What songs have appeared in the most movies?

I was just watching “Sahara” last night, and “Sweet Home Alabama” is featured on the soundtrack. It occurred to me that “Sweet Home Alabama” has to win some kind of award for being featured in the greatest number of movies… or does it? Does anyone have stats on this?

Gaudeamus Igitur is frequently used in any movie with an academic setting, and O Fortuna for any supernatural event. They must be pretty close to the top.

You’re both wrong. It’s that James Brown song. The one that goes *“Wah! I feel good / I knew that I would…”

Another one has to be the one that goes “Bow bow… ooooooh, yeeeeeeah… Chickah chickaaaaaahhh!” What was that called? I think it was the unofficial theme song of the 1980’s.

Tom Petty’s “American Girl” shows up in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Silence of the Lambs and Chasing Liberty. A cover version was in the film Sugar and Spice.

Smashmouth’s “All-Star” shows up in Shrek, Digimon: the Movie, and Mystery Men.

“Oh Yeah” by Yello

Oh wait. How about “Respect” by Aretha Franklin which shows up in:

Forrest Gump
Bridget Jones’s Diary
Akeelah And The Bee
Proud Family
Blues Brothers 2000
Platoon (original Otis Redding version)
Ella Enchanted (cover version)
Dangerous Minds (sampled)

Several years ago, I read an article which definitively stated that the two most used songs are “I Feel Good” by James Brown and “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers. Google didn’t turn up the cite, and things may have changed in the meantime, but those two songs are definitely up there.

It has to be a classical piece: they were used over and over again, since you didn’t have to pay the writer anything.

The William Tell Overture shows up in dozens of movies and TV shows, even today (e.g., “Two and a Half Men”). If you count shorts, the number of WB cartoons that used sections of it (“storm” and “dawn”) are in the dozens.

Carl Stalling as WB also was fond of von Suppe’s “Poet and Peasant Overture” (for storms) and “Light Cavalry Overture” (for anything involving riding a horse).

I woulda guessed Amazing Grace. It is out of copyright and it is moving when played well.

Peter Gabriel’s Salisbury Hill seems to show up all over the place.

The Impressions - My girl* is well past over-used.

I figure it would be music played during ritual events depicted in films.

  • For birthday scenes: Happy Birthday to You
  • For wedding scenes: Wagner’s Bridal Chorus (although usually not sung)
  • For graduation scenes: Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1

Solsbury steak on the mind? :wink:

(The song is Solsbury Hill.)

I believe it is now a law that MOONLIGHT SERENADE be played in any World War II film.

I am not the OP, so y’know, grain of salt

It seems to me that it is kind of cheating to use Classical music, traditional celebration music, and other music that is out of copyright.

Along the lines of Sweet Homa Alabama, it definitely seems to me that the OP was thinking of modern music (ie, in the last century/still in copyright), as it’s more unusual for such songs to pop up in multiple movies, whereas it is very commonplace for pieces like what you guys are mentioning to pop up in movies, tv, etc. Especially if you include old WB cartoons; they’re rife with Classical music.

D’oh! :smack: Sweet Home Alabama, I mean. :stuck_out_tongue:

Man, Digimon had kind of a bizarre soundtrack! I can’t remember off the top of my head, but it had a bunch of pop and alt-rock hit songs from the late '90’s, which is kinda weird for a movie based on a kid’s show brought over from Japan that was explicitly made to push product not available in the US.

Then the back half of the movie’s soundtrack is the complete soundtrack of the TV series first two seasons (some of the songs are there as hidden tracks)! :dubious:

Yeah, just a little odd.

PS. Yes, I was a HUGE Digimon fan; Pokemon were way cooler as far as monster-design goes, but Digimon had a dramatic, ongoing story that was very well-written; at least the first season was (never liked the second’s continuation). And the spin-off series Digimon Tamers, which was simply marketed as the third season here in America, was probably the best “kids collect monsters/robots/cards/whatever and fight them!” style anime ever made! Medabots kinda doesn’t count as it’s largely a (masterful) parody of the other shows.

Actually, the Digimons were available in the US, briefly, about a year before the show came out, and, again, briefly there were new variants (based on the digivices) put out - during season 2, at least, I don’t know about the other seasons, off the top of my head.

There is a programme on Australian TV called 20 to 1 which goes through 20 of some thing - stuffups, funny on air moments etc. One week was One Hit Wonders and one was Spirit In The Sky. They mentioned that it has featured in 30 film soundtracks.

Slightly off topic, but i remember reading (no cite sorry) that Moby’s album “Play” is the only ever album to have every song used in movies. (that is different movies).

I remember reading in some reviews of the film that there was a prologue attached to it featuring the characters from a Canadian kids’ show called Angela Anaconda which happened to be running on the Family Channel at the time, which was owned by Fox (the film’s distributor) at the time. So what with soundtrack and prologue, there must have been something bizarre going on at Fox.