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2013 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song

2013 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song

Indiewire will provide regular updates of our predictions for the 85th Academy Awards through February 24th, when the winners are announced.

On the one hand, yes, the odds seem against Adele’s Bond theme “Skyfall” winning the best original song statue. No Bond song ever has, and popular contemporary artists like Adele rarely ever win here. But this is no ordinary Bond song, or Bond film. Both are widely considered one of the best ever, and they come as Bond celebrates his 50th anniversary with a big tribute at the Oscars. That added with the fact that Adele is one of the most endearing, beloved and lauded musicians on the planet makes this a certainty.  Because really, how embarrassing would it be if they gave it to that mediocre song from “Les Miserables”?

Nominees and predictions below. Check out all predictions in all the categories here, and this list of all the Oscar-nominated films available ON DEMAND right now.

The nominees:
“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice”
Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from “Ted”
Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi”
Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from “Les Misérables”
Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Will win: “Skyfall”
Could win: Everybody Needs A Best Friend”
Should win: “Skyfall”

Check out all predictions in all the categories here.

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How I think it should have been:

1. "Learn Me Right" from "Brave", Music and Lyrics: Mumford & Sons
2. "Suddenly" from "Les Miserables", Music and Lyrics: Claude Michel-Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer & Alain Boubil
3. "Pi's Lullaby" from "Life of Pi", Music and Lyrics: Mychael Danna & Bombay Jayashri*(Runner-up)
4. "Skyfall" from "Skyfall", Music and Lyrics: Adele & Paul Epworth*(WINNER)
5. "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from "Ted", Music and Lyrics: Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane


Please… The only one that should NOT win is Adele. She is one of the most overrated singers ever and undoubtedly the most overrated one of the last few years. Every award she has won so far is totally undeserved and I strongly hope the Oscar will not be part of that list. The awful Skyfall is just another clone from her extremely repetitive and shoddy repertory. Furthermore she has not a great voice at all: she whines and moans all the time, but that's not singing. So please stop saying she's original, classy or talented, because she is not. She's just playing with her "alternative and humble (?) popstar" image very well and almost everyone seems to bite, but in very truth she's nothing special at all.


Adele should and will win this, she's amazing!:)


Frank Ocean's "Wiseman" for the Django soundtrack was sadly overlooked.


I hate Adele. How about we let Ted win, shake things up and piss a lot of people off :)


I think 'Skyfall' will take this. Adele is performing, so she'd be able to collect in person – and everyone loves Adele. She was wonderful at the Globes, so I don't think they will let this chance slip away. 'Suddenly' wasn't among the best songs in Les Mis, and as an original song it doesn't quite hold up to the spectacle and grandness of the latest Bond theme. So unless the Academy's distaste for the Bond francise becomes decisive, I'd say this one's in the bag for the Brits.


Adele would be the winner, I think. "Life of Pi" song has created a controversy in India. It seems the lyrics are not original and translation from a 200 year old famous lullaby. There are reports that the composer Michael Danna had heard the original, sung by Bombay Jaishri and approached her. It is also reported that Dr.Zoe Sherinian,who did the music research for "Life of Pi", had approached a UK based historian to get details of the song. The strange resemblance between the two songs had created this controversy.

r smith

Cristina Perri had a great song "1000 years" and it was a major oversight not to include that piece of music in the best song category.


I think Selena Gomez should win something! She's amazing :)


Who new the song from TED would be nominated for an oscar.


Where is Safe and Sound? That is my bet for this category. I tried to listen to every song in the shortlist they've give out before and the Hunger Games song is the one that stand out, I really loved it.

Skyfall is the next best thing…

To see Taylor Swift and Adele battle it out or even Hugh Jackman for that matter.

…and the other are Big Machine from Safety Not Guaranteed, Dotted Line from People Like Us, Learn Me Right from Brave, Let It Rain from Being Flynn and Suddenly of Les Miserables.


breath of life is an epic song!


No "I know you care" ? wtf?


Check out my last predictions in the Aural categories at


Where is "Safe and Sound" from the Hunger Games? And "Not running anymore" from Stand up Guys. There are definitely a few of the best songs from movies this year. And I'm not just saying that because they were nominated for Golden Globes, I thought that before. I personally much prefer either of these songs to Sky Fall. I think it's over rated. But it will be nominated and probably win.


Glen Hansard's 'This Gift' from The Odd Life of Timothy Green beats all I've seen above.


