​Oscars 2016: Take our Best Original Song poll

Sam Smith, from the music video for "Writing's On The Wall," from the James Bond film, "Spectre."


Which of this year's candidates for the Best Original Song Academy Award do you think should take home the Oscar?

Listen to the nominees by clicking on the embedded video players below; then, vote in our poll at the end of this article!

"Earned It" by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio (
From "Fifty Shades of Grey")

You know our love would be tragic (oh, yeah)
So you don't pay it, don't pay it no mind, mind, mind
We live with no lies, Hey, hey,
You're my favorite kind of night.

This romantic ballad for the erotic drama "Fifty Shades of Grey" succeeds as a study in emotional remove (vocalizing a passion that is both needy and held at arm's length) and, musically, in a pulsating seductiveness. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and won The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) a Grammy for Best R&B Performance.

"Manta Ray" by J. Ralph and Antony Hegarty (From the documentary "Racing Extinction")

Without biodiversity I'm nothing
It's like I never existed.
Without my home
With no reflection
I cease to exist.
And my children
Are dying now
Inside me.

An infinite, microscopic universe, viewed within a drop of seawater, provides the visuals for a song about the preciousness of life on Earth and of protecting species from extinction. Of the song's performer, J. Ralph told Rolling Stone, "If I had to pick one artist to represent the fate of humanity, it would be Antony."

"Simple Song #3" by David Lang (
From "Youth")

In "Youth," Paolo Sorrentino's film about an aging composer (Michael Caine) whose greatest success was decades earlier, "Simple Song #3" is a love song by Caine's character to his wife. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang compiled the lyrics by searching on Google for the kinds of phrases that one might whisper to a lover:

I'll be right there
I'll never forget you
I will leave lessons behind
I feel complete
I've got a feeling
I wish your body like rain
I'll be there, I'll be there
I lose all control

The sole classical-style nominee, "Simple Song #3" is sung in the film by international opera star Sumi Jo, and features violinist Viktoria Mullova.

"Til It Happens to You" by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga (
From the documentary "The Hunting Ground")

You tell me it gets better, it gets better in time.
You say pull yourself together, pull it together, you'll be fine.
Tell me what the hell do you know, what do you know?

A song for a documentary about rape on college campuses, "Til It Happens to You" had personal significance for eight-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren and Lady Gaga, both of whom have survived sexual assault.

"At the end of that song, that's a warrior singing that," Warren told CBS News. To which Gaga added, "I know I feel, really and truly, like I bared my soul."

"Writing's On The Wall" by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith (
From "Spectre")

If I risk it all,
Could you break my fall?
How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you're not here I'm suffocating.
I want to feel love, run through my blood.
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
'Cause the writing's on the wall.

Minor chords, sweeping strings, and lyrics that sing to the lonely heart of a secret agent and assassin -- the sound of Sam Smith's "Writing's On The Wall" is classic James Bond theme, yet only the fifth Bond song to be nominated for an Oscar. In addition to the impressive orchestral arrangement by Simon Hale, the song is fascinating for featuring Smith's vocal from the demo recording he made for the film's producers. There was no way he could top it.

"Writing's On The Wall," debuted at number 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart (the first Bond song to do so), and won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

Take our poll: Which should win the Oscar for Best Original Song?

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Winners of this year's Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. The show will be hosted by Chris Rock.

For more info:

  • David Morgan

    David Morgan is a senior editor at CBSNews.com and cbssundaymorning.com.