That lyric is from the very first Best Song Oscar winner, “The Continental,” from the 1934 Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musical, “The Gay Divorcee.” It’s a celebration of the power of dance to ignite the flames of desire.
Now “Shallow,” a more clear-eyed view on matters of the heart (“Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?”) from “A Star Is Born” is part of that Academy Award tradition. But the fact is, such honored love songs are becoming a rarity.
It used to be that romantic tunes regularly caught Oscar’s ear. Occasionally, a song of yearning like 1939’s “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz,” “When You Wish Upon a Star” from 1940’s “Pinocchio” and “White Christmas” from 1942’s “Holiday Inn” broke through. There