One tactic that has been used in the publicity of movies (and other media, but mostly movies) for decades is to produce a radio friendly song to go with the film. By having music intrinsically linked, you can effectively extend the advertising for both the musical artist(s) and the movie by crossing over into the two fields. It often works out pretty well, with both the movie and the artist(s) getting a ton of free publicity from each other. For example, ''TheGraduate'' and the song "MrsRobinson" by Music/SimonAndGarfunkel were both major hits when they first came out, with each giving a ton of publicity to the other. (This was the first time a pop hit was used on the soundtrack of a high-profile Hollywood film, and while the trend didn't catch on right away, it's safe to say it eventually became pretty standard practice.)

However, the nature of the entertainment industry means that you really can't be sure what people will or will not like. Most of the time, both the song and the movie will flop. Also common is that a movie will be popular, but nobody cares about the song that got attached. One example of that is the song "You Could Be Mine" by Music/GunsNRoses from ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''. The movie is still very popular, but the song is pretty much disassociated with it these days (having the Terminator in its video makes the song AND video look extremely dated; having Music/GunsNRoses suddenly blaring on the soundtrack early on in ''Terminator 2'' [[UnintentionalPeriodPiece sounds odd now]]).

But in some cases, the song continues to be popular after the movie has gone into obscurity. Sometimes the movie was actually popular at the time, but the song has since become utterly disassociated from its original context. In cases like this, we have what is called a Breakaway Pop Hit. The measure this article will use to gauge is whether or not a song still receives airtime on non-specialized radio stations at least five years after the movie has fallen into obscurity (in other words, people just recently informed of the fact would react with a surprised, "wait, my favorite song is from a movie?") Examples of this should follow these rules:

# It has to be a full song, released either as a single or otherwise widely available to radio stations. The song has to continue to receive airplay on the very general radio stations (i.e. an FM oldies station would count, but not a Satellite Radio station specifically dedicated to movie themes from the 1960s). Most FM stations count in this regard, since their entirely free nature means that they have to try to appeal to as wide a group as they can.
# It has to have been created alongside a movie (TV show/video game/whatever). One way you can tell if it counts is if the music video heavily advertises the tie-in. It can't just have been tacked on by the studio to try to get more publicity for it (see "Kiss From a Rose" for a blatant example of that). With this rule, it does count if the music was released well in advance but was specifically intended as an intrinsic part of the movie (/TV show/video game/whatever).
# The movie (/TV show/video game/whatever) has to fall into obscurity. This is the most subjective part of this entry, but you can tell if it fell into obscurity by the fact that the studio either didn't release a DVD of it (not due only to [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes copyright hell]]) or they just gave it a "catalog" release (basically a bare bones DVD with just the movie and whatever cheaply available other materials such as trailers or music videos are on hand. The price is usually $14.99 or lower). Just having a special edition version does not automatically mean it hasn't fallen into obscurity (for example, see TheCriterionCollection for a TON of obscure movies with the red carpet treatment). If the average person is unlikely to know about a movie (/TV show/video game/whatever), it counts.
# Quality of the movie (/TV show/video game/whatever) is irrelevant. ''Film/{{Armageddon}}'', for example, is widely reviled. However, due to the fact that it gets referenced a lot (usually in a negative fashion), it has certainly not fallen into obscurity. As such, the song "I Don't Want To Miss a Thing" by Music/{{Aerosmith}} would not yet count as an example (even if most people couldn't tell you that it was tied in to the film). On the flip side, a movie that is considered to be very high quality does not excuse it from obscurity. As mentioned in example 3, see TheCriterionCollection for a lot of movies that are academically considered to be very high quality, yet are extremely obscure.

This applies to an ''insane'' number of songs from old Broadway and movie musicals. Far too many songs have escaped their original musicals to give a full list, but ones that have become standards, while the shows they hail from are almost never seen, can stand as notable examples.

See PopCulturalOsmosis and BreakawayAdvertisement for related phenomenons. See also AwardBaitSong. Naturally, this can be frustrating for fans of the popular song's source. Compare CoveredUp and WeirdAlEffect.



* Jim Guthrie's song "Hands In My Pocket" was originally written for a Capital One commercial.
* The Music/{{Carpenters}} song ''We've Only Just Begun" was first used in a [[ 1970 Crocker Bank commercial]] sung and co-written by PaulWilliams. Richard Carpenter saw the commercial on TV one night, called Williams and asked if there was a bridge to the song. Williams lied and said there was and he and his songwriting partner worked quickly to write the rest of the song before giving it to Carpenter.
* Political advertising, but still - Boston mayoral candidate Walter A. O'Brien commissioned a pair of songwriters to write a song supporting his candidacy and protesting a fare hike on the subway system. While O'Brien lost, the song, "Charlie On The M.T.A." was later covered by the Kingston Trio, becaming a hit for the band that was widely remembered to this day. In fact, the fare cards and tickets for the transit authority (now called the MBTA) are called [=CharlieTickets=][=/=][=CharlieCards=], after the song. A plaque in the popular hub Park Street Station explains the story behind the name of the ticket and the song.
* An Alka-Seltzer commercial from 1964 had a vignette of different peoples' stomachs with a jaunty guitar-led instrumental tune, later becoming a radio hit "No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's On)" by the T-Bones.
* The UrExample of this is "RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer," which was originally written as a Montgomery Ward advertising jingle.
* Timothy Leary asked JohnLennon to write him a song when was running for political office, that song turning out to be Music/TheBeatles' hit "Come Together". Subverted, in that John ended up keeping the song instead of letting Leary use it.
* Coca-Cola's 1970 Jingle 'I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing' had radio callers '''requesting the commercial''', so a longer version was released that was a Billboard Top 10 hit.
* "Country Sunshine" by Dottie West was also a Coca-Cola jingle first, and released as a single in 1973 based on the popularity of the commercial, becoming her signature song.


[[folder: Films - Live Action]]

* One of the most prominent examples is "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by BobDylan, written for the film ''Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid'', one of SamPeckinpah's lesser known works.
* "Invincible" by PatBenatar, which was in the movie ''TheLegendOfBillieJean''. Pat Benatar often mocks the film before going into the song in concerts.
* "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" by Music/BryanAdams, which was featured in ''DonJuanDeMarco''.
