Top movie songs revealed as psychologist find link between music and movement
A list of the top 10 movie songs has been unveiled, leading experts to draw a link between music and movement.
The people of Britain have spoken, and have crowned Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You as the top movie song of all time. The 1992 hit, originally recorded by Dolly Parton in the ‘70s, became a chart phenomenon after featuring in double Oscar-nominated movie The Bodyguard.
The list was compiled by Samsung Electronics to celebrate the launch of the new HW-K950 soundbar, with tracks from The Jungle Book, Dirty Dancing, Grease and Saturday Night Fever all making the cut. The 10 songs feature a mix of upbeat anthems and slower, more emotional tracks.
“One of the interesting observations to be drawn from the nation’s music choices is the evident connection between music and movement,” Alexandra Lamont, Senior Lecturer in Psychology of Music at Keele University, told Cover Media. “The popularity of Dirty Dancing, Grease, Saturday Night Fever and The Jungle Book highlights how music in movies can be more memorable and impactful if it is accompanied by dance or performance.
“Watching people dance as well as hearing them sing produces more activation in the brain, including in the motor areas and the reward system, through mirror neurons. This means we get stronger emotional connections and patterns of activation from songs with dance compared to songs alone.”
The top 10 list of favourite movie songs of all time:
1. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (The Body Guard)
2. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor (Rocky)
3. (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life – Bill Medley, Jennifer Warnes (Dirty Dancing)
4. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion (Titanic)
5. Take My Breath Away – Berlin (Top Gun)
6. Mrs Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel (The Graduate)
7. The Bare Necessities – The Jungle Book
8. You’re The One That I Want – John Travolta & Olivia Newton John (Grease)
9. Stand by Me – Ben E King (Stand by Me)
10. Staying Alive – Bee Gees (Saturday Night Fever)
Alexandra also notes the prevalence of nostalgia, explaining how nostalgia is normally experienced in relation to events in our own lives, not those of fictional characters but how listening to music is a safe way of expressing emotion in a context that isn’t “real.”
“For example, when listening to My Heart Will Go On we are reminded of the heart-breaking scene of Rose losing Jack in Titanic: we remember and relive the emotional highs and lows in a safe space,” she said.