Why is "Song of the Lonely Mountain" not being considered here? I mean, you have Katy Perry on this list. Neil Finn's piece is easily better than "wide awake." Easily.


It's a shame that "Safety Not Guaranteed" didn't get more attention because "Big Machine" definitely deserves an Oscar nod for Best Song.


No Django?


No Django?

Charlie Oster

seroiusly no "I Dreamed a Dream"?????????


I hope "Ancora qui" will be in the last 5. Skyfall is overrated.


Skyfall has been deemed eligible for the Oscars so some her should quit saying otherwise. It will be nominated and it will WIN.


i think the top 3 contenders are: 1. SKYFALL 2.LES MISERABLES 3. FRANKENWEENIE :-)


I really hope 'From Here To The Moon and Back' from Joyful Noise by Dolly Parton is nominated!
It's such a beautiful song and she sings it brilliantly!
Further more I hope it wins, even if its just a constellation win because she lost the Oscar in the 80's when 9to5 lost out to the theme song from fame & that was semi understandable but in 2005 when her song 'Traveling Thru' lost to whatever that garbage it was up against was you could've knocked me over with a feather….Dolly deserves the best song Oscar this year! From here to the moon and back is a beautifully written testament to her husband Carl dean of nearly 50 years and her vocals are unmatched….the scene in joyful noise where she sang it with her grandson and reminisced of her late husband brought tears to the eyes of so many…if she I not at LEAST nominated I will lose so much respect for the academy

Natasha Ramy

Though I love Mumford and Sons, Suddenly was astounding! Hugh Jackman sang it beautifully as well as emotionally! If this doesn't win, I might cry.


SKYFALLLLLL , Love this song is amazing, mesmerizing, sexy


I hope that Ancora qui will have its well deserved award. The song is so mesmerizing, melting. The beautiful voice of Elisa merged with the magnificent and intimate music by Ennio Morricone creates something so touching that words aren't able to describe it properly. Is like travelling through time and space without even moving.
Another well appreciated surprise, to me, would be the stunning Breath Of Life by Florence And The Machine. Haunting, epic, amazing!

Calvin Candie

"Who Did That to You?" by John Legend. He had my curiosity, but now he has my attention.


There is so much great music in Django Unchained. Im surprised some of its songs are not higher up on the list.


It is such a shame that the lonely mountain is not being considered! Fine, the singer was horrible, but the lyrics and the score was wonderful. It just enhanced the magic of the movie instead of just being played with the end credits


Anything Made Of Paper is the most heartfelt song I've heard in quite some time.My winner!


Bill Carter is practically the greatest songwriter you have never heard of. His songs have been covered by Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robert Palmer, Patti Griffin, The Counting Crows, Brian Setzer, The Derailers, Waylon Jennings… and hundreds more. He is the heart and soul of Austin, Tx. His knew cd "Unknown" will be coming out in January.
The heartfelt track "Anything Made Of Paper" features longtime friend Johnny Depp on guitar .
Depp sets the mood with this statement…. “In this track, such barbaric limitations are turned into a thing of beauty and poetry, emulating the way in which Damien and Lorri persevered and ultimately triumphed out from the savagery interminably imposed upon them.”


I think Hunger Games deserves a shot with Safe & Sound. It's such a good song and it's a new sound from Taylor Swift.

Bruce Wayne

how about "A Thousand Years" By Christina Perri? From "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2".


I hope it will win "Ancora qui", Ennio Morricone&Elisa. Great song, Elisa has a great voice. About Morricone: they gave him the Academy Honorary Award in 2006 but he deserves the Oscar he never won for all the beautiful songs he made in his whole.


Anyone heard "Snake Eyes" by The Milk Carton Kids from the movie PROMISED LAND?


Yes! Omg so Skyfall IS elligible. Scared me there Academy


Surprised that "Safe and Sound" by Taylor Swift and The Civil Wars wasn't qualified

Janet Cohen

LOVE, just LOVE "Voodoo" by XX Bottom from "Hallowe'en Party."
Should move way up on your list!!!


Where's This Gift by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova?


where is "Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi?


Oh My Goodness! Nashville treasure Vodoo, featured in Halloween Party, is an OSCAR contender! It's the real deal – Nashville sound PLUS! Congratulations to co-writers Bruce Michael Miller and CJ Watson, and also to Forest Miller and Donna Britton, and to producer Linda Palmer! WOW!