** Music/BryanAdams' "Heaven" is one of his best-known songs. But does anyone remember ''A Night In Heaven'', the movie it was made for?
** Another Bryan Adams example: "All for Love" (which he co-wrote), performed with Music/RodStewart and [[Music/ThePolice Sting]], became a #1 hit in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, and many European countries. Raise your hand if you remember the [[Film/TheThreeMusketeers1993 1993 film adaptation]] of ''Literature/TheThreeMusketeers'' that it came from. We're waiting...
* "Theme From Film/NewYorkNewYork" by Liza Minelli (CoveredUp by Music/FrankSinatra), to the point most even omit the first two words. Not to be confused with a similarly named song that was featured in the film ''OnTheTown'' and parodied by ''TheSimpsons'', or with a similarly named song by Moby.
* Music/GarthBrooks has had his considerable star power carry two songs out from the movies he recorded them for: "Make You Feel My Love" (a BobDylan cover) from ''Film/HopeFloats'', and "When You Come Back to Me Again" from ''Film/{{Frequency}}''.
* "Come and Get It", composed by Music/PaulMcCartney and performed by Badfinger for the soundtrack of the largely forgotten Creator/PeterSellers/ RingoStarr vehicle ''TheMagicChristian''.
* "Unchained Melody" was originally written by composer Alex North and lyricist Hy Zaret for the little known 1955 prison film ''Unchained''. A decade later the Righteous Brothers recorded a cover which topped the charts. That version gained new popularity when it was used in the movie ''[[{{Film/Ghost}} Ghost]]'' in 1990. Today, it's much more associated with ''Ghost'' than with ''Unchained.''
* "A Little Less Conversation" was an obscure ElvisPresley song from his film ''Live a Little, Love a Little''. A remix by [=JXL=] in the early 2000's turned it into a smash hit.
** That's the most dramatic example, but many Elvis songs qualify for this. He started making films not long after he was discovered and didn't stop making them until about 1970. All of those films were musicals, and most of them were forgettable--but his songs still charted for a while despite that. So there are likely some Elvis songs from, say, the early '60s or even late '50s that most of us know, that originally went with a musical, but which only serious Elvis or bad-film fans would recall ''which'' musical.
* [[Music/{{ACDC}} AC/DC's]] "Who Made Who" still gets play on rock radio stations and is one of their more well-known songs, long after the movie for which it was recorded, Creator/StephenKing's ''Film/MaximumOverdrive'', has been more or less forgotten.
* One of the first songs most people learn on the piano, "Heart And Soul", is from the short film ''A Song is Born'' (1938).
* Jeanette[=MacDonald=] first sang "Beyond the Blue Horizon" in ''Film/MonteCarlo1930.'' It became a signature song for her, which she performed and recorded many times over the next couple of decades. Then it became a hit all over again when it was CoveredUp by Lou Christie in 1974.
* The Gene Wilder comedy ''The Woman in Red'' was a modest success, but Stevie Wonder's theme song "I Just Called to Say I Love You" became an Oscar-winning megahit.
* The Eric Clapton song, "Tears from Heaven" was recorded specifically for the ''Rush'' soundtrack, and has remained popular while the movie has rushed into obscurity.
* Dan Hartman's song "I Can Dream About You" was used in the the movie ''Film/StreetsOfFire'', which was somewhat of a disappointment at the time of its release.
* CoveredUp Breakaway Pop Hits: "You Light Up My Life" was originally written for the movie ''You Light Up My Life''. Since the song's writer, Joe Brooks, also wrote and directed the movie, you could argue that the movie's sole purpose was to generate a Breakaway Pop Hit. But the version from the movie, by Kasey Cisyk, flopped. Then a few months later Debby Boone covered it and it became the biggest hit of the '70s.
** "That's What Friends Are For" was originally recorded by Rod Stewart for the Ron Howard-directed 1982 hit ''Night Shift'', starring Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton, where it played over the closing credits. A couple years later Dionne Warwick was watching it on TV and decided to cover the song herself. Although ''Night Shift'' is still considered an early 80s comedy classic, very few people know its connection to the song; in fact, more than a few people have probably just thought that it was Rod Stewart covering a Dionne Warwick song.
* The Music/GlennMiller Band's recording of "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" was the first ever record to go gold. They appeared on screen as a FakeBand to introduce the song in ''Sun Valley Serenade'', a not-so-legendary Creator/SonjaHenie vehicle. Nevertheless, the song had been written by songwriters under contract to the studio.
* For the next Creator/SonjaHenie movie, ''Film/{{Iceland}}'', the same songwriters wrote "There Will Never Be Another You".
* "Time for Miracles," a song by Music/AdamLambert which was used in the movie ''Film/TwoThousandTwelve'' and whose music video heavily references the film.
* "Gangsta's Paradise"--which SampledUp "Pastime's Paradise" by Music/StevieWonder--was an inescapable, insanely popular (if [[GenreShift uncharacteristic]]) crossover hit for Coolio, while the film ''DangerousMinds'' has largely faded from public memory.
* The song "White Christmas" is far more well known than the movie it first appeared in, which was ''Holiday Inn''.
** Which also named the hotel chain, which is also better-known than the movie. (Breakaway {{Defictionalization}}?)
** ''HolidayInn'' is not so much "obscure" as just ''old''. It stars Music/BingCrosby and Creator/FredAstaire doing what they respectively do best (crooning and dancing), and your grandparents (or great-grandparents) no doubt remember it fondly. It's also shown in most markets ''at least'' once a year (around Christmastime, naturally).
* 40 years later, Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love" still gets airplay on light rock stations, while ''Film/CasinoRoyale1967'', wallows in well deserved obscurity, known primarily only by [[Film/JamesBond Bond]] fanatics.
** The instrumental theme from Casino Royale was a modest hit for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (#27 on the Billboard Hot 100; #1 on the "Easy Listening" charts) and probably is better known today than the movie itself is.
* "When I Fall In Love (It Will Be Forever)" was originally from the 1952 movie ''One Minute To Zero''.
** CoveredUp: Raise your hand if you thought it was originally from ''SleeplessInSeattle''.
* From the same era, the old standby "Mona Lisa" comes from - and was never sung or played completely through in - a minor action flick called ''Captain Carey, USA''.
