This year’s nominees for Best Original Song are all strong contenders and it’s anybody’s guess who’s name will be called on Sunday night.
“I don’t know if I’m too old to say this, but I really like the books,” says Cold Play’s Chris Martin, who co-wrote the music and lyrics to “ATLAS” for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE with Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion. “It all just came together over a weekend really and it was nice because I knew what the film was going to be about and the song just kind of came through in ten minutes. Those things I don’t really question, they just come from the ether.”
“LET IT GO” was written for FROZEN by Kristen Anderson Lopez and Robert Lopez. “What was cool about Chris and Jen, the directors,” says Robert, “was that they allowed us to be part of the creation of the story really as well. Because every song was a storytelling moment. And so every day for about 18 months, we had a video conference call on this box in our office in Brooklyn, shooting through space to Burbank where we just talked about where do we use songs to tell the story best?”
“SWEETER THAN FICTION” was written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff for ONE CHANCE. “I wasn’t familiar with the Paul Potts story,” she says about ONE CHANCE. “I didn’t know really much about his career, how he came up in the world, and I think watching it from that perspective, I was truly able to experience how incredible that story was, and it was almost like I could hear music in my head as I was watching it.”
“ORDINARY LOVE” from MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM was written by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Jr., Brian Burton, with lyrics by Bono, who says, “You put U2 in a film about Nelson Mandela, and you expect some kind of political message making. But actually, the thing that connected to us about the film was that it was a love story.” Adds The Edge, “And that was our stepping off point, the human aspect. It was too daunting I think to try and write a song about the politics, it had to be a human song. That was our inspiration.”
The quirkiest song of the list is “PLEASE MR. KENNEDY” from INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, with music and lyrics by Ed Rush, George Cromarty, T Bone Burnett, Justin Timberlake, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen. “The reason there are so many songwriters are on it,” says Timberlake, “is because it’s a variation on a song that was created, called Please Mr. Kennedy, about Vietnam. And those are the two original writers.
Joel and Ethan had this hilarious idea about it not being something about Vietnam, but more about space exploration, about not wanting to be blasted off into outer space. And then we took that information and started riffing back and forth and that’s how we wrote the song.”