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by Peter Knegt
February 17, 2013 11:52 AM
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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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  • monkeypox6 | April 15, 2013 11:22 PMReply

    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

  • AndyJ | February 24, 2013 6:14 PMReply

    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.

  • Robin | February 4, 2013 8:20 AMReply

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

  • vee | February 1, 2013 4:01 PMReply

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

  • claudia | January 30, 2013 5:17 PMReply

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

  • Tom | January 30, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    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.

  • Vics | January 17, 2013 4:08 AMReply

    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 | January 12, 2013 2:32 AMReply

    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.

  • cyndee | January 13, 2013 3:36 AM

    Wow! I was also looking for this song to be considered. I know they would never acknowledge anything from the Twighlite franchise. Too bad. . 1000 Years is amazing. As well as the special effects in Breaking Dawn 2.

  • Sadie | January 12, 2013 5:52 PM

    It's actually 1000 years, part II. It's a rework from part I, from the Breaking dawn part 1 soundtrack. So it's not completely original and therefore it's inelegible.

  • Alicia | January 11, 2013 2:10 AMReply

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

  • Sean | January 10, 2013 9:23 PMReply

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

  • Rael | January 10, 2013 4:49 AMReply

    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.

  • Alex | February 21, 2013 12:06 AM

    "Safe and Sound" by Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars did not meet the criteria. The song was the 2nd to be played during the end credits. The category criteria stipulate that "a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition of both lyric and melody must be used in the body of the film or as the 1st music cue in the end credits. "

    Blame the producers of The Hunger Games.

  • Rael | January 10, 2013 4:53 AM

    Or The Gift from The Odd Life of Timothy Green is third in line. Great song.

  • janet | January 9, 2013 6:58 PMReply

    breath of life is an epic song!

  • what??? | January 9, 2013 8:40 AMReply

    No "I know you care" ? wtf?

  • Martin | January 8, 2013 8:02 AMReply

    Check out my last predictions in the Aural categories at http://www.mondoglam.com/2013/01/oscar-2013-dos-dias-categorias-de-sonido.html

  • Natalie24 | January 7, 2013 4:57 PMReply

    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.

  • Final2 | January 19, 2013 1:38 AM

    Safe & Sound was played 2ed during the credits only the 1st song from the credits is able to be nom. Stupid move by the producers if you ask me.

  • Tuigim | January 6, 2013 11:17 PMReply

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

  • John | January 6, 2013 5:37 PMReply

    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.

  • beebee | January 5, 2013 9:12 PMReply

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

  • andrew | January 5, 2013 8:12 PMReply

    No Django?

  • andrew | January 5, 2013 8:12 PMReply

    No Django?

  • Charlie Oster | January 5, 2013 4:37 PMReply

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

  • Sarah | January 7, 2013 2:52 PM

    Well it's not an original song...

  • Gab | January 5, 2013 12:04 PMReply

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

  • Cruella | January 3, 2013 6:08 AMReply

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

  • ^_^ | January 1, 2013 7:42 PMReply

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

  • Michael | January 1, 2013 2:32 PMReply

    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 | December 30, 2012 12:42 AMReply

    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.

  • Lis | December 29, 2012 2:13 PMReply

    SKYFALLLLLL , Love this song is amazing, mesmerizing, sexy

  • Carmine | December 29, 2012 10:29 AMReply

    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 | December 26, 2012 3:40 PMReply

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

  • T-DOG | December 26, 2012 4:00 AMReply

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

  • Jahan | December 25, 2012 10:29 AMReply

    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

  • John | January 6, 2013 5:36 PM

    What are you talking about? Neil Finn is a good singer. And he sounded great on this song.

  • Brent | December 24, 2012 4:16 AMReply

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

  • Matt | December 23, 2012 11:29 PMReply


    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.”

  • David | December 23, 2012 7:37 AMReply

    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 | December 21, 2012 11:48 PMReply

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

  • Sadie | December 30, 2012 10:25 PM

    It's inelegible because it's actually a thousand years pt. 2. It's a rework of the same song from BD part 1, therefore it's not original.

  • gab | December 20, 2012 9:00 AMReply

    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.

  • janet | December 19, 2012 3:06 AMReply

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

  • Duane | December 19, 2012 1:34 AMReply

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

  • John | December 18, 2012 6:28 PMReply

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

  • Tricia | January 5, 2013 3:31 PM

    Me too! "Safe and Sound" is an amazing song that completely captures the mood of The Hunger Games. Would have loved to see them perform it on the Oscars just like this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2VG21x6R78

  • Janet Cohen | December 18, 2012 10:24 AMReply

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

  • Tuigim | December 16, 2012 1:28 AMReply

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

  • Randall | December 26, 2012 1:52 AM

    I agree. Such a heart-felt song. It absolutely deserves to be on the list, regardless of whether or not the movie is nominated for anything else.

  • Mack | December 15, 2012 10:41 PMReply

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

  • Jan | December 14, 2012 9:41 PMReply

    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!

  • linda | December 17, 2012 12:49 AM

    Thank you Jan. We are so proud of this "Voodoo" team. Spellbinding...

  • Ivan | December 14, 2012 9:33 PMReply

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

  • Linda | December 17, 2012 12:53 AM

    I know it's hard to believe that some unknown song has so many fans that would post for it. But then again, you didn't get 1,100 texts in one day, Halloween 2012, for new fans of the music. Take a listen to a raw performance at the world famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and see if you don't feel a little bit differently...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zksRZt6ILHE

  • Mark Cardone | December 16, 2012 1:22 PM

    Hello Ivan, Carol, Joe, Bob and Jim...
    Rather than question the Fans of "Voodoo" Please take a moment of your time and see for yourself. You can hear the complete song at :

    You can also check out the blog from Clayton Davis posted today.

    "Halloween Party" is a small indie movie with 28 original songs. We are very proud that one of them is in the mix with all of the multi-million dollar budget movies.

    Mark Cardone executive producer Halloween Party

  • Carol | December 14, 2012 9:36 PM

    Joe bob Jim and Ivan are absolutely right

  • Joe | December 14, 2012 9:35 PM

    Yes I agree with all of the above.

  • Bob | December 14, 2012 9:34 PM

    On my god you're a genius I completely agree with Jim and Ivan

  • Jim | December 14, 2012 9:34 PM

    You're absolutely right I agree with you

  • Janis Blank | December 14, 2012 9:06 PMReply

    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.

  • Linda Carr | January 6, 2013 5:29 PM

    Yep. Definitely a beautiful song, beautifully sung, and part of the sound track of the movie it was written for. Real music, very romantic! Hope it gets a nomination, at least.

  • Gary Istok | December 20, 2012 1:07 PM

    Voodoo..... Shmoodoo... blues is about right.... the screeching alone gave me heartburn... and I felt pretty blue after listening to that...

    Now for some very pleasant soothing music I have to agree with Luna Escondita (Hidden Moon). The velvety voices of the guys in that song are as pure as silk... very very nice to listen to...

  • Deborah D. | December 14, 2012 5:05 PMReply

    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. | December 14, 2012 4:47 PMReply


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

  • June Walker | December 14, 2012 4:33 PMReply

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

  • Carol Hagen | December 14, 2012 10:10 AMReply

    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.

  • Jamie | December 14, 2012 12:44 AMReply

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

  • Mary | December 14, 2012 12:11 AMReply

    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:)

  • Patricia | December 13, 2012 10:35 PMReply

    VOODOO... rocks with swampy sophistication.

  • Jess | December 16, 2012 2:36 PM

    STAHP! Ohmygod stop mentioning Voodoo! STAHP IT!

  • Manny | December 13, 2012 6:27 PMReply

    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 | December 13, 2012 4:33 PMReply

    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 !

  • wendy | December 13, 2012 4:29 PMReply

    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.

  • Bruce | December 13, 2012 4:28 PMReply

    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.http://www.prlog.org/12042040-halloween-partys-sexy-rockin-voodoo-in-oscar-best-song-race-against-major-studios.html

  • Linda | December 13, 2012 4:45 PM

    Dang Bruce! Now we only have $27.34. Anyway, Christopher, Wendy and the rest are right. For a insanely small indie film, there are a lot of huge dreamers and music lovers around the world rooting for "Voodoo". For crying out loud...we got over 1,100 fans on Jango on Halloween day alone from this music. That says something!

  • michael | December 13, 2012 3:44 PMReply

    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.

  • Linda | December 13, 2012 4:00 PM

    Well said Michael :) They don't make this kind of music any more...which is sad. My hope...
    vote VOODOO!!!!

  • Fintan | December 13, 2012 2:24 PMReply

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

  • Gigi | December 13, 2012 11:42 AMReply

    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 :-)

  • michael | December 13, 2012 3:45 PM

    My sentiments, exactly. Plus those above.

  • TropicHeatStudios.com | December 13, 2012 12:06 PM

    complete blog post at our blog about Indie Artists - by Gigi / CEO - Tropic Heat Studios

  • Linda | December 13, 2012 11:47 AM


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  • Film Fan | December 10, 2012 9:02 PMReply

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

  • Antonio Ruiz | December 7, 2012 8:53 PMReply

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

  • Tony | December 7, 2012 12:44 AMReply

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

  • Carl | December 3, 2012 5:01 PMReply

    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.

  • Waya | December 3, 2012 7:29 PM

    YES. GONE gives me goosebumps. < 3

  • Irvin | November 27, 2012 7:29 AMReply

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

  • Linda | November 26, 2012 3:57 AMReply

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

  • Arthur | November 22, 2012 5:46 PMReply

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

  • Andrea | November 21, 2012 4:11 PMReply

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

  • Drake | November 20, 2012 2:32 PMReply

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