* "Would?" by Music/AliceInChains was originally released with the movie ''Singles'' before it appeared on their album ''Dirt''. The movie is fine, but the song is one of their most famous and even ranked at #89 on VH-1's ''100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs of All-Time''. ''Singles'' is a great example of this trope, because the soundtrack album was and remains more popular than the movie itself! It featured bands such as Music/{{Soundgarden}} and Music/PearlJam at a time when grunge was growing in popularity.
** Similarly, more people cared about their song "What The Hell Have I" than the movie it was attached to, ''Film/LastActionHero'' for years after its release before the film [[VindicatedByCable began to pick up a following]]. Now no one cares about the ''song''.
* "Happy Days are Here Again" was first featured in an early MGM musical called ''Chasing Rainbows''.
** Later, in 1932, the song became associated with FDR's presidential campaign.
* Music/RedHotChiliPeppers' cover of Ohio Players' "Love Rollercoaster" was recorded hastily for the WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButtheadDoAmerica soundtrack and became a hit single. The band refused to capitalise on this and have never done it live. "Soul To Squeeze", a Blood Sugar Sex Magik outtake that was previously released as B-Side to "Give It Away" was contributed to the Coneheads soundtrack and became a hit, being played live and later appeared on their GreatestHits.
* ''Neptune's Daughter'' had "Baby, It's Cold Outside," which had in fact been written five years before the movie came out as a party song, and not for the movie, which was set in southern California. "On A Slow Boat To China" would count as a BreakawayPopHit from the same movie if it wasn't a CutSong.
* The Music/PhilCollins song "Against All Odds" still gets a fair amount of airplay on '80s stations, but the movie of the same title is pretty much forgotten.
** Speaking of Phil Collins, "Two Hearts" and "Groovy Kind of Love" are two of his best known songs. But does anybody remember the 1988 film ''Buster''? ("Groovy Kind of Love" had been a #2 hit 20 years earlier for the Mindbenders, but it wasn't CoveredUp by Collins until the time the movie was made.)
** Yet another Phil Collins example: "Separate Lives", from the now mostly forgotten and very strange film ''WhiteNights'' -- which also spawned Lionel Richie's "Say You, Say Me".
*** Though ''White Nights'' has niche appeal for dance fans who know it because of Mikhail Baryshnikov's and/or Gregory Hines's starring roles in the film, or Helen Mirren superfans who'll recognize this as one of her breakout films. Still, the Lionel Richie megahit "Say You, Say Me" is inarguably far more well known than the film from which it originated.
* Music/HenryMancini's "Baby Elephant Walk" from ''Film/{{Hatari}}!'' is a rare instrumental example of the BreakawayPopHit.
* "Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" from ''The Forest Rangers''.
* Not ''exactly'' a case of this trope, but Music/EricClapton {{covered|Up}} Wynonna Judd's "Change the World" for the soundtrack of the 1996 film ''Phenomenon''.
* "Ugly Bug Ball" by Burl Ives comes from the Disney flop ''Summer Magic''.
** Burl Ives' most beloved song might be his cover of the folk song, "Lavender Blue". He sings it in the Disney film, ''SoDearToMyHeart'', which only a very few people, mostly hardcore Disney fans and animation historians, are even aware of.
* DavidBowie examples:
** "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)". The name of the song is virtually the only giveaway that it was made for a movie -- and '''not''' ''Film/InglouriousBasterds''! This case was "helped" by the fact that he re-recorded it with a different, poppier arrangement for his album ''Let's Dance''.
** His TitleThemeTune for ''Absolute Beginners'' (1986) went to #2 on the U.K. charts, making it one of his bigger hits in TheEighties. But the movie -- which he had a OneSceneWonder role in -- was barely released beyond its home country and was briefly notorious as a flop big enough to be a CreatorKiller for its studio.
* "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)" from ''The Sky's the Limit''.
* In 1998, two hit singles - "Uninvited" by Alanis Morrisette and "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls - were written for and first appeared on the soundtrack of ''Film/CityOfAngels'', the widely derided ForeignRemake of the acclaimed German film ''Film/WingsOfDesire''. Another song, "Angel" ([[RefrainFromAssuming sometimes mistakenly called "In the Arms of the Angel"]]) by Sarah [=MacLachlan=], was initially released as an album-only track before it was included on the ''City Of Angels'' soundtrack, and it too became a hit from there.
* "Puttin' on the Ritz" was originally sung by Harry Richman in an early movie musical of the same title. The familiar lyrics, however, were first sung by Fred Astaire in ''Blue Skies''. (And there are probably viewers of younger generations who only know the song at all via ''Film/YoungFrankenstein'' and/or Taco's cover version in TheEighties.)
* "The More I See You" from ''Diamond Horseshoe''.
* "You Make Me Feel So Young" from ''Three Little Girls in Blue''.
* The pop standard "More" originated as the theme from the Italian {{Shockumentary}} ''Mondo Cane''. In an interesting inversion of ForgottenThemeTuneLyrics, the original song was an instrumental.
* "I Remember You" and "Tangerine" from ''The Fleet's In''.
* Earth Wind and Fire did a fine, lively cover of Music/TheBeatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life" that charted well. Music/{{Aerosmith}} also has a pretty popular version of "Come Together." You could hardly believe that both were spawned from the turgid, [[Music/TheBeeGees BeeGees]]-heavy musical ''Film/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand''.
* The song ''The Happening'' was a number one hit for TheSupremes and became a staple on oldies stations. The film ''The Happening'' (no, not [[TheHappening that one]]), has sank into almost complete obscurity; it's generally remembered only for being one of Anthony Quinn's worst roles.
* A rare example of an ''entire album'' falling victim to this trope; StevieWonder's ''Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants'' is well remembered for being one of the first NewAge albums and for the [[LoveItOrHateIt polarized]] reaction it got from fans. However, how many people have actually seen ''The Secret Life of Plants''? It's an odd little documentary (the book, a history of the scientific -- or not -- study of if and how plants are aware of their environment, is much better known) that it was made as the soundtrack for.
* "I Finally Found Someone" by Music/BryanAdams and BarbraStreisand is an AwardBaitSong from ''The Mirror Has Two Faces'', which she also produced, directed and starred in.