Is it just me or does it seem like its like 1 person talking about voodoo over and over again with different names…

Janis Blank

The theme from Luna Escondita is a contender. It is called Luna Nascosta and is sung by a wonderful group of 3 singers from Italy called Il Volo. They have the most amazing voices and make this beautiful song even more beautiful. Please have a listen. You can find it on You Tube. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

Deborah D.

Wow! Just listened to Voodoo again and I'm thinking — this has to be at the top of the list — bluesy and rock and soul all rolled into one stick-with-you song.

Donna B.

Have you seen the footage of VOODOO from Halloween Party? This song is AWESOME!

June Walker

VOODOO by Bruce Michael Williams has me rocking. I just can't get it out of my head and my feet.

Carol Hagen

I’ve heard VOODOO by Bruce Michael Miller and CJ Watson is an OSCAR contender. Hell, yeah! This theme rocks! It’s the perfect combination of Nashville rockin’ blues, superior guitar licks and soulful vocals. It’s the perfect theme music to draw the audience into an off the wall good time movie. VOODOO rushes through your veins, grabs your heart and throbs in your ears while leaving a wide open grin from ear to ear. Even OSCAR won’t stand still when he hears VOODOO; hand that golden boy a towel to mop his sweaty brow. Vote for VOODOO – often and without hesitation.


I'd love to see the song "Voodoo" up there!


I really hope Voodoo gets up there! I absolutely love it, & the entire soundtrack. We hear so much of Adele, Katy & Hugh Jackman everywhere, that it would be so refreshing to see an underdog make it into the big leagues. Great indy film, too:)


VOODOO… rocks with swampy sophistication.


Voodoo… maybe because I like underdogs or maybe because I want to believe that Rock and Roll isn't dead after all. Mostly, though, I think it's because I'm sick of plain vanilla music that compromises and has less than 100% commitment in the performance. I love this song, warts and all!

Christopher Clad

In agreement with Wendy, "Voodoo", is well worth a listen, at least once if not more. I highly reccomend the movie,"Halloween Party", as well, lots of fun !


Interesting most of the picks are from larger films with bigger (i.e. well known cast etc.). Not surprised. I would consider and perhaps challenge the viewers/listeners to consider the smaller independent movies and their incredible music and songs.
Check out this oscar contender: "VOODOO" from the movie "Halloween Party". Give it a listen.


Please check out Voodoo before you decide. This is a labor of love that has a sparkle that deserves to be seen and enjoyed..the big PR machines and studios have millions to push their agendas..we have $32.50 and a bunch of big hearted, big time dreamers. here's the link to the song.


Have you heard "Voodoo"? it is an independent song by independent musicians, on the soundtrack for the independent movie "Halloween Party". It is an Oscar contender and is definitely worthy of bring home the prize . Give it a listen. You will not be disappointed. Great guitar, great vocals, great song. Despite the resources available to the big wigs, only independent artist can bring this kind of energy and chemistry.See the attached link.
This song is an Oscar winner.


Did Bon Jovis song from Stand Up Guys make it in the category…


from my blog post yesterday…in response to "Voodoo" making it onto this list! "They (the Majors and miniMajors) are all bright and shiny, sparkling like tinsel from an angelic realm of blessed-among-the-Gods-of-Movie -Making….while off to the side, in the dust of their parade, if you squint and wish to find them…are the underdogs, the "no-budget" INDIES who hocked their cars, jewelery, and homes, to bring their vision to life. The starving artists….a gang of rowdies and eccentric characters one and all, who do not know how to quit as they rally others to help usher their dreams into the stark light of center-stage entertainment. These Indies are beyond grassroots, they are the soil those roots grow in – they have made it onto the toughest playing field – utilizing one unstoppable resource – their will to succeed !…" ~ "Voodoo" (from Halloween Party) is an incredible gem & rockin success story – this is what we thrive on :-)

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Film Fan

It is a big stretch but it would be great to see Buffalo by Alt-J which was in Silver Linings Playbook.

Antonio Ruiz

Amazing song "Luna Nascosta" sang by IL VOLO from the Motion Picture "Hidden Moon". Music by Oscar winner for Il Postino, Luis Bacalov.


FYC – "With my hands" Frankenweenie. Kimbra & Damian Taylor


Snow White and The Huntsman has an original song called "Gone" which is absolutely sweeping. Listen to it, I actually had to shazam it from the theater.


