Uh-oh U2, Globes and Oscars rarely agree on Best Original Song

When U2 triumphed at Sunday’s 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards in the Best Original Song category for “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” you might have thought that they are now the frontrunners to take the Oscar for Best Original Song. However, the Globes and Oscars rarely agree on winners.

Since 2000, the Globes presaged the Oscar champ a mere four out of 13 times; “Things Have Changed” by Bob Dylan (from “Wonder Boys”) in 2000, “Into the West” by Annie Lennox (from “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”) in 2003, “The Weary Kind” by Ryan Bingham (from “Crazy Heart”) in 2009 and last year when Adele’s smash hit “Skyfall” won both prizes. 

This year, the Oscar frontrunner according to our Experts, Editors, Users and Top 24 Users is “Let it Go” from “Frozen” written by Broadway veterans Robert Lopez and Kristin Anderson-Lopez. That U2 prevailed over the Disney tune at the Globes may turn out to be a replay of the 2002 race when the Irish band won their first Globe for “The Hands That Built America” from “In America”, but lost the Oscar to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

Even songs that contend at the Globes aren’t sure things when it comes to reaping Oscar bids. In the past 13 years, only two dozen Golden Globe nominated tunes even numbered among the 57 that contended at the Oscars.

2000: Three Globes songs among five Oscar nominees
2001: Four out of five
2002: Three out of five
2003: Two out of five
2004: Three out of five
2005: One out of three
2006: One out of five
2007: One out of five
2008: One out of three
2009: One out of five
2010: Two out of four
2011: Zero out of two
2012: Two out of five

There are two reasons for this disparity.

Firstly, there is the issue of eligibility — the Golden Globes are far more relaxed than their academy counterparts. Academy rules dictate that a song should be “original and specifically written for a motion picture” with “clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition” of “both lyrics and melody, used in the body of the motion picture or as the first music cue in the end credits.”

For example, the Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominated tune “Please Mr Kennedy” from Joel Coen and Ethan Coen‘s “Inside Llewyn Davis,” does not appear on the academy’s list of the 75 eligible songs as this T-Bone Burnett track samples some folk songs from the 1960s.

Secondly, there’s the way in which the songs are voted on by each group. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., a group of 85 foreign journalists, come up with a list of songs for consideration and vote for their favorites. The Academy, meanwhile has a much more complicated process, according to the Academy’s website:

During the nominations process, all voting members of the Music Branch will receive a Reminder List of works submitted in the category and a DVD copy of the song clips.  Members will be asked to watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category.  The five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.  A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film.”

Over the years, songs by music legends that seemed pre-destined for Oscar glory were snubbed by the music branch including “The Wrestler” by Bruce Sprinsgteen in 2008 (A.R. Rahman‘s “Jai Ho” from “Slumdog Millionaire” won that year) and Mick Jagger’s awards bait “Old Habits Die Hard” from “Alfie,” which won the Golden Globe in 2004 (Jorge Drexler’s “Al Otro Lado del Rio” from “The Motorcycle Diaries” won that year).

What do you think will win the Oscar for Best Song? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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