This was the first time Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan co-starred in a romantic comedy. Later, they shared the screen in You’ve Got Mail, a reimagining of the Jimmy Stewart movie Little Shop Around The Corner. In Sleepless in Seattle, they brought Nora Ephron’s script to life and captured it in such a way it’s hard to imagine anyone else in these roles. Aside from the memorable performance, there is something else in the movie that keeps it in our hearts twenty-eight years later; the soundtrack. This is a ranking of the songs on The Sleepless In Seattle Soundtrack.
12. An Affair To Remember – Marc Shaiman
One of the lines in this song is, “so take my hand with a fervent prayer that we may share a love affair to remember.” The final line of the song captures the essence of the movie. Additionally, the idea for Sleepless in Seattle was a loose interpretation of the Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr film by the same name.
11. In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning – Carly Simon
In 1955, David Mann wrote the song with Bob Hillard. The same year it was the title track of a Frank Sinatra album. Carly Simon did her own rendition on the My Romance album released in 1990.
10. Stand By Your Man – Tammy Wynette
Over the years, this song has met with some criticism since the days of being the woman behind the man have faded from the norm. However, it was the most successful song of Wynette’s career. Before it was featured on The Sleepless In Seattle Soundtrack, it was in another movie, Five Easy Pieces starring Jack Nicholson.
9. Make Someone Happy – Jimmy Durante
This song was initially slated for the 1960 Broadway Show Do Re Mi. Unlike several songs on this list, it only appeared in this movie. It was written by Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Jule Styne. Initially, it was released on Durante’s 1965 album, Jackie Barnett presents Jimmy Durante’s Way of Life.
8. When I Fall In Love – Celine Dion and Clive Griffin
Listeners first heard this song in the film One Minute To Zero, sung by Doris Day. The first album release was in 1952 by Jen Southern. Since then, it’s become a pop standard. So, it’s no wonder that she lent her voice to this version during the height of Dion’s fame. Considering the movie’s theme, the lyrics fit effortlessly into the storyline.
7. Back In The Saddle Again – Gene Autry
Ray Whitley wrote this song and performed it with his group, The Six Bar Cowboys. In the early days of cinema, Autry was the first singing cowboy and made this song famous. Whitley and Autry wrote this song together. In Sleepless In Seattle, the music is played during the scene when Hank’s character, Sam Baldwin, starts dating again. Some might say it’s a touch too literal since Back In The Saddle is a well-known phrase for putting yourself back out there after suffering the dissolution of a relationship.
6. A Wink And A Smile – Harry Connick Jr.
Throughout Connick’s career, he starred in and provided songs for numerous movies. Besides this one, he also starred in and lent his voice to the movie Hope Floats. The music plays when Meg Ryan’s character Annie Reed goes to see Sam and spends some time watching him play with his song on the beach.
5. Makin’ Whoopee – Dr. John Featuring Rickie Lee Jones
The first recording of this song was in 1928 by Eddie Cantor. It was written by Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson originally for the album In A Sentimental Mood. Dr. John and Rickie Lee Jones won a Grammy Award for their recording.
4. Stardust – Nat King Cole
Like many other songs on the list, this is a classic standard redone by a master. The song was recorded in 1927 and, by 1940, was considered a traditional song. Since then, it’s appeared in many movies in various genres, including Goodfellas. In 1995, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
3. As Time Goes By – Jimmy Durante
One of the greatest song writers of all time is Herman Hupfeld and one of the most memorable times he put pen to paper was when he wrote this song. Its popularity started with the 1931 musical Everbody’s Welcome. Later, it had an impressive showcase in Casablanca, the Humphrey Bogart, and Ingrid Bergman classic. Aside from this movie, it’s appeared in films too numerous to list before Durante lent his voice. It’s one of two of his songs that appear on this soundtrack.
2. Bye Bye Blackbird – Joe Cocker
During the Great Depression, this song enjoyed a rise in popularity because of its uplifting lyrics. In 1953 it was featured in The Eddie Cantor Story. Shortly after, it reached #1 in the United Kingdom. Besides maintaining its popularity, many artists have done their own renditions, including boogie-woogie pianist Winifred Atwell and Diana Krall on the 2009 movie Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. However, before it was featured in a gangster movie, Cocker lent his voice and made it a chart-topping hit for the second time.
1. A Kiss To Build A Dream On – Louis Armstrong
According to Great American Songbook, this song started as Moonlight On The Meadow and was slated to be part of the Marx Brothers movie A Night At The Opera. Nonetheless, songwriters Thomas Hischak and Bert Kalmar didn’t give up on it. They changed several portions of the lyrics. These changes paid off. In 1951, Oscar Hammerstein II asked Louis Armstrong and Kay Brown to record it for the 1951 movie The Strip. Although it’s not featured in the film, it’s added to the end songs during the credits. So, if you want to pause a few minutes and let the movie sink in, you’ll be left with a song that helps give you a lasting impression of this classic film.