* "Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" comes from ''The Gold Diggers of Broadway'', an early movie musical which is mostly lost. StandardSnippet "The Gold Diggers’ Song (We’re in the Money)" comes from the 1933 loose remake ''Gold Diggers of 1933'', a "culturally significant" work that sits at the lower extremes of MainstreamObscurity
* The song "Georgy Girl," which was a #2 hit for The Seekers (and co-written by [[PushingDaisies The Narrator]]), came from a not-so-remembered (at least in the US) film starring Lynn Redgrave.
* "High Hopes (Rubber Tree Plant)" came from an obscure late-period Creator/FrankCapra movie starring Music/FrankSinatra, ''A Hole in the Head''.
* Yet another CoveredUp example: "Mah Na Mah Na", which nowadays is associated with Franchise/TheMuppets, was originally from an Italian pseudodocumentary/exploitation film called ''Sweden, Heaven or Hell''. Just about every cover/parody of it nowadays is based on the Muppets version as opposed to Piero Umilani's original (CAKE's cover, from the multi-artist CD ''For The Kids'', being the most well-known exception).
* "That Old Black Magic" from ''Star Spangled Rhythm''.
* Donna Summer's "Last Dance" from ''Thank God It's Friday''.
* Music/{{Vangelis}} got a hit with "Conquest of Paradise" for Creator/RidleyScott's ''Film/FourteenNinetyTwoConquestOfParadise'' (Yes, [[Film/{{Alien}} that]] Creator/RidleyScott). (They'd had an earlier hit with the theme music for ''Film/ChariotsOfFire'', but that doesn't qualify--the movie is remembered, and everyone associates that melody with the movie and with running.)
* "Am I Blue?" was introduced by Ethel Waters in the 1929 movie musical ''On with the Show!''
* "Blues in the Night" and "This Time the Dream's on Me" were originally written for ''Blues in the Night'', an obscure movie musical made in 1941 and starring future director Creator/EliaKazan.
* Evanescence got their breakout hit "Bring Me To Life" on the soundtrack of the utterly-forgettable ''Film/{{Daredevil}}'' movie.
* For great justice, the ''Film/SpaceJam'' soundtrack makes the cut. {{R Kelly}}'s "[[AwardBaitSong I Believe I Can Fly]]" is today largely assumed by younger basketball fans to have been written to celebrate UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan's career. Likewise, a lot of people like Music/{{Seal}}'s cover version of "Fly Like an Eagle" as well as Monica's "For You, I Will", a surprisingly actually heartwarming song written by the otherwise not-so-well-liked Diane Warren. Meanwhile, the movie is remembered for being a spectacular BaseBreaker. Once again, music videos never forget: WesternAnimation/BugsBunny has a cameo in each of them ("Fly Like An Eagle" is itself a VideoFullOfFilmClips).
** Also, another CoveredUp example: the album features All 4 One's version of the Warren-penned "I Turn to You". Which people only really fell in love with after Music/ChristinaAguilera covered it.
* The first Music/PinkFloyd song that got any sort of airplay on US pop radio was the jangly "Free Four". With the exception of diehard Floyd fans and fans of French filmmaker Barbet Schroeder, no one has seen ''La Vallee'', the obscure French hippie film that the song is from the soundtrack of. The soundtrack itself (''Obscured by Clouds'', which doubled as the band's seventh studio album) is similarly more well known than ''La Vallee''.
** The band's 1969 third album, ''Soundtrack from the Film "More"'' is similarly more well known than the film ''More'' (another French hippie film by Barbet Schroeder). In fact, the film wasn't released in the United States and the album was just known as ''More'' upon release.
* The film ''Film/{{Gothika}}'' was successful upon release. But it is nowhere near as famous (well, maybe notorious is a better word here) as the song recorded for the film: LimpBizkit's cover of "[[TheWho Behind Blue Eyes]]".
* Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow's cover of Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'" was a major Adult Contemporary radio hit in 2000, and remained a radio staple long after the movie the cover was from, ''Duets'', bombed at the box office.
* Although the fact that the song is called "Going Home: Theme from ''LocalHero''" is a pretty good giveaway that it's a theme from something, it's arguable that more people have heard and can recognize the iconic theme by Mark Knopfler than have actually seen the movie.
* "Touched by the Hand of God" by NewOrder from ''Salvation!''. The song isn't one of their bigger hits, but because of its video - which features the band dressed up as a hair metal group - its much better known than the movie it came from.
* "One Tin Soldier" as recorded by Coven on the soundtrack of ''Film/BillyJack'', which would also prove to be a BlackSheepHit for what was otherwise a Satanic hard rock band. Though the song was originally recorded two years earlier by The Original Caste.
* At the height of his career, Chuck Mangione won scored a hit with and won a Grammy award for his soundtrack to a little-known movie called ''Children of Sanchez''.
* In one of the most prominent examples of this trope, BoyzIIMen performed "End of the Road" for the EddieMurphy romantic comedy ''Boomerang''. While ''Boomerang'' made back its budget, it is not particularly remembered or acclaimed, while "End of the Road" is the highest selling Motown single of all time.
* Legendary R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire broke into the top 40 with the album ''That's the Way of the World''. Most people don't know that it's actually a soundtrack for a movie of the same name.
* The Music/KellyClarkson song ''Breakaway'' was first part of the soundtrack for ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries II''. It slowly climbed the charts and became her biggest hit since ''Miss Independent''. It also prompted her record company to title her second album ''Breakaway'' when it was released later in the year.
* "I've Got You Under My Skin" written by Cole Porter was first heard in ''BornToDance'', an MGM musical starring Eleanor Powell. "Easy To Love" was introduced in the same movie, but since 1987 it's more likely to be heard in revivals of ''Theatre/AnythingGoes'', which was in fact the show for which Cole Porter originally wrote it.
* Bobby Womack's "Across 110th Street" became popular for young viewers when it was played in the opening credits of ''Film/JackieBrown''. However it was originally the title song to an early 70s crime drama of the same name, starring Yaphet Kotto and Anthony Quinn.
* "No More Lonely Nights", a big post-Beatles, post-Music/{{Wings}} hit for PaulMcCartney, was first recorded as part of the soundtrack for his 1984 movie ''Give My Regards To Broad Street'', which was a critical and commercial flop.
* "Hooray For Hollywood" came from a musical called ''HollywoodHotel''. The movie's not very well known now but it does feature a great performance of "Sing, Sing, Sing" by Benny Goodman's band.
