Songs And Scores Of Oscars Past The curtain rises on the 83rd Academy Awards this coming Sunday. Texas Public Radio asked its listeners to name their favorite Oscar-nominated music for a special six-hour mix, and the results range from The Swell Season and The Beatles to composers John Williams and John Barry.
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Songs And Scores Of Oscars Past

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Winners for Best Original Song Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova accept the trophy for "Falling Slowly" from Once. Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Winners for Best Original Song Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova accept the trophy for "Falling Slowly" from Once.

Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Just about everyone loves the movies, and a big part of the medium's greatness lies in the music. Film scores and songs help underscore the emotion onscreen, or they can provide an ironic counterpoint to the images. Whether it's the soaring theme which accompanies E.T.'s moonlit journey, the somber melody of Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia" or the joyous celebration of "Jai Ho" in Slumdog Millionaire, music goes a long way toward making a movie memorable.

Although The Jazz Singer ushered in the world of talking pictures, music was not recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences until 1934. That's more than 75 years' worth of music honored by the Academy — a lot to choose from, for sure.

To arrive at our final playlist, Texas Public Radio asked — on air and via Facebook and Twitter — for listeners to tell us their favorite movie music and let us know why they love it. From the outset, it became clear that the Oscar winners each year were not always the most beloved songs and scores. Where would we be without Ennio Morricone's beautiful melody for The Mission, John Williams' rousing "Raiders March" or Kermit the Frog singing "The Rainbow Connection"?

So, after receiving scores (no pun intended) of nominations, we whittled this stream down to a list that includes both Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated music. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did putting it together.

