The Oscars Best Original Song Eligible Nominees: Our Top Ten (Out of 91)


Ninety-one songs were announced as possible Oscar winners for Best Original Song. We broke down which ten we think are best.

We didn’t choose these based on what movies they were from. In all honestly, if I had to guess, I’ve probably only seen a handful of the movies in which these songs appear. But because I love music, and movie soundtracks can be especially compelling, I decided to listen to all 91 tracks and choose my top ten.

If you’d like to listen to most of the songs that are in contention, check out the YouTube playlist I created:

Here is the entire list of potential nominees:

  • “Just Like Fire” from Alice through the Looking Glass
  • “Rise” from American Wrestler: The Wizard
  • “Friends” from The Angry Birds Movie
  • “Flicker” from Audrie & Daisy
  • “Seconds” from Autumn Lights
  • “A Minute To Breathe” from Before the Flood
  • “Glory (Let There Be Peace)” from Believe
  • “Mother’s Theme” from Believe
  • “Somewhere” from Believe
  • “The Only Way Out” from Ben-Hur
  • “Still Falling For You” from Bridget Jones’s Baby
  • “F That” from The Bronze
  • “Torch Pt. 2” from Citizen Soldier
  • “Drift And Fall Again” from Criminal
  • “Take Me Down” from Deepwater Horizon
  • “Land Of All” from Desierto
  • “Sad But True (Dreamland Theme)” from Dreamland
  • “Angel By The Wings” from The Eagle Huntress
  • “Blind Pig” from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • “One Frame At A Time” from Floyd Norman: An Animated Life
  • “I’m Crying” from Free State of Jones
  • “Gold” from Gold
  • “Champion” from Hands of Stone
  • “Dance Rascal, Dance” from Hello, My Name Is Doris
  • “I See A Victory” from Hidden Figures
  • “Runnin” from Hidden Figures
  • “Sixty Charisma Scented Blackbirds” from How to Let Go of the World and Love All the
  • Things Climate Can’t Change
  • “My Superstar” from Ice Age: Collision Course
  • “Seeing You Around” from Ithaca
  • “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story
  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land
  • “City Of Stars” from La La Land
  • “Start A Fire” from La La Land
  • “Cateura Vamos A Soñar (We Will Dream)” from Landfill Harmonic
  • “Better Love” from The Legend of Tarzan
  • “Never Give Up” from Lion
  • “Equation” from The Little Prince”
  • “Turnaround” from The Little Prince
  • “Moonshine” from Live By Night
  • “Loving” from Loving
  • “Hurry Home” from Max Rose
  • “Gone 2015” from Miles Ahead
  • “Wish That You Were Here” from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • “I’m Still Here” from Miss Sharon Jones!
  • “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
  • “We Know The Way” from Moana
  • “Even More Mine” from My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
  • “Waving Goodbye” from The Neon Demon
  • “I’m Back” from Never Surrender
  • “Find My Victory” from Olympic Pride, American Prejudice
  • “On Ghost Ridge” from 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice
  • “Ordinary World” from Ordinary World
  • “Devil’s Girl” from Outlaws and Angels
  • “Levitate” from Passengers
  • “Ginga” from Pelé: Birth of a Legend
  • “Nobody Knows” from Pete’s Dragon
  • “Something Wild” from Pete’s Dragon
  • “Dancing With Your Shadow” from Po
  • “I’m So Humble” from Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
  • “Stay Here” from Presenting Princess Shaw
  • “Celebrate Life” from Queen Mimi
  • “Back To Life” from Queen of Katwe
  • “Let The Games Begin” from Race
  • “Think About It” from The Red Pill
  • “The Rules Don’t Apply” from Rules Don’t Apply
  • “The Great Beyond” from Sausage Party
  • “Faith” from Sing
  • “Set It All Free” from Sing
  • “Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street
  • “Go Now” from Sing Street
  • “The Veil” from Snowden
  • “Hymn” from Snowtime!
  • “Kiss Me Goodnight” from Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four
  • “Holdin’ Out” from Storks
  • “Heathens” from Suicide Squad
  • “Flying Home” from Sully
  • “Montage” from Swiss Army Man
  • “Petit Metier” from They Will Have to Kill Us First – Malian Music in Exile
  • “Letter To The Free” from 13th
  • “Down With Mary” from Too Late
  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from Trolls
  • “Get Back Up Again” from Trolls
  • “Smile” from The Uncondemned
  • “We Will Rise” from Veeram-Macbeth
  • “LA Venus” from We Are X
  • “New Dogs, Old Tricks” from What Happened Last Night
  • “Runnin’ Runnin’” from What Happened Last Night
  • “What’s Happening Today” from What Happened Last Night
  • “Who I Am” from What Happened Last Night
  • “The Ballad Of Wiener-Dog” from Wiener-Dog
  • “Try Everything” from Zootopia

Some of these songs you may recognize as mainstream radio singles. Take “Heathens” by Twenty One Pilots, for example. TOP wrote that song for Suicide Squad, and it’s been plastered all over Top 40 radio for the last six months because of it. “Can’t Stop The Feeling” by one of the world’s favorite people, Justin Timberlake, is another great example.