* Other than featuring the late TupacShakur, the film ''AboveTheRim'' is mostly remembered for the hit songs ''Regulate'' by Nate Dogg and Warren G and ''Anything'' by [=SWV=] and the Wu-Tang Clan.
* "Foolish Games" by {{Jewel}} was released as the third single from the ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'' soundtrack, months after the film itself had been laughed out of theaters, and eventually became the ''second-best selling single of 1997 in the United States''. Sure, it originally appeared on her megahit album ''Pieces of You'', but it wasn't slated to be a single until it was to be included on the ''Batman and Robin'' soundtrack two years after ''Pieces of You'' was released.
** ''Film/BatmanForever'', the Batman film before ''Batman and Robin'', also has a Breakaway Pop Hit, {{U2}}'s "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me". ''Batman Forever'' itself has been largely forgotten for [[SoOkayItsAverage not being as good as the Burton films that preceded it, or as bad as the next movie]]. ''Batman Forever'''s other big soundtrack hit, "Kiss From A Rose", however is not an example of this trope: it was already a minor hit before it was tacked onto the soundtrack (and not an obscure album track that initially had no hopes of being issued as a single, like the aforementioned "Foolish Games"). Both videos have Batman in them (the former is an AnimatedMusicVideo with U2 performing in Gotham, the latter has Seal singing next to the Batsignal).
* It's probable that more people are familiar with Neil Diamond's song "America" than the movie it was originally from, the widely-panned 1980 remake of ''TheJazzSinger''. In fact, that NonActorVehicle yielded ''three'' big hits for Diamond, the others being "Hello Again" and "Love on the Rocks".
* The Irving Berlin standard "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" was introduced by Dick Powell and Alice Faye in the movie musical ''On the Avenue'' (1937).
* "Teenage Dirtbag" by nerd-rock band Wheatus was a Top 5 hit in the United Kingdom and on American alternative radio. The song originally appeared on the soundtrack to the film ''Loser'', which was a box office failure.
* "FM (No Static At All)" by Music/SteelyDan is a fondly remembered single released while the band was promoting their best selling album, ''Aja''. The film it was written for, ''FM'' is now obscure and largely only remembered for the Steely Dan song written for it.
* "Charmaine" was originally theme music for the 1926 silent movie ''What Price Glory?''
* "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by {{Starship}} was featured in ''Film/{{Mannequin}}'', each successful in their own right.
* "That Old Feeling" from ''Walter Wanger's Vogues of 1938''.
* DigitalUnderground's "Same Song", from Creator/DanAykroyd's comedy ''NothingButTrouble''. The movie was panned by critics and was a box office flop, but the song was a hit.
* "'Til I Hear It From You" by The Gin Blossoms was among the band's biggest hits. It originally appears on the soundtrack to the commercial flop "''{{Clerks}}'' [[DieHardOnAnX in a record store]]" movie ''Empire Records''. Another song from the soundtrack, "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins achieved success in the United States after appearing on the album's soundtrack, but its not an example of this trope, because it was already a hit in his native UK the year before the movie was released.
* Music/GreenDay's "J.A.R." was originally featured on the soundtrack for the movie ''Angus''. The film didn't do too well at the box office, but the song was a hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and appearing on their greatest hits album.
* The ColePorter song "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" was originally from ''Something to Shout About'', a 1943 movie musical starring Don Ameche and Janet Blair.
* "Cocktails For Two" from ''Murder at the Vanities''.
* "Pennies From Heaven" from the 1936 Bing Crosby movie of that name. (The 1981 movie ''Pennies From Heaven'' with SteveMartin is unrelated aside from the title song.)
* Music/TheBeatles' film ''Film/MagicalMysteryTour'' was a critical and commercial failure in England, and only won popularity as a CultClassic years later in America. The accompanying soundtrack album was a number one smash from the get-go.
* Though the 1942 Creator/JudyGarland vehicle ''MeetMeInStLouis'' can hardly be considered a flop, one of the songs from it, the holiday chestnut "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas", a song written for the movie, has definitely gained a life of its own beyond the movie it came from.
** The movie also has "The Trolley Song" ("Clang, clang, clang went the trolley...") which is known by a lot of people who have never seen the movie.
* The 1946 Disney live action/cartoon film ''SongOfTheSouth'' (based on the Reconstruction-era ''Uncle Remus'' stories) has never been released on DVD, due to certain scenes in the film being... ''problematic'' when viewed today. As a result, not many people could identify it as the source of "Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah", even though it won the Oscar for Best Song.
* {{Music/X Japan}}'s "I.V." remains a permanent fixture in their live set long after ''Saw IV'' has faded from memory.
* Music/{{Chicago}}'s 1982 hit "Hard To Say I'm Sorry" went to Number One on the Billboard singles charts. Less well remembered is the film from which it came, ''Summer Lovers''.
* "The One and Only" may have been UK teen-idol Chesney Hawkes [[OneHitWonder only hit]], but he was briefly massive, and the song still enjoys major nostalgic popularity today. Yet not even the fact that Hawkes himself starred in it seemed to help "Buddy's Song" (the film the song came from), which was barely known at the time and is all but forgotten nowadays.
* The 1998 American version of ''Film/{{Godzilla|1998}}'' has a few: the Grammy-winning cover of Music/DavidBowie's "Heroes" by The Wallflowers, Puff Daddy's Music/LedZeppelin-[[SampledUp inspired]] "Come with Me", and {{Jamiroquai}}'s sole #1 in the UK, "Deeper Underground". The only connections to the film are Godzilla's shriek in "Come with Me", and Zilla turning up in all three videos.
* SarahMcLachlan's adult contemporary staple "I Will Remember You" came from the pioneering (but since forgotten) indie film ''The Brothers [=McMullen=]''.
* Music/MichaelJackson's "Ben" is a heartfelt ballad written about...the killer rat of 1973's ''Ben''. The remake of predecessor ''{{Willard}}'' reminds viewers of the song's origins by using it twice -- using the original version within the film, and then having protagonist Crispin Glover sing it over the end credits!
* Almost no one remembers the 1959 movie ''A Summer Place''. Almost everyone can recognize [[ the theme song by Percy Faith's orchestra]], which spent nine weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 to become the number one song of 1960, as well as the Record of the Year at the 1961 [[UsefulNotes/GrammyAward Grammy Awards]]. [[CoveredUp And that wasn't even the original version of the theme]], nor the original main title song.
