I don't know about you, but pretty much every time I hear the Oscar-nominated "City of Stars" from La La Land, my eyes turn into cartoon stars — full of joy and dreamy longing. OK, maybe not literally, but the Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone duet, composed by Justin Hurwitz and penned by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, will have you seeing stars too. It's that good.
The other songs nominated for Best Song are delightful too, so competition is tough. "Audition (The Fools Who Dream)," which is also from La La Land, packs a big punch. Then, I'm all about Lin-Manuel Miranda grabbing that heralded EGOT for Moana's "How Far I'll Go." Meanwhile, “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls and "The Empty Chair" from the documentary Jim: The James Foley Story both tell interesting stories in their own ways.
However, if you just take a listen to the lyrics in "City of Stars," I think it's pretty clear that the song that deserves to be hanging out with all the other stars who've won Oscar is that one. No matter who actually wins that shiny golden man, we'll always have the beautiful lyrics of "City of Stars" to put shining stars in our eyes.
1. "City Of Stars, Are You Shining Just For Me?"
The first lines of this haunting song hit you right in the gut. The sensation of feeling like the universe — or, in this case, grandiose city where music and movies are made — is smiling on oneself is so real.
2."City Of Stars, There's So Much That I Can't See"
At the same time, who doesn't feel a little lost when they're caught dreaming? It's hard to not be blinded by passions. It's all very relatable.
3. "I Felt It From The First Embrace I Shared With You That Now Our Dreams, They've Finally Come True"
Is the song referring to Mia and Sebastian's love for each other or Los Angeles? Who knows. It's beautiful regardless.
4. "Just One Thing Everybody Wants There In The Bars And Through The Smokescreen Of The Crowded Restaurants, It's Love"
Sebastian and Mia fell in love because they kept seeing each other at social gatherings. Maybe I too could fall in love at a social gathering.
5. "Yes, All We're Looking For Is Love From Someone Else, A Rush, A Glance, A Touch, A Dance"
I think the late Whitney Houston put it best when she said, "Oh, I wanna dance with somebody. I wanna feel the heat with somebody," but "City of Stars" has a dreamy way of expressing the feeling, too.
6. "A Look In Somebody's Eye To Light Up The Skies"
Speaking of eyes, I swear the reason I'm sobbing right now is because of allergies/dust that got stuck in there/I accidentally poked myself in the eye.
7. "To Open The World And Send It Reeling"
The "love conquers all" and "love can do all" vibes of this song are so strong in this line. Touching.
8. "A Voice That Says, 'I'll Be Here And You'll Be Alright'"
Wow. This song really pulls out all the touchy-feely stops, doesn't it?
9. "I Don't Care If I Know Just Where I Will Go 'Cause All I Need Is This Crazy Feeling, A Rat-Tat-Tat On My Heart"
"Seeing stars" and "rat-tat-tats" of the heart are scientifically linked (probably).
10. "Think I Want It To Stay"
Again, I swear I'm not crying. It's just the allergies/dust/finger poking thing.
11. "City Of Stars, You Never Shined So Brightly"
And that kicker? What even. The cartoon stars in my eyes expanded to the size of my face at this point. It's simple, but so poignant.
"City of Stars" is a love letter to a place (Los Angeles), to a person (Sebastian to Mia, and Mia to Sebastian), and to love itself. It's the perfect emotional plea and never fails to tug at the heart strings.