Oscars 2022: Listen to the five best song nominees

Listen below to the five nominees for this year’s Academy Award for best original song.

Winners of this year’s Oscars be announced on Sunday, March 27, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.


“Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”
Music and lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

The musical maestro behind “In the Heights” and “Hamilton” wrote the songs for the Disney animated film “Encanto,” including the Spanish-language “Dos Oruguitas.” The ballad, performed in the film by Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra, provides the central character, Mirabel, with a family history, and the story of her grandparents’ romance and suffering.

Dos oruguitas enamoradas
Pasan sus noches y madrugadas
Llenas de hambre
Siguen andando y navegando un mundo
Que cambia y sigue cambiando
Navegando un mundo
Que cambia y sigue cambiando

A Miranda Oscar win would garner him an EGOT honor (having already won an Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award).

🤦 “Encanto”‘s breakout hit, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” was not submitted by Disney for nomination – the studio submitted “Dos Oruguitas,” and only “Dos Oruguitas,” to guard against splitting academy votes with another “Encanto” song. Unfortunately, Disney could not foresee that, once the film was released after the academy’s November 1 awards submission deadline, “Bruno” – a catchy, humorous song about a fortune teller – would rise to a worldwide hit, becoming only the second Disney song ever to reach #1 on the Billboard charts.

But no worries: Even without a nomination, the Oscar ceremony’s producers have announced that the song will be performed live on Sunday’s show regardless. Bet Bruno couldn’t predict that.


“Be Alive” from “King Richard”
Music and Lyric by Dixson and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

It feels so good, so good
(Got all my family by my side)
And we gon’ sit on top of the world again
(Couldn’t wipe this black off if I tried)
And I wouldn’t trade nothing
And I wouldn’t trade nothing
(That’s why I lift my head with pride)
So baby, lift your head, yeah

Beyoncé received her first Academy Award nomination for “King Richard,” the biopic of how Venus and Serena Williams were pushed, encouraged and inspired by their father (played by Will Smith).

Played under the film’s end credits, the song recounts the struggle and persistence of the rising tennis stars, as well as the power of family and Black pride.


“No Time To Die” from “No Time To Die”
Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell

We were a pair
But I saw you there
Too much to bear
You were my life
But life is far away from fair

Was I stupid to love you?
Was I reckless to help?
Was it obvious to everybody else
That I’d fallen for a lie?

You were never on my side
Fool me once, fool me twice
Are you death or paradise?
Now you’ll never see me cry
There’s just no time to die

James Bond theme songs never got much Oscar love, until Adele sang “Skyfall,” and Sam Smith followed with “Writing’s on the Wall” (from “Spectre”). For this final 007 outing starring Daniel Craig, Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell followed those Oscar-winning hits with a moody, burning love song in a minor chord so common for Bond theme songs.

Eilish’s performance is exquisite but extremely quiet, far from the full-throated power of Shirley Bassey, Adele, or Paul McCartney & Wings, so closed captions are a help.

📅 The song was released more than two years ago, on February 13, 2020, just before the film’s theatrical release (which had already been pushed from late 2019) was postponed again due to the COVID pandemic. The movie would be delayed yet again, and again, until it finally opened in November 2021 – 10 months after Eilish and O’Connell had already picked up the Grammy Award for best song written for visual media. 


“Down To Joy” from “Belfast”
Music and Lyric by Van Morrison

Van Morrison’s songs fill the soundtrack of Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film set in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, including such period-non-specific songs as “Bright Side of the Road,” “Warm Love,” “And the Healing Has Begun” and “Days Like This.” For the film, Morrison composed a new song, “Down to Joy,” which speaks to the filmmaker’s memory piece – about separation from family, friends, and a sense of place.

She was standing there before me
When I was coming down
I said I do adore thee
When I was coming down to joy
What vision was before me
When I was coming down
It was just around the corner
When I was coming down to joy

🗑️ Rolling Stone magazine notes, however, that “Down to Joy” bears striking similarities to an unreleased demo that Morrison composed back in the early seventies, a slower piece titled “Coming Down to Joy,” that eventually saw light as a bootleg.

🚫 Morrison was invited to sing “Down to Joy” on the Oscar broadcast, but declined, so the song will not be performed. 


“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

When you think it’s the end of the road
It’s just ‘cuz you don’t know where the road’s leading to
When you think that the mountain’s too high
And the ocean’s too wide, you’ll never get through
Some way, somehow,
somehow you do

Will it be lucky 13 for Diane Warren? The songwriter has received 13 nominations for best original song, but the Oscar statuette has so far eluded her. Her latest, for the drug addiction drama “Four Good Days,” is a testament to resilience and overcoming self-doubt.

Sung by Reba McEntire, “Somehow You Do” joins such Warren nominees as Starship’s “Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now,” Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” and Lady Gaga’s “‘Til It Happens to You.”

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