* ''Film/{{Xanadu}}'' barely broke even at the box office, and recieved rather negative critical reception, but the soundtrack album was certified Double Platinum and five songs charted on the Top 20: "Magic", "Xanadu", "All Over The World", "I'm Alive", and "Suddenly".
* ''Lovers and Other Strangers'' is only known today due to the Music/{{Carpenters}}' cover of "For All We Know".
* ''Buck Privates'' was the StarMakingRole for Creator/AbbottAndCostello in the movies, but only their committed fans are likely to recall it. It is also the movie in which the Andrews Sisters introduced "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," one of the iconic songs of the era.
* ''Film/VisionQuest'' is better known for having two hit singles off its soundtrack, Music/{{Madonna}}'s "Crazy for You" and Music/{{Journey}}'s "Only the Young".
* "Cavatina" from ''TheDeerHunter'' (1978) is a slightly convoluted example, made famous by a film, but not the one it was originally written for. Composer Stanley Myers wrote it for ''The Walking Stick'', an obscure 1970 film, and basically bought back the rights while working on ''The Deer Hunter'' so he could reuse it there. [[note]]It could also be considered a localised example for the UK, as ''The Deer Hunter'' didn’t do too well there, but the tune got ''everywhere''.[[/note]]
* Giorgio Moroder & Phil Oakey's "Together in Electric Dreams", from the obscure film ''ElectricDreams''.
* {{Music/Madonna}}'s hit song "Vogue" appeared on the ''Film/DickTracy'' soundtrack, it was the B-side to the song "I'm Breathless"
* FaithHill's "Where Are You, Christmas?", from the soundtrack to the live-action ''Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'' movie.
* Music/FrankSinatra originally sang "Time After Time" in the 1947 movie musical ''It Happened in Brooklyn''.
* Music/EnriqueIglesias' "Bailamos", a staple of Latin & Dance stations, was originally written for the Creator/WillSmith vehicle ''Film/WildWildWest''. It originally had a western-themed video, but when the movie underperformed, a new one was shot set in a modern dance club.
* Remember Music/JudasPriest's thrilling speed-metal cover of ChuckBerry's "Johnny B. Goode"? Of course you do. Remember the 1988 Anthony Michael Hall movie that version was originally in? Didn't think so.
* "Young, Wild and Free" was a hit in 2012 for SnoopDogg, Wiz Khalifa and BrunoMars. The film it was recorded for, ''Mac and Devin Go to High School'', limped to a direct to DVD release and was immediately forgotten. This is despite the fact that Snoop and Wiz rap the song ''in character'' as their characters from ''Mac and Devin''.
* "Jeepers Creepers" originated in the 1938 film ''Going Places'', a film that isn't quite as popular as the song.
* You all know "That's Amore". Not so many of you know its original film, ''The Caddy''.
* "Forever", by {{Drake}} featuring LilWayne, KanyeWest and {{Eminem}}, was originally made for a 2009 documentary about [=LeBron=] James and other basketball players called ''More than a Game''.
* Several examples that wound up in ''SinginInTheRain'' fit into their original films:
** "All I Do Is Dream of You" from ''Sadie [=McKee=]'' (1934).
** "Beautiful Girl" from the BingCrosby film ''Going Hollywood'' (1933).
** "Should I?" from 1930's ''Lord Byron of Broadway''.
** "Would You?" from 1936's ''San Francisco'', which also had a hit with the title song.
** The title track from ''The Hollywood Revue of 1929''.
* The ending song from ''Film/TheRose'' is more familiar to anyone who's been to karaoke or an audition than the film is. If ''Beaches'''s "The Wind Beneath My Wings" is any indication, Bette Midler can do this to a song.
* "Love (Can Make You Happy)" by Mercy was a million selling hit and still gets some airplay on oldies stations. ''Fireball Jungle'', the movie it was written for, on the other hand...
* "Why", performed by Carly Simon for the film soundtrack ''Soup for One''. Chic's title song may qualify too, by virtue of being SampledUp on Modjo's "Lady (Hear Me Tonight)".
* Music/AvrilLavigne's "Keep Holding On" from the ''Film/{{Eragon}}'' movie.
* ''Film/{{Footloose}}'' isn't exactly obscure, but its soundtrack is certainly better-remembered (and regarded) than the film. In particular, "Holding Out for a Hero" became so popular, and subsequently has been [[CoveredUp covered so many times]], that few remember it was written for this movie.
* ''Cocktail'' is one of the less memorable films of Tom Cruise, but it spawned two #1 hits: "Don't Worry Be Happy" for Bobby [=McFerrin=] and "Kokomo" for Music/TheBeachBoys.
* The movie version of ''Film/SuperMarioBros'' is more memorable as an object lesson on how '''not''' to adapt a property for the big screen than anything else, but it did manage to spawn a chart-topping hit in "Almost Unreal" by Music/{{Roxette}}. Though perhaps appropriately enough, Roxette treats the song with [[OldShame the same attitude]] that many of the actors had for the movie.
* The theme songs for Film/JamesBond movies. The Creator/RogerMoore era in particular is often seen as a "golden age" for Bond movie theme songs thanks to hits like Music/PaulMcCartney and Music/{{Wings}}' "Film/LiveAndLetDie", Music/CarlySimon's "Nobody Does It Better" (from ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe''), Sheena Easton's "Film/ForYourEyesOnly", and Music/DuranDuran's "Film/AViewToAKill", despite the Moore-era films themselves often being remembered as a DorkAge among Bond fans. This trend continues to this day; Music/{{Adele}}, for instance, scored a hit with "Music/{{Skyfall}}".
** An interesting case in this regard is "If You Asked Me To" by Patti [=LaBelle=], which was originally written as the credits song for ''Film/LicenceToKill''. It became a much bigger hit a few years later when it was CoveredUp by Music/CelineDion, becoming one of her first English-language hits.
* "Ringo no Uta" (Apple Song) from ''Soyokaze'', one of the first films released in Japan after the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* "Boom Clap" by Music/CharliXCX, from the soundtrack to ''Film/TheFaultInOurStars''. While the movie the song came from was hugely successful and was responsible for the song's initial surge in sales, the song fast distanced itself from its origins soon after.
* Music/KeithUrban's "For You", from the soundtrack to ''Film/ActOfValor''.
