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Jewish World Review April 6, 2001 / 13 Nissan, 5761

Greg Crosby

Greg Crosby
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Consumer Reports

Academy Award Winning Song? -- BOB DYLANíS "Things Have Changed" (from the movie, "Wonder Boys") has won the Academy Award for Best Song. The other nominees for Best Song this year were: "A Fool In Love," "Iíve Seen It All," "A Love Before Time," and "My Funny Friend And Me."

For those of you who missed the Oscar show or have not actually heard all of the nominated songs, you have no idea what a tough decision it must have been for the voters to pick the "best" out of this lineup. Why? Well, it would be akin to choosing the "Best Fragrance" from these choices: 1) A badly neglected public rest room, 2) Seven days worth of dirty baby diapers, 3) Vomit, 4) Limburger cheese, or 5) A two week old corpse.

Am I saying that all the songs that were nominated this year stunk? Yes I am. Iím saying that they donít even qualify as semi-good songs, let alone Oscar nominees. If you think this is just another "they donít make Ďem like they used to" old fogy complaint, just check out this list of some past winners for "Best Song":

"The Continental"
"Lullaby of Broadway"
"The Way You Look Tonight"
"Thanks For The Memory"
"Over The Rainbow"
"When You Wish Upon A Star"
"The Last Time I Saw Paris"
"White Christmas"
"Youíll Never Know"
"Swinging On A Star"
"It Might As Well Be Spring"
"On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe"
"Buttons And Bows"
"Mona Lisa"
"In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening"
"Three Coins In The Fountain"
"Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing"
"All The Way"
"Never On Sunday"
"Moon River"
"Days Of Wine And Roses"
"Call Me Irresponsible"
"The Shadow Of Your Smile"
"Born Free"
"The Way We Were"
"You Light Up My Life"

Are all these songs great? Maybe not, but an awful lot of them are. And one thing is for sure, every one of them is memorable and singable, or at least humable. Times change. Music changes. Melodious, lyrical tunes have become passť. Singing "in tune" is old-fashioned and just not done anymore. How many Oscar winning songs of the past few years can you "hum?" How many do you even care to remember?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has attempted, through the years, to stay current and vital to the needs of the industry it serves and to the public at large. As times change, it has adapted -- altering categories, adding categories and eliminating categories when the need arises. In view of the direction that music has taken, perhaps itís about time for the Academy to retire the "Best Song" category from its award lineup. To quote the ironic title of this yearís Academy Award winning song, "Things Have Changed."


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. You may contact him by clicking here.


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© 2000, Greg Crosby