Then, there are songs that I can’t even find on YouTube or other streaming services. This, I think, speaks to the pretentious nature of the Academy.

I listened to most of the songs, then. There were about 12 I couldn’t find anywhere.

Here are my top picks:

“Land Of All” from Desierto

“Land Of All” is performed by Woodkid. This song is sweeping and epic. I have no idea what Desierto is about, but if I heard this song in the movie, it would stir up melancholy and memories.

"I took a chance to build a world of mineA one-way ticket for another lifeOn a petrol stained sailboatOn a petrol stained sailboatI used to dream about the other sideThe sun rising on the skylineAnd a beautiful rainbowSuch a beautiful rainbow"

“Angel By The Wings” from The Eagle Huntress

Sia wrote and performs this powerful ballad from The Eagle Huntress, a story about a girl stepping out of gender roles and defying social norms.

"Oh so, your wounds they showI know you have never felt so aloneBut hold on, head up, be strongOh hold on, hold on until you hear them comeHere they come, oh"

“Runnin” from Hidden Figures

Pharrell Williams will always make my list. This song, for the movie Hidden Figures, which is about three black women working at NASA, speaks to the struggles these women faced as black individuals in a white man’s world.

"Runnin’ from the man (man) runnin’ from the badge (badge)Don’t act like you was there when you wasn’tRunnin’ toward our plans (plans) and the judges hands (hands)Don’t act like you was there when you wasn’t"

“Wish That You Were Here” from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Florence + The Machine, best known for Florence’s powerhouse vocals, performs this powerhouse song from the book-to-movie adaptation for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which received mostly mixed reviews. The song, though? Fire.

"I’ve tried to leave it all behind meBut I woke up and there they were beside meAnd I don’t believe it but I guess it’s trueSome feelings, they can travel tooOh there it is again, sitting on my chestMakes it hard to catch my breathI scramble for the light to changeYou’re always on my mindYou’re always on my mind"

“Waving Goodbye” from The Neon Demon

Sia did a few movie songs this past year, and several of them made the top 91 for potentially becoming Oscar nominees. Two of them made my list. Here’s another.

"Two hearts, one pastI was your loverCruel words broke usYou became anotherI’m with the enemy in my bedWhen the voice in my headTells me I should treat myself betterI know you don’t mean to be meanWhen you’re hurting you’ll seeYou can see just how dark it is getting…"

“On Ghost Ridge” from 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice

Yuna and Nicholas Pike perform “On Ghost Ridge” from 100 Years: One Woman’s Fight for Justice, which told the story of Eloise Cobell, who fought the U.S. Government for fifteen years for corruption in the management of tribal and native funds for her people.

“Faith” from Sing

Take a little bit of Ariana Grande, and add in a little bit of Stevie Wonder. Get ready to dance!

"See the girl with the diamonds and the shoes? Yeah…She walks around like she’s got nothin’ to loseYes she’s a go-getter, she’s everybody’s typeShe’s a queen of the city but she don’t believe the hypeShe’s got her own elevation, holy motivation‘Til I wrote some letters on big bold signs"

“Montage” from Swiss Army Man

This song is as weird as the movie, but in a good way. It makes no sense, but you can still feel yourself pulled into the lyrics and into the story, finding purpose in the music.

"Montage, montageMontage, montageOhhhhhhh, OhhhhhhhNow we killed a raccoonWe are using your body like it’s a machine gunNow we are shooting some fishOur friendship is blossomingLet’s eat the stuff we killed"

 “Take Me Down” from Deepwater Horizon

If you don’t know Gary Clark Jr., here is a very good introduction.

"When this train rolls down the trackI’m not coming backGotta one way ticket, I’m going homeBack where I started fromOh, take me down southWhen you take me home, LordWhen you take me home, Lord"

“One Frame at A Time” from Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

This song is by a band called Clamp. I’ve never heard of them, but I want to hear more. I also want to watch this documentary about animator Floyd Norman, born in 1935, who has worked for a slew of different animation companies including Disney and Pixar.

"To animate a lifeDraw one frame at a timeI am living my story outLine by lineWhere I’ve beenTo where I amHalf due to chanceHalf due to planI am moving further down the lineOne frame at a time"

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What are your top picks for Best Original Song at next year’s Oscars? Let us know below.