* Subverted with ''Film/TheHungerGamesMockingjayPart1''. Music/{{Lorde}}'s "Yellow Flicker Beat" was supposed to be the movie's hit song, but it barely cracked the Top 40 (nor did it do much better in many territories outside North America, except for Lorde's home turf of New Zealand, as well as Belgium). "The Hanging Tree," which Creator/JenniferLawrence sings in the movie, unexpectedly shot to the top of iTunes upon its release, becoming a #12 hit for Lawrence & composer James Newton Howard (it also did well internationally - perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the few countries where it lost out to "Yellow Flicker Beat" was New Zealand). It even got a pop radio remix that performed surprisingly well.
* A similar scenario happened with "Cups/When I'm Gone", performed by Anna Kendrick in ''Film/PitchPerfect'' -- minus the part where it upstaged a song by an established musician.
* "The Rainbow Connection" zig-zags this a bit. While many are aware of [[Film/TheMuppetMovie the movie it came from]], the song has become a modern standard.
* ''Film/FiftyShadesOfGrey'':
** Played straight with "Love Me Like You Do". While the film was a huge hit, it noticeably died out very quickly. Meanwhile, Music/EllieGoulding had the biggest hit of her career with this song. Although like several examples on this page; i.e. [[Literature/TheFaultInOurStars "Boom Clap"]], [[WesternAnimation/DespicableMe2 "Happy"]] and [[WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail "Somewhere Out There"]] the movie was why the song became a hit in the first place.
** Zig-zagged as of May 2015, with "Earned It" by Music/TheWeeknd. In addition to not being nearly as big a hit as "Love Me Like You Do" (with its success mostly local to North America), it uses the title of the movie as a subtitle, so the song hasn't really broken away the same way that "Love Me Like You Do" has. However, it's still easily the biggest hit of his career, and it was at first expected to be completely overshadowed by "Love Me Like You Do", so it was still a big accomplishment for him. While he was popular on the internet, "Earned It" gave him his first mainstream Top 40 hit as a solo artist, and it went Top 5. In fact, not only did it give him his first solo Top 40 hit, but overnight it turned him from a lesser-known artist with a large cult following to a bonafide mainstream act -- His two follow-up songs debuted in the Top 25 and peaked in the Top 5, with "Can't Feel My Face" hitting #1. Keep in mind that he hadn't had a Top 40 hit of his own until "Earned It".
* ''[[Film/TheFastAndTheFurious Furious 7]]'' was hardly a flop, as it became one of the highest grossing movies of all time. But its lead single "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa was far more ubiquitous, becoming insanely popular outside the film, even with people who didn't see the movie, and outside of Khalifa's core rap audience. The RealitySubtext of Paul Walker's death was arguably a driving force in the song's popularity.
* Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora's song "When the Rain Begins to Fall" was a popular MTV hit. Not many know about the film it came from, the little-seen sci-fi comedy ''Voyage of the Rock Aliens''.

[[folder: Films - Animated]]

* Although ''Film/SpaceJam'' was a big success, the single from its soundtrack album - "I Believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly - completely eclipsed it and is now considered a modern standard, whereas the movie is mostly popular with people who grew up with it.
* The main pop culture contribution of the 1998 [[AllAnimationIsDisney imitation-Disney]] animated film ''QuestForCamelot'' was "The Prayer", a ballad sung by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli (Bocelli doesn't actually sing it in the film itself; he only appears on the end credits reprise) that has since become a staple, covered by, among others, Josh Groban. Most people are stunned to learn that (a) the song is from a movie and (b) exactly what movie said song is from.
** [=LeAnn=] Rimes' "Looking Through Your Eyes", which reached #4 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart, was also written for the film and was the song that got the big radio push at the time, making "The Prayer"'s success that much more impressive.
* Remember "Who Let the Dogs Out?" The Baha Men recording was made for ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}} in Paris: TheMovie''. The song itself was CoveredUp from Fatt Jakk and his Pack of Pets.
* Although PaulSimon's "Father and Daughter" gained a life of its own as an inspirational tune, it originally began on the soundtrack to ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys Movie'' (and received an Oscar nomination for Best Song).
* Bryan Adams' 2002 hit "Here I Am" reached Top 10 charts across the world when it was released, won a Golden Globe Award, and still continues to be played at major events (an instrumental version was used for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics bid) years after it was released. Still, how many of you remember the Dreamworks film ''WesternAnimation/SpiritStallionOfTheCimarron'', which opened in fourth place when it debuted in theaters and barely registered a blip in the weeks afterwards? This track was the lead single from it; Adams provided a whole song score for the film.
* "I Still Believe" by Hayden Panettiere, from ''Disney/{{Cinderella}} III'', a DTV sequel.
* Pharrell Williams' #1 hit "Happy" originally came from ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe2.'' Although the film was a massive hit, the song was successfully able to distance itself from its origin. Many people are still unaware that it was written specifically for the movie, even though the video clip has a short flash of dancing Minions in it.
** A quite unique reason for the distancing was that Pharrell created a "24 hours of Happy" video, with various celebrities and random people dancing along to the song, laid back to back for 24 hours.
* "Somewhere Out There" from ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'', which was released as a single performed by Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram. Like "Happy" listed above, while the film was hugely successful and indirectly led to the Disney Renaissance, the single version was successfully able to shed itself of its origins, and ended up being a hit on the Billboard Top 100 and a Top 40 radio hit, reaching #2 on the charts in March 1987.
** Deliciously ironic when played at proms since it details family separation.
* {{Inverted|Trope}} (perhaps even {{subverted|Trope}}) in the case of "Let It Go" from ''{{Disney/Frozen}}''. The Creator/DemiLovato version, to be played during the closing credits, was clearly intended to be one of these, but it barely made a ripple while the song in the context of the movie (sung by Creator/IdinaMenzel) became the pop hit instead and remains closely associated with the movie to this day. Even more impressive is the fact that the Menzel version got top 5 in the Billboard charts ''despite little to no airplay''.
* Ruth Pointer's "Streets of Gold", from ''Disney/OliverAndCompany'', was a minor hit back in 1988-89 (and included in a 1998 compilation CD of Disney songs that became pop hits, along with more familiar Disney chestnuts like "Circle of Life" and "A Whole New World").
* Jack Johnson had a huge adult contemporary crossover hit with "Upside Down", which was written for and originated on the soundtrack for the 2006 ''Literature/CuriousGeorge'' movie.

