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Your Oscar playlist: Listen to 80 years of Best Original Song winners
From Adele to Ginger Rogers, let this Spotify playlist walk you through Academy Award history
Adele tops off eight decades worth of varied Oscar-winning tunes.
Adele tops off eight decades worth of varied Oscar-winning tunes. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
O

n Sunday night, the 80th Best Original Song Oscar will be handed to one of four songs. Will it be Frozen's show-stopping "Let It Go"? U2's "Ordinary Love," which nabbed a Golden Globe last month? How about Pharrell's peppy "Happy," which debuted in Despicable Me 2? Or will it be Her's dreamy "Moon Song," which fills in the emotional gaps in a love story between a man and his operating system?

The nominees are an eclectic bunch. (It was almost even more eclectic, until the Academy disqualified little-known nominee "Alone Yet Not Alone" for what the board of governors deemed an "ethical breach" by its writer — a decision that remains controversial.)

But whatever you make of this year's nominees, the Best Original Song category — when taken as a whole — is a simple and useful way to trace the evolution of music over the past 80 years. It's intriguing to see how many Best Original Song winners have essentially been divorced from their original contexts to become American standards. How many people remember that "The Way You Look Tonight" debuted in 1936's Swing Time, or that "Baby, It's Cold Outside" became popular after its appearance in 1949's Neptune's Daughter?

What other gems can be found in the list? Take a trip through history with this Spotify playlist, which collects all 79 of the Academy Awards' Best Original Song winners. We'll add the 80th winner shortly after it's announced on Sunday night. Queue this up at your Oscar party on Sunday — and when someone asks why you're playing "White Christmas" in late February, direct them to this article:

Your Oscar Playlist: 80 Year of Best Original Song Winners

(A few notes: This list is arranged in reverse chronological order, from last year's "Skyfall" to 1934's "The Continental." Every effort has been made to track down the original version of each song, but there are a few soundalikes; sorry, but you'll have to make do with an off-brand Adele substitute. Finally, it's worth noting that the Best Original Song trophy technically goes to the writer of the song, not the singer — but we've listed the original performer for ease of organization.)

1. "Skyfall," by Adele (Skyfall)

2. "Man or Muppet," by Jason Segel and Walter (The Muppets)

3. "We Belong Together," by Randy Newman (Toy Story 3)

4. "The Weary Kind," by Ryan Bingham (Crazy Heart)

5. "Jai Ho," by Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalazmi Iyer, and Vojay Prakash (Slumdog Millionaire)

6. "Falling Slowly," by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (Once)

7. "I Need to Wake Up," by Melissa Etheridge (An Inconvenient Truth)

8. "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp," by Three 6 Mafia (Hustle & Flow)

9. "Al Otro Lado del Rio," by Jorge Drexler (The Motorcycle Diaries)

10. "Into the West," by Annie Lennox (The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King)

11. "Lose Yourself," by Eminem (8 Mile)

12. "If I Didn't Have You," by Randy Newman (Monsters, Inc.)

13. "Things Have Changed," by Bob Dylan (Wonder Boys)

14. "You'll Be in My Heart," by Phil Collins (Tarzan)

15. "When You Believe," by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (The Prince of Egypt)

16. "My Heart Will Go On," by Celine Dion (Titanic)

17. "You Must Love Me," by Madonna (Evita)

18. "Colors of the Wind," by Vanessa Williams (Pocahontas)

19. "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," by Elton John (The Lion King)

20. "Streets of Philadelphia," by Bruce Springsteen (Philadelphia)

21. "A Whole New World," by Brad Kane and Lea Salonga (Aladdin)

22. "Beauty and the Beast," by Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion (Beauty and the Beast)

23. "Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)," by Madonna (Dick Tracy)

24. "Under the Sea," by Samuel E. Wright (The Little Mermaid)

25. "Let the River Run," by Carly Simon (Working Girl)

26. "(I've Had) the Time of My Life," by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing)

27. "Take My Breath Away," by Berlin (Top Gun)

