell below this time in a moment. This is the category, after all, where people Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen can take home Oscars, so you do get some classics. My selections for the best of the Academy Award bunch below, in my humble opinion, are out and out classics. Where does Naatu Naatu from RRR stack up? Find out now…

Here now are what I consider to be the 25 best winners of the Best Original Song Oscar, to date:

Lady Gaga

25. Naatu Naatu (RRR)
24. I’m Gonna Love Me Again (Rocketman)
23. You’ll Be in My Heart (Tarzan)
22. City of Stars (La La Land)
21. Colors of the Wind (Pocahontas)
20. Take My Breath Away (Top Gun)
19. Up Where We Belong (An Officer and a Gentleman)
18. Remember Me (Coco)
17. The Way We Were (The Way We Were)
16. (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (Dirty Dancing)
15. Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
14. When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio)
13. My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)
12. Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid)
11. Skyfall (Skyfall)
10. Theme from Shaft (Shaft)
9. Let it Go (Frozen)
8. The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart)
7. A Whole New World (Aladdin)
6. Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz)
5. Can You Feel the Love Tonight (The Lion King)
4. Streets of Philadelphia (Philadelphia)
3. Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)
2. Falling Slowly (Once)
1. Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Honorable Mention: Glory (Selma), Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire), Man or Muppet (The Muppets), Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s), No Time to Die (No Time to Die), and Talk to the Animals (Dr. Doolittle)

Bruce Springsteen

Stay tuned for another list later on this week or early next week!


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Robert Hamer
1 month ago

Though I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to be worthy of a win in all cases, I do think what separates the truly greatest Best Original Song winners from the very good ones, merely decent ones, or not-so-good ones (lookin’ at you, Sam Smith) is how that song is utilized within the context of the movie they won for. Did this song just show up in the closing credits? Was it barely played in the background for a few seconds? Or did you hear it performed within the film a way that meaningfully contributed to its story, mood, and character dynamics?

For that reason, my “gold standard” winners in the category are

  • “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz
  • “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio
  • “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • “Theme from Shaft” from SHUT YO MOUTH! … well, I’m talkin’ bout Shaft!
  • “I’m Easy” from Nashville (this might actually be my #1 pick, if I had to rank them)
  • “Sooner or Later” from Dick Tracy
  • “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast
  • “Falling Slowly” from Once
  • “Shallow” from A Star Is Born
  • “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Now, if I were to judge them entirely separately from the context of their films, “Streets of Philadelphia,” “Lose Yourself,” and “The Way We Were” admittedly smoke most of those songs.

26 days ago

My list this time is on a whim I am going with what affects me now and that’s how music is it can change .
1.Shallow (A Star is Born)
2.Colors of the Wind (Pocahantas)
3.Beauty and the Beast(Beauty and the Beast
4.A Whole New World (Aladdin)
5.Glory (Selma )
6.Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz)
7.I’m Easy (Nashville )
8.Can You Feel The Love Tonight (The Lion King)
9.Fame (Fame)
10.Skyfall (Skyfall)
11.Flashdance What a Feeling (Flashdance)
12.Under The Sea(the Little Mermaid)
13.When You Wish Upon a Star(Pinocchio)
14.The Way We Were (The Way We Were)
15.It Goes Like it Goes (Normana Rae)
16.Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head (Butcch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)
17.Chim Chim Cher ee Mary Poppins
18.Let It Go (Frozen)
19.The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart)
20.I’m Gonna (Love Me Again )
21.You’ll Be In My Heart (Tarazan )
22.Remember Me(Coco)
23.I Just Called To Say I Love You (The Woman In Red)
24.Streets of Philadelphia (Philadephia )
25.NaatuNaatu (RRR)

Moon River (Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Fight For You (Judas and the Black Messiah)
I Need To Wake Up(An Inconvient Truth )
We Belong Together (Toy Story 3)
Que Sera Sera (The Man Who Knew Too Much)
If I Didn’t Have You (Monster’s In)
No Time To Die (No Time To Die)



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