Don't forget "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from "Ted" co-written by Oscar host Seth MacFarlane!


Check DREAM BIG from the indi Movie CROOKED ARROWS.great Song deserves to be nominated


"Mesmerized" from "The Paperboy" is a very good option i think Mariah has the chance now if the movie is well promoted


Dull Tool stands a much better shot than people are giving credit for.


You forgot "LADIES OF TAMPA", as performed by Matthew McConaughey, which absolutely deserves to be nominated.


Adele's song is inelegible, because it samples the original Bond theme. Which is a shame, because it's easily the best of the bunch. Plus she has that combination of critical acclaim and comercial appeal that seems to translate so well for movies with the academy members.


Mariah Carey could be a very good option with the song from The Paperboy "Mesmerized", although it's not even mentioned here, it's a very good choice since the Academy ignored the "Right to Dream". Dolly Parton for sure, Adele samples the theme and I doubt it


Does Josh Homme's "Nobody to Love" from End of Watch count as a original song? The song's producer is David Sardy, who also composed the music for the film. Nevertheless that's one dope track.


1- "Mesmerized" by Mariah Carey could have a very good chance since she was ignored in the 81st Academy Awards with her song "Right To dream", which was very well receive by critics. At that time the academy only chose 3 songs (like this year only 2 …. OUTRAGEOUS) and the favorite was the one from Wall-E, BUT did not win >:(

2- Whitney could also have a very good chance!

3- Adele's Skyfall is kinda tricky, because the lyrics are original, but the music samples the theme from the movies

Greg Dinskisk

Adele can't get nominated, because it has a little bit of a melody from the James Bond theme, meaning it's not completely original. Unfortunate, because it's a fantastic song….


Look for a little known film, "Halloween Party", and its six original songs written for the romantic comedy. It may just be a sleeper. Here's a link to what the Academy will be considering:


Mariah Carey, I'm really hoping she gets in the top 5. Her song Right to Dream from the movie Tennessee back in 2008 almost made it. I really wish she gets a nomination. I hope Lee Daniels campaigns this.


I really think that Mariah Carey has a huge chance of getting in the top 5. She has proven to be a great lyricist. I also think that Sparkle's song will get a nomination to honor the late great Whitney Houston. Other than those two, anything can round up the top 5 for me.


Mariah Carey – Mesmerized
Adele – Skyfall
Celebrate – Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks
From Here to the Moon and Back – Dolly Parton
Midnight Run – Willy Nelson


Also, if The Hobbit happens to have a song like the Lord of the Rings trilogy did, then expect that to earn a nomination also.


ADELE and DOLLY PARTON for sure to get a nomination. MARIAH CAREY with "MESMERIZED"? Interesting proposal


This category is very difficult to predict. I'm pretty sure Adele is gonna be nominated with SKYFALL, Dolly Parton too… An interesting nomination would be MESMERIZED by Mariah Carey in the Paperboy


Definitely "Mesmerized" from the Paperboy by Mariah Carey, and Adele "Skyfall" is for sure




The fact that Katy Perry was even mentioned makes me laugh.


Safe & Sound isn't eligible? Wasn't it made for the movie?


Does "This Gift" by Glen Hansard (from The Odd Life of Timothy Green) not qualify? Or does it just not make your cut?


Live To Rise- Soundgarden (From The Avengers)

Martin Malick

The J. Ralph song "Before My Time" from Chasing Ice performed by SCARLETT JOHANSSON and JOSHUA BELL is unreal!! Def top five!


Dolly Parton's song, From Here to the Moon and Back. This song is absolutely amazing, she is such a great song writer. Out of all these songs there is no doubt this song should win! Listen to the words, the meaning and the style…it should win Best Original Song


Dolly got robbed 2 times already. It's her turn. It's also the best song <3


Come Away to the Water – Glen Hansard from the Hunger Games


This Gift – Glen Hansard, from The Odd Life of Timothy Green


"Big Machine" from Safety Not Guaranteed


Dolly Parton's song is phenomenonal! A must hear on YouTube. I like Adele and she is very talented but nothing like Dolly Parton. Taylor Swift??? Hahahahahahaha. Get real.


Taylor Swift/The Civil Wars – "Safe and Sound" from The Hunger Games


Dolly Parton – "From Here to the Moon and Back" from Joyful Noise


Mariah Carey – "Mesmerized" from The Paperboy

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