The Tracklist


  • A.R. Rahman, "Jai Ho" (Slumdog Millionaire, 2008) - Best Original Song
  • Aaron Copland, "Departure, Finale" (The Heiress, 1949) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Adolph Deutsch, Saul Chaplin, "Barn Dance" (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, 1954) - Best Musical Picture Score
  • Alfred Newman, "Main Title/God Has Been Good/Finale" (Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, 1955) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Alfred Newman, "The Vision" (The Song of Bernadette, 1943) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Angela Lansbury, "Beauty and the Beast" (Beauty and the Beast, 1991) - Best Original Song
  • B.J. Thomas/Burt Bacharach, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969) - Best Original Song
  • Barbra Streisand, "The Way We Were" (The Way We Were, 1973) - Best Original Song
  • Berlin, "Take My Breath Away" (Top Gun, 1986) - Best Original Song
  • Bernard Herrmann, "Mr. Scratch" (The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1941) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Billy Crystal/John Goodman/Randy Newman, "If I Didn't Have You" (Monsters, Inc., 2001) - Best Original Song
  • Bing Crosby, "Swinging on a Star" (Going My Way, 1944) - Best Original Song
  • Bob Dylan, "Things Have Changed" (Wonder Boys, 2000) - Best Original Song
  • Bob Hope & Shirley Ross, "Thanks for the Memory" (The Big Broadcast of 1938, 1938) - Best Original Song
  • Bruce Springsteen, "Streets of Philadelphia" (Philadelphia, 1993) - Best Original Song
  • Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On" (Titanic, 1997) - Best Original Song
  • Christopher Cross, "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (Arthur, 1981) - Best Original Song
  • Cliff Edwards, "When You Wish Upon a Star" (Pinocchio, 1940) - Best Original Song
  • Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews, "Chim Chim Cher-ee" (Mary Poppins, 1964) - Best Original Song
  • Dmitri Tiomkin, "Theme" (High Noon, 1952) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Donna Summer, "Last Dance" (Thank God It's Friday, 1978) - Best Original Song
  • Doris Day, "Secret Love" (Calamity Jane, 1953) - Best Original Song
  • Doris Day, "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" (The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956) - Best Original Song
  • Elliot Goldenthal, "The Floating Bed" (Frida, 2002) - Best Original Score
  • Eminem, "Lose Yourself" (8 Mile, 2002) - Best Original Song
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold, "Main Theme" (Anthony Adverse, 1936) - Best Score
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold, "March of the Merry Men" (The Adventures of Robin Hood, 1938) - Best Original Score
  • Ernest Gold, "Theme" (Exodus, 1960) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Francis Lai, "Main Theme" (Love Story, 1970) - Best Original Score
  • Frank Sinatra, "All The Way" (The Joker Is Wild, 1957) - Best Original Song
  • Franz Waxman, "Main Theme" (Sunset Boulevard, 1950) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Franz Waxman, "Theme" (A Place in the Sun, 1951) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Fred Astaire, "The Way You Look Tonight" (Swing Time, 1936) - Best Original Song
  • Ginger Rogers, "The Continental" (The Gay Divorcee, 1934) - Best Original Song
  • Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, "Falling Slowly" (Once, 2007) - Best Original Song
  • Gustavo Santaolalla, "The Wings" (Brokeback Mountain, 2005) - Best Original Score
  • Henry Mancini Orchestra & Chorus, "Moon River" (Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961) - Best Original Song
  • Herbert Stothart, "Cyclone" (The Wizard of Oz, 1939) - Best Original Score
  • Howard Shore, "The Ride of the Rohirrim" (The Return of the King, 2003) - Best Original Score
  • Hugo Friedhofer, "Theme" (The Best Years of Our Lives, 1946) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Irene Cara, "Flashdance... What a Feeling" (Flashdance, 1983) - Best Original Song
  • Isaac Hayes, "Theme From Shaft" (Shaft, 1971) - Best Original Song
  • James Baskett, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" (Song of the South, 1946) - Best Original Song
  • James Horner, "Leaving Port" (Titanic, 1997) - Best Dramatic Score
  • Jerry Goldsmith, "The Demise of Mrs. Baylock" (The Omen, 1976) - Best Original Score
  • Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes, "Up Where We Belong" (An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982) - Best Original Song
  • John Barry, "Born Free" (Born Free, 1966) - Best Original Score/Song
  • John Barry, "I Had a Compass From Denys" (Out of Africa, 1985) - Best Original Score
  • John Barry, "The John Dunbar Theme" (Dances With Wolves, 1990) - Best Original Score
  • John Barry, "To Rome" (The Lion in Winter, 1968) - Best Original Score
  • John Corigliano, "Anna's Theme" (The Red Violin, 1999) - Best Original Score
  • John Williams, "Flying Theme" (E.T., 1982) - Best Original Score
  • John Williams, "Main Theme" (Schindler's List, 1993) - Best Original Score
  • John Williams, "Main Title/First Victim" (Jaws, 1975) - Best Original Score
  • John Williams, "Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner" (Star Wars, 1977) - Best Original Score
  • Johnny Mandel Chorus, "The Shadow of Your Smile" (The Sandpiper, 1965) - Best Original Song
  • Judy Garland, "Over the Rainbow" (The Wizard of Oz, 1939) - Best Original Song
  • Keith Carradine, "I'm Easy" (Nashville, 1975) - Best Original Song
  • Leonard Rosenman/G. Paisiello, "Il Barbiere Di Siviglia" (Barry Lyndon, 1975) - Best Song Score or Adaptation
  • Louanne Hogan, "It Might As Well Be Spring" (State Fair, 1945) - Best Original Song
  • Louis Jourdan, "Gigi" (Gigi, 1958) - Best Original Song
  • Luis Bacalov, "Bicycle" (Il Postino, 1995) - Best Dramatic Score
  • Maurice Jarre, "It's a Gift (End Title)" (Doctor Zhivago, 1965) - Best Original Score
  • Maurice Jarre, "Theme" (Lawrence of Arabia, 1962) - Best Original Score
  • Max Steiner, "Now, Voyager (suite)" (Now, Voyager, 1942) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Melina Mercouri, "Never on a Sunday" (Never on a Sunday, 1960) - Best Original Song
  • Michael Giacchino, "Carl Goes Up" (Up, 2009) - Best Original Score
  • Miklós Rózsa, "Dream Sequence" (Spellbound, 1945) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Miklós Rózsa, "Parade of the Charioteers" (Ben Hur, 1959) - Best Original Score
  • Nicola Piovani, "Guido E Ferruccio" (Life Is Beautiful, 1998) - Best Dramatic Score
  • Nino Rota, "The Immigrant" (The Godfather, Part II, 1974) - Best Original Score
  • Prince & The Revolution, "The Beautiful Ones" (Purple Rain, 1984) - Best Original Song Score
  • Ricardo Montalban and Esther Williams, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (Neptune's Daughter, 1949) - Best Original Song
  • Ryan Bingham, "The Weary Kind" (Crazy Heart, 2009) - Best Original Song
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto/David Byrne, "Theme" (The Last Emperor, 1987) - Best Original Score
  • Samuel E. Wright, "Under the Sea" (The Little Mermaid, 1989) - Best Original Song
  • Stevie Wonder, "I Just Called to Say I Love You" (The Woman in Red, 1984) - Best Original Song
  • Tan Dun, "Night Fight" (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000) - Best Original Score
  • The Beatles, "Let It Be" (Let It Be, 1970) - Best Original Song Score
  • Three 6 Mafia, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (Hustle & Flow, 2005) - Best Original Song
  • Vangelis, "Main Theme" (Chariots of Fire, 1981) - Best Original Score
  • Victor Young, "Passepartout" (Around the World in Eighty Days, 1956) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score


