Total of 41 tunes will be considered for nominations

Three songs from the musical “Burlesque” led the list of 41 songs deemed eligible for Oscar consideration by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, while the films “Black Tulip,” “Country Strong” and “Despicable Me” each tout two tunes in the mix.

Despite the plethora of choices, the category could feature as few as two songs, or none if no song scores an 8.25 rating or higher, eliminating the category altogether for 2010.

The bakeoff will occur on Jan. 6, when voting members of the music branch will view clips featuring each song and then vote to determine the final nominees, with a DVD copy of song clips available to those unable to attend. If only one song receives a 8.25 score, that song and the song with next highest score will be selected as nominees. A maximum of five nominees will be chosen.

In two of the past five years, only three songs made the final cut.

Also under Academy rules, a maximum of two songs can be selected per film, which might have been a result of the hubbub raised in 2007 when three songs penned by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz from “Enchanted” were among the five nominees, and none of the songs by Eddie Vedder for “Into the Wild” made the cut (“Falling Slowly” from “Once” won that year).

Menken, along with co-writer Glenn Slater, is in the running again this year with “I See the Light” from the Disney animated feature “Tangled,” as is another veteran Oscar nominee, Randy Newman, for his contribution to the Disney-Pixar toon “Toy Story 3,” “We Belong Together.”

Other stalwarts include the six-time Oscar nominee Diane Warren (“You Haven’t See the Last of Me” from “Burlesque”) and Oscar winners Howard Shore, who co-wrote the music and lyrics for “Eclipse (All Yours)” from “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” and A.R. Rahman, who wrote the music for “If I Rise” from “127 Hours.”

Another interesting selection is the song “Shine” from the docu “Waiting for Superman'” by R&B singer John Legend.

While it not unheard-of for songs from docus to be considered (Melissa Etheridge won for her song “I Need to Wake Up” from global warming doc “An Inconvenient Truth”), it is still rare to see songs from docus to be considered for a song nomination.

Perhaps the one conspicuous omission is the operatic “La Donna in Viola,” which accompanies a key dramatic moment in “For Colored Girls.”

Some songs already have an early bump in consideration with “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” and “Bound to You” from “Burlesque,” “I See the Light,” “Coming Home” from “Country Strong” and “There’s a Place for Us” from “Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” all receiving Golden Globe nominations.

Nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards will be unveiled Jan. 25. The ceremony will be held Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

The songs are:

“Alice” from “Alice in Wonderland”

“Forever One Love” from “Black Tulip”

“Freedom Song” from “Black Tulip”

“Bound to You” from “Burlesque”

“Welcome to Burlesque” from “Burlesque”

“You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” from “Burlesque”

“There’s a Place for Us” from “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”

“Me and Tennessee” from “Country Strong”

“Despicable Me” from “Despicable Me”

“Prettiest Girls” from “Despicable Me”

“Dear Laughing Doubters” from “Dinner for Schmucks”

“Better Days” from “Eat Pray Love”

“If You Run” from “Going the Distance”

“Darkness before the Dawn” from “Holy Rollers”

“Sticks & Stones” from “How to Train Your Dragon”

“Le Gris” from “Idiots and Angels”

“Chanson Illusionist” from “The Illusionist”

“Never Say Never” from “The Karate Kid”

“To the Sky” from “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”

“What If” from “Letters to Juliet”

“Life during Wartime” from “Life during Wartime”

“Made in Dagenham” from “Made in Dagenham”

“Little One” from “Mother and Child”

“Be the One” from “The Next Three Days”

“If I Rise” from “127 Hours”

“When You See Forever” from “The Perfect Game”

“I Remain” from “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”

“Dream Big” from “Pure Country 2: The Gift”

“How I Love You” from “Ramona and Beezus”

“Darling I Do” from “Shrek Forever After”

“Noka Oi” from “Six Days in Paradise”

“This Is a Low” from “Tamara Drewe”

“I See the Light” from “Tangled”

“Rise” from “3 Billion and Counting”

“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3″

“Eclipse: All Yours” from “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”

“Nothing” from “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too”

“A Better Life” from “Unbeaten”

“Shine” from “Waiting for ‘Superman’ ”

“The Reasons Why” from “Wretches & Jabberers.”

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