28. "Say You, Say Me," by Lionel Richie (White Nights)

29. "I Just Called to Say I Love You," by Stevie Wonder (The Woman in Red)

30. "Flashdance… What a Feeling," by Irene Cara (Flashdance)

31. "Up Where We Belong," by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes (An Officer and a Gentleman)

32. "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," by Christopher Cross (Arthur)

33. "Fame," by Irene Cara (Fame)

34. "It Goes Like it Goes," by Jennifer Warnes (Norma Rae)

35. "Last Dance," by Donna Summer (Thank God It's Friday)

36. "You Light Up My Life," by Debby Boone (You Light Up My Life)

37. "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born)," by Barbra Streisand (A Star is Born)

38. "I'm Easy," by Keith Carradine (Nashville)

39. "We May Never Love Like This Again," by Maureen McGovern (The Towering Inferno)

40. "The Way We Were," by Barbra Streisand (The Way We Were)

41. "The Morning After," by Maureen McGovern (The Poseidon Adventure)

42. "Theme from Shaft," by Isaac Hayes (Shaft)

43. "For All We Know," by The Carpenters (Lovers and Other Strangers)

44. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," By B.J. Thomas (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid)

45. "The Windmills of Your Mind," by Noel Harrison (The Thomas Crown Affair)

46. "Talk to the Animals," by Rex Harrison (Doctor Dolittle)

47. "Born Free," by Matt Monro (Born Free)

48. "The Shadow of Your Smile," by Tony Bennett (The Sandpiper)

49. "Chim Chim Cher-ee," by Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews, Karen Dotrice, and Matthew Garber (Mary Poppins)

50. "Call Me Irresponsible," by Jackie Gleason (Papa's Delicate Condition)

51. "The Days of Wine and Roses," by Andy Williams (Days of Wine and Roses)

52. "Moon River," by Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast at Tiffanys)

53. "Never on Sunday," by Manos Hatzidakis (Never on Sunday)

54. "High Hopes," by Frank Sinatra (A Hole in the Head)

55. "Gigi," by Louis Jourdan (Gigi)

56. "All the Way," by Frank Sinatra (The Joker is Wild)

57. "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)," by Doris Day (The Man Who Knew Too Much)

58. "Love is a Many-Splendored Thing," by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster (Love is a Many-Splendored Thing)

59. "Three Coins in the Fountain," by The Four Aces (Three Coins in the Fountain)

60. "Secret Love," by Doris Day (Calamity Jane)

61. "The Ballad of High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, 'O My Darlin')," by Tex Ritter (High Noon)

62. "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," by Bing Crosby and Jane Wyman (Here Comes the Groom)

63. "Mona Lisa," by Nat King Cole (Captain Carey, U.S.A.)

64. "Baby, It's Cold Outside," by Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban (Neptune's Daughter)

65. "Buttons and Bows," by Dinah Shore (The Paleface)

66. "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," by James Baskett (Song of the South)

67. "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Sante Fe," by Judy Garland (The Harvey Girls)

68. "It Might as Well Be Spring," by Jeanne Crain (State Fair)

69. "Swinging on a Star," by Bing Crosby (Going My Way)

70. "You'll Never Know," by Alice Faye (Hello, Frisco, Hello)

71. "White Christmas," by Bing Crosby (Holiday Inn)

72. "The Last Time I Saw Paris," by Ann Sothern (Lady Be Good)

73. "When You Wish Upon a Star," by Cliff Edwards (Pinocchio)

74. "Over the Rainbow," by Judy Garland (The Wizard of Oz)

75. "Thanks for the Memory," by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross (The Big Broadcast of 1938)

76. "Sweet Leilani," by Bing Crosby (Waikiki Wedding)

77. "The Way You Look Tonight," by Fred Astaire (Swing Time)

78. "Lullaby of Broadway," by Wini Shaw (Gold Diggers of 1935)

79. "The Continental," by Ginger Rogers (The Gay Divorcee)

Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticOutside Magazine, and Think Progress.

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