It’s never easy predicting how Best Song will go. The rule:

Original Song:
An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the motion picture.  There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the motion picture or as the first music cue in the end credits.

The tricky part here, Agent Starling, is the “used in the body of the motion picture” part. I am not sure why certain songs are deemed ineligible but every year there seems to be a curfuffle.  At any rate, I’m sure Neil Finn’s Hobbit song will be in accordance with these rules. Neil Finn of Crowded House fame.  Listen to it here.

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  • Kevin Klawitter

    From what I understand, this song will be played during they credits, but during the movie itself there will be a different version sung by the dwarves(as seen in the first trailer). Will it still get in despite the different versions, the way 90s Disney movies did? Probably, as long as the music department rules it eligible (which, as the lyrics originated with Tolkien, might be a little iffy).

  • Aaron B

    I had the same thoughts (on Tolkien having written the lyrics). “May It Be,” “Gollum’s Song” and “Into the West” were all original lyrics, right?

    In any case, I think it’s very good. I only listened to about the first minute because I don’t want to overexpose myself too much. But with this and the score snippets released I keep gaining more and more hope that this will match the original trilogy.

  • So long as it’s the first song played during the credits, it’s eligible. Songs that play later in the credits are not.

  • CCA

    Well, the rules say clearly that both words and music must be original. So if the lyrics are taken from Tolkien, it should be ineligible.

    Both “May It Be” and “Into the West” had original lyrics. From Roma Ryan in the first one, and from Fran Walsh, Howard Shore and Annie Lennox in the second one.

  • Aaron B

    It will be interesting to see if they can get the rule to bend a little. Apparently “Falling Slowly” was on a couple of albums but the Academy deemed them small enough to still allow it. Maybe the fact that it never appeared as an actual song will be able to get them in somehow?

  • Kevin Klwaitter

    @Aaron B:
    It wasn’t that the albums that “Falling Slowly” appeared on were small, it was the fact that the movie was shot, and song composed, before the albums were recorded. It just happened to take a few years before the movie was completed and given a theatrical release.

  • Tye-Grr

    But apparently “Falling Slowly” was written and recorded for ‘Once’, but in the time it took for the film to be released they released a few albums that they included versions of the song on. Speaking of possibly ineligible songs, there’s also Adele’s gorgeous “Skyfall” which is in question for sampling part of the original James Bond musical theme. So I guess we’ll see how willing the music branch is to bend a little.

  • SFMIke

    I believe the word is spelled “kerfuffle”. 🙂

  • there’s also Adele’s gorgeous “Skyfall” which is in question for sampling part of the original James Bond musical theme.

    rules like this discredit the music branch and tarnish the category.

    what they’re saying is, “we can only accept the song if it’s missing some of the notes that give it greater impact.”

    imagine if the screenwriters branch were this uptight. sorry, The King’s Speech Oscar for Best Original Screenplay is Void. Script uses entire sentences from original speeches the king actually spoke, so it’s not eligible.

  • Adam Lewis

    I’m lukewarm on the Hobbit song (I loved the LOTR songs though).

    I’m more impressed with the clips I’ve heard from Shore’s music.

    Radagast the Brown ( just sounds phenomenal to me!! Subjected my Year Four class to it all afternoon. Am now getting really jazzed for the film.

    Just hope it doesn’t SKyfall on me and be not what I wanted -(Totally agreed with Sasha and Craig Kennedy’s reactions to the film – not a proper Bond film for me)

  • vagelis

    Is this the final version of the song as played on the film credits or just one version of it for promotional purpose?.

  • steve50

    Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to work…

    Sorry – couldn’t resist.

    The song category is so tangled up in it’s own rules that they should eliminate it and start from scratch. Either make it “theme song” or “use of song(s)” or something to delineate just what they are looking to reward.

  • keifer

    Steve 50:

    That’s a GREAT idea. The music branch is so fucked. I’ve been saying it for years. My preference would be “simply “Best Song” and explain it to the membership (originality notwithstanding) that the vote, indeed, should be for best use of the song in a particular film.

    I think last year was the worst (only 2 song nominations), with the music branch totally ignoring “Living Proof” from the The Help (clearly, the best use of song in a film last year . . . by a WIDE margin). What did AMPAS do? They ignored it completely. I think that is one reason – after everyone quit scratching their heads – that they reinstituted the five song nomination listing (which always did make sense – regardless of the quality).

  • david lindsey

    I don’t like the idea of making it best use of song. I think it should be best original song without all the arbitrary rules. If you want to have a separate category for best use of song, fine. Just don’t eliminate original song, because it undermines the efforts of songwriters.

  • Aaron B

    Curiosity got the best of me and I opened up my copy of “The Hobbit.” These are not the lyrics that the dwarves sing in Bilbo’s home early on in the story (and from the first trailer). So more than likely, this will be eligible (unless it’s from some other source that I’m unaware of).

  • keifer

    David Lindsey:

    “. . . because it undermines the efforts of songwriters.”

    How? Once a song is written, it’s written. If copyrighted, it’s written in stone. It might ENCOURAGE directors to use more songs in their films and also stimulate song writers to put forth even greater effort in suggesting songs to directors to use in films.

  • alan of montreal

    Split Enz!

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