The 86th Academy Awards ceremony is coming up in March and this year’s Best Original Song nominations bring pop, rap, indie and Broadway artists into the mix.

In a rare move the playing field was cut from five to four nominations after The Academy’s Board of Governors voted to nix the title song from the movie ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’. That leaves a rather short list for consideration that includes U2, Pharrell, and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Listen to this year’s picks and choose the song you think will go home with the Oscar.

“Happy” (from ‘Despicable Me 2) — Music and Lyrics by Pharrell Williams

Stellar would be an understatement to describe 2013 for producer/rapper Pharrell. “Blurred Lines,” the song he wrote and produced with Robin Thicke, was the best-selling song of 2013. His collaboration with Daft Punk and Nile Rogers, “Get Lucky,” won Grammy Awards for Album and Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. An Academy Award for “Happy” would be Pharrell’s first Oscar.

“It might seem crazy what I’m ’bout to say.
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break.
Mama, hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air like I don’t care, baby, by the way.

Because I’m happy,
[Come along if you feel like a room without a roof]
Because I’m happy,
[Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth]
Because I’m happy,
[Clap along if you know what happiness is to you]
Because I’m happy,
[Clap along if you feel like that’s what you want to do].”

Pharrell produced what he billed as the world’s first 24-music video for “Happy.” Watch it at

“Ordinary Love” from the movie “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” music by U2 (Bono, Dave Evans a.k.a. The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen) and Danger Mouse (Brian Joseph Burton), lyric by Paul Hewson

“Ordinary Love”, a tribute the late anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela already won the Best Song award at this year’s Golden Globe Awards. The song was released just a week before the former South African president died.

“The sea throws rocks together
But time leaves us polished stones.

We can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love.
We cannot reach any higher,
If we can’t deal with ordinary love.”

“Ordinary Love” is U2’s second nomination for a Best Song Oscar. In 2002, the band was nominated for “The Hands That Built America,” a recording for Martin Scorcese’s “Gangs of New York.”

“Let It Go” from the movie ‘Frozen’, music and lyrics by Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez; performed by Idina Menzel.

“Let It Go,” written by husband and wife team Kristin Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez (“Book of Mormon” co-creator) is performed by Tony winner Idina Menzel in Disney’s animated film “Frozen.” The power ballad was simultaneously released as a single by pop singer/actress Demi Lovato (Glee, Disney Channel). The film’s Disney princess, Elsa, sings this song as she comes to grips with her supernatural powers as a Snow Queen.

“It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all.
It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free!

Let it go, let it go,
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go,
You’ll never see me cry.”

So far, “Let It Go” was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and has won Film Critics Society awards in Denver and Phoenix.

“The Moon Song” from the movie “Her,” music by Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, lyrics by Karen O and Spike Jonze

In writer-director Spike Jonze’s futuristic romance, “Her,” “The Moon Song” is composed by Samantha, accompanied by Theodore (played by Joaquin Phoenix) on ukulele. Samantha is a computer operating program (voiced by Scarlett Johansson).

“I’m lying on the moon.
My dear, I’ll be there soon.
It’s a quiet and starry place.
Time’s we’re swallowed up in space,
We’re here a million miles away.

There’s things I wish I knew.
There’s no thing I’d keep from you.
It’s a dark and shiny place.
But with you, my dear, I’m safe,
And we’re a million miles away.

We’re lying on the moon.
It’s a perfect afternoon.
Your shadow follows me all day
Making sure that I’m okay,
And we’re a million miles away.”

This marks O’s second film collaboration with ex-boyfriend Jonze. She wrote the soundtrack for his 2009 film “Where the Wild Things Are,” nominated for Grammy and Golden Globe awards.

…and the Oscar goes to?

The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 2.


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