  • Aimee Mann, "Save Me" (Magnolia, 1999) - Best Original Song
  • Alex North, "Main Title" (Spartacus, 1960) - Best Original Score
  • Alex North, "Theme" (Viva Zapata!, 1952) - Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
  • Alexandre Desplat, "Mr. Fox In The Fields" (Fantastic Mr. Fox, 2009) - Best Original Score
  • Alfred Newman, "Main Title" (How the West Was Won, 1963) - Best Original Score
  • Andre Previn/Saul Chaplin, "Bianca's Wedding" (Kiss Me Kate, 1953) - Best Musical Picture Score
  • Carly Simon, "Nobody Does It Better" (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977) - Best Original Song
  • Dusty Springfield/Burt Bacharach, "The Look of Love" (Casino Royale, 1967) - Best Original Song
  • Elmer Bernstein, "End Title" (To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962) - Best Original Score
  • Elmer Bernstein, "Madame Olenska" (The Age of Innocence, 1993) - Best Original Score
  • Ennio Morricone, "Gabriel's Oboe" (The Mission, 1986) - Best Original Score
  • Gabriel Yared, "Italia" (The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999) - Best Original Score
  • Hans Zimmer, "Radical Notion" (Inception, 2010) - Best Original Score
  • Jerry Goldsmith, "Love Theme" (Chinatown, 1974) - Best Original Score
  • John Powell, "Romantic Flight" (How To Train Your Dragon, 2010) - Best Original Score
  • John Williams, "Raiders March" (Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981) - Best Original Score
  • Kermit the Frog, "The Rainbow Connection" (The Muppet Movie, 1979) - Best Original Song
  • Louis Armstrong, "A Kiss to Build a Dream On" (The Strip, 1951) - Best Original Song
  • Max Steiner, "Main Title" (Gone With the Wind, 1939) - Best Original Score
  • Randy Newman, "You've Got a Friend in Me" (Toy Story, 1995) - Best Original Song
  • Frankie Laine, "Blazing Saddles" (Blazing Saddles, 1974) - Best Original Song
  • Survivor, "Eye of the Tiger" (Rocky III, 1983) - Best Original Song
  • The Andrews Sisters, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" (Buck Privates, 1941) - Best Original Song
  • Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross, "Soft Trees Break the Fall" (The Social Network, 2010) - Best Original Score