[[folder: Literature]]
* ‘[[Literature/LeavesOfGrass O Captain! My Captain!]]’ was translated to Hebrew and set to music by famous Israeli lyricist and poet [[ No‘omi Shemer]] and [[ performed]] by singer [[ Meital Trabelsi]] following the [[ assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzkhak Rabin]] in 1995.
* ‘[[ Song of Guarding]]’ from Natan Alterman’s ''Literature/SummerCelebration'' was set to music and became a fairly popular song in Israel.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* An interesting case is "How Do You Talk to An Angel" credited to the fictional band The Heights from the early '90's FOX show of the same name (Jamie Walters, later of ''90210'' fame, who sings lead on the track, is the only member of the cast who performs on the track) . The show was canceled a few weeks before the song hit #1 on the US pop charts.
* While the ''Series/{{Buffy| The Vampire Slayer}}'' musical episode, "Once More With Feeling", doesn't contain a Breakaway Pop Hit, the trope is [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] by Anya complaining that the song she and Xander sing will never be a breakaway pop hit.
** Obviously, either Tara's song "I'm Under Your Spell" or Spike's "(Let Me) Rest In Peace" is the one that would have been the BPH, and was intended as a play on this trope.
* The Johnny Rivers song "Secret Agent Man" is better remembered in the US than the show to which it was the theme song, ''Secret Agent'' (originally known as ''Series/DangerMan'' in the UK). At the very least, people will be more familiar with the show's SpiritualSuccessor ''Series/ThePrisoner'', or [[TheWeirdAlEffect its animated parody]] ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse''.
* Similar to the Heights example, the theme song to the sitcom ''Makin' It'' - sung by star David Naughton - peaked at #5 in the US four months after the show itself had been canceled.
* The theme to ''TheGreatestAmericanHero'' is more popular now than the show, which lasted only a few seasons.
* The "Peter Gunn Theme" by Music/HenryMancini. Nobody remembers [[PeterGunn the original show]] but everybody recognizes the [[ tune]].
** This one could also be an inversion of this trope combined with CoveredUp, since it was covered and used again as a theme for ''TheBluesBrothers'', and again as the soundtrack for ''SpyHunter'', which are where many people who recognize it as coming from a soundtrack will probably identify it as coming from.
*** The melody was also reused unintentionally for "Planet Claire" by TheB-52's which, whilst it rarely gets airplay, did lead to a lot of people pointing out its similarity to the Peter Gunn theme despite the show being obscure.
* The theme song from ''{{Minder}}'', 'I could Be So Good For You', still ends up being played on radio sometimes.
* The obscure cop show ''TheProtectors'' would be almost entirely forgotten if not for its theme tune, [[ "Avenues and Alleyways"]] by Tony Christie.
* "For You I Will (Confidence)" by singer/songwriter Teddy Geiger originated as the theme song for the failed ([[CriticalDissonance but critically well received]]) 2006 CBS dramedy ''Love Monkey'', which Geiger had a small recurring role in. A few months after CBS ditched the show, the song made the Top 30 of the US pop charts.
* CountryMusic singers Johnny Lee and Lane Brody co-wrote and recorded "The Yellow Rose", set to the old folk song "The Yellow Rose of Texas", and recorded it as the theme to the Creator/{{NBC}} soap opera ''The Yellow Rose''. The song hit #1 on the country charts a couple months before the series ended.
* The theme to ''Series/HawaiiFiveO''. If that doesn't sound familiar, [[ this will]]. It's been used in everything from commercials to ''Series/BillNyeTheScienceGuy'', usually accompanying surfing or anything to do with the ocean.
* ''Series/{{Rawhide}}'' might not exactly be obscure, but one thing you'll remember about it (other than Creator/ClintEastwood) is its theme.
* ''Series/SoldierSoldier'' had a cover of the song "Unchained Melody" (itself a Breakaway Pop Hit - see Film) performed by its stars, Jerome Flynn and Robson Greene. Originally performed within the TV series, this version was so popular it was released as a massive hit single.
* The song "Tongue Tied" from''Series/RedDwarf'' (from the Series II episode "Parallel Universe") was so popular amongst fans that it was released as a single (complete with remixes) in order to coincide with Series 6, several years (and four series) after the episode aired. This is especially impressive because the show never spawned an actual soundtrack album. The episode is one of the most popular of Series II largely because of this song.
* The song "Best Friend" by Harry Nilsson ("People, let me tell you 'bout my best friend...") used commonly as StockMusic for montages these days, was originally recorded for the 1969-1972 American {{Sitcom}} ''The Courtship of Eddie's Father''.
* An obscure case is ''Patrik Pacard'', a Christmas series produced by public broadcaster Second German Television, which centered around a boy inventor. The series had a decent reception and was translated into English several years later, but it never made any impact. However, the title theme (sung by Lady Lily) went on to reach #11 on the German pop charts. It was later released as a single (in both English and extended formats) and had a rerelease in 2004, and gained infamy years later as an internet fad related to Jean-Luc Picard from ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''.
* The ''Series/SesameStreet'' song "Sing" gained this title when The Music/{{Carpenters}} covered it in early 1973, and it eventually hit #3 on Billboard's Top 100 (and #1 on their Easy Listening chart) that Spring.
** "Bein' Green" from the same show could also qualify; besides the endless covers from people like Music/RayCharles, Music/FrankSinatra and most recently on ''Series/{{Glee}}'' with [[Music/CelticThunder Damian McGinty]], the phrase "It's not easy being green" is frequently used to refer to [[GreenAesop environmental concerns]]. This context came full circle in 2006, when Kermit [[CelebrityEndorsement appeared in]] [[MuppetCameo a commercial]] for the environmentally-friendly [[ Ford Escape Hybrid]], which caused him to remark that it was, in fact, "easy being green".
* Speaking of Kermit, "I Believe", his duet with actress Creator/TiffanyThornton, was a minor Radio Disney hit during the 2009 holiday season. Those who only heard the song from there, Creator/DisneyChannel and/or through buying the single release on iTunes may be unaware of the fact that it was originally written as a Kermit solo for the UsefulNotes/MacysThanksgivingDayParade the previous year (Thornton and Kermit even performed it there the year their version was released).

* The melody known as ''Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'' from J.S. Bach's sