Sunday, March 02, 2014

Best Original Song

In a category that has repeatedly overlooked the finest (Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin,"  Harold Arlen and Ira Gershwin's "The Man That Got Away," Alex North and Hy Zaret's "Unchained Melody," Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "The Look Of Love,"  Dolly Parton's "9 to 5," Lionel Richie's "Endless Love," etc.) and nominated some real garbage ["Love Song From Mutiny On The Bounty (Follow Me)," "Bless the Beasts and Children," "Benji's Theme (I Feel Love)," etc.]?

This year, the category is marred by disqualifying a song (for good reason, but it did cause a scandal) and having three other songs that really aren't up to snuff.  Did no one hear "Please Mr. Kennedy" from Inside Llewyn Davis (written by Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake and Joel and Ethan Coen)?  Apparently not.  Of the nominated songs, only "Let It Go" is deserving.

No Academy Award category comes out wrong more often.

So it's truly amazing when they not only nominate a worthy song but that the worthy song also wins.

In 1989, Carly Simon won for her contribution to Mike Nichols' Working Girl.

Carly's composition, an urban hymn titled "Let The River Run," would also result in a Golden Globe and a Grammy.

More importantly, it would become a song many would find strength from in troubled times, such as the immediate aftermath of 9-11 and the anthrax scares.

We're coming to the edge
Running on the water
Coming through the fog 
Your sons and daughters
We the great and small
Stand on a star
And blaze a trail of desire
Through the darkling dawn

Vivid and haunting imagery make this a strong song whether sung with musical backing or acapella .

In imagery, melody and theme, it's one of the finest choices the Academy made in the 20th century.  "Let all the dreamers wake the nation," indeed.

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