Mike’s Favorite Original Songs of the Decade (110-101)
This was probably the list I was most excited to create when I came up with the idea of all these ‘Decade’ lists. It’s the most immediately gratifying. The songs are all right there to listen to and appreciate.
One of my favorite things to do each year (before they tried to take it away from us with that shortlist bullshit) was go through the list of all the eligible songs for Best Original Song at the Oscars and then figure out which ones I liked best. So I already had a giant pool of songs to work from, and then all I had to do was go in and look for any others that may have not been submitted or eligible, etc. And after that it was just making a playlist and figuring out what order they were going in. Which, I’ve gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it… do it. It’s great. This is now a playlist on my phone that I listen to occasionally because it’s just great songs from movies.
Anyway, this is a list of my 200 favorite original songs from the decade in film. I was pleased that I could get to 200 here because there actually were that many (and more) that I liked enough to deem worthy of one of these lists. We’re gonna post it in chunks of ten, the way we’ve posted all the other lists. Only this one has been slowly been rolled out over the past couple of months, one each day. So really this is just cleaning all that up and putting it all in one place.
So here are my favorite original songs from the films of 2010-2019:
110. “Why Did You Do That?” from A Star Is Born
Ah, there it is. I feel like at least a couple of people were wondering when/if this song would appear on this list. And I’ll be honest… I was one of those people. I didn’t know if it was gonna make it on. But you know what? This song accomplishes exactly what it needs to. In the film, it’s the moment where the audience (and Bradley Cooper) realizes, “Oh, she’s sold out her talent just to be famous.” Not that it’s a bad song… it’s just that kind of song. And we all get that in the moment. The lyrics are so immediately on point and memorable that even later in the bathtub scene when he goes, “Why’d you come around me with an ass like that” you know exactly what he’s saying and what he means by it. And that’s the beauty of this song. Because it’s catchy. I had the hook stuck in my head for like a month after I saw the movie. And as much as the song represents the part of the character we don’t want (well… maybe some people do), it’s a great song. There’s really not a single bad song in this entire movie.
109. “Fighting Stronger,” from Creed
So this is their ‘Gonna Fly Now’ — “Fighting Stronger”. The first half of this and “Waiting for My Moment” are both versions of that song, only this one is mixed with ‘Lord Knows’, which is a pretty great Meek Mill verse that keeps the pace and epic-ness of the first half of the song up and builds to a crescendo very nicely. I can picture Michael B. Jordan running along with the dudes on bikes and ATVs. It’s awesome.
108. “Hide,” from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
We’ve gotta be nearing ten or at ten for songs from this movie already. I’m honestly running out of stuff to say about them. They’re just all fantastic. This one is just a nice slow groove. I love the change of pace from some of the others.
107. “Un Poco Loco,” from Coco
It’s not necessarily that this is the most amazing song ever, but I love how it’s performed and when it’s performed in the movie — this is Miguel coming into his own, and it’s a really nice moment. It’s just a fun song that makes you want to dance and clap along. Sometimes the context of a song within a film is what makes it great.
106. “Before I Cry,” from A Star Is Born
Star Is Born again. Another one of the Alli songs. The last one, I think. We’re almost past these and will soon be on the real cream of the crop (also notice how few of the 17 songs made this half of the list and how many are gonna be in the top 100). This one starts as a song where you’re like, “Okay, I get it, it’s fine,” and then she hits that chorus, and you’re in a whole other stratosphere. That chorus is the reason this song goes so high. That shit is just great.
105. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” from Mary Poppins Returns
Ah, yes, this song. They cover a lot of bases with this one. The phrase itself does go back to the 17th century, but it’s not something that’s widely known. And just hearing it, it sounds almost like gibberish. Which allows them to position it as their new ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. And it gives them another ‘chimney sweep’ song, like the one Dick Van Dyke performs in the original, only here they’re lamplighters. Since, you know… progress. It’s a wonderfully choreographed number that definitely evokes what Mary Poppins should be about, even though there’s not a whole lot in the way of pure lyrics here. But it’s definitely the most joyous of the songs in the film, so I did want to give it ample credit for that.
104. “So Long,” from Winnie the Pooh
Yes, that’s Zooey Deschanel singing a song in a Winnie the Pooh movie. It’s the end credits song, and it’s just the loveliest song in the movie. The beginning makes it seem like you get what it is and it’s just this simple, repetitive song, but trust me, wait to the chorus — you’ll be fully along with it. It’s just a song that makes you happy. And, I know this is something that’s specific to me… but I love that you can hear actual instruments being played. I can’t stand this current day music where it’s all Garage Band beats and you can’t hear actual musicians playing on the tracks giving them life. Some of the film songs are based around orchestration, which I get. But here, you can hear the drums and the piano and hear actual people clapping along, which just gives it another little inch of life and likability for me.
103. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” from Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
This is just a beautiful song. Fortunately people are aware of it because it was nominated for an Oscar and because the story behind it is so touching. Glen Campbell, beloved musician, member of the Wrecking Crew, star of the original True Grit, mega-star with countless hits, gets dementia. And they make a documentary about his struggle with it and about his life, and he writes this song, which is just so beautiful. Thing about the message… he wrote a love song to his wife that’s also kinda cheeky. ‘I’m not gonna miss you’ refers to the fact that he’s got Alzheimer’s! And it takes a particular kind of tone to pull that off, and he does. He really does. It’s a really touching song and one I hope gets remembered as well as Campbell himself will.
102. “We Know the Way,” from Moana
This is one of those songs Disney got you to pre-like by using it in their advertising. It was already in your head before you saw this scene. But it also goes to show you the strength of the song that it can do that. It become synonymous with all the music from the film, in a way. It’s really well-written, and I love that the entire first verse is in Samoan. It shows a real respect and inspiration from the culture that’s central to the film, which you don’t always get from Disney. All the songs from this film are beautiful and brilliantly done, and this is central among them.
101. “Feels Like Summer,” from Shaun the Sheep Movie
I don’t remember much about the actual film — like most Aardman movies, I forget a lot of the plots and think they’re generally just kind of pleasant without loving them all that much — but I do remember this song. This plays a couple of times throughout the film, and each time I head it, my ears perked up, because it’s just a catchy, lovely song. It’s like a later Beach Boys song, or like a That Thing You Do kinda one-hit wonder song. It’s quite literally a song that feels like summer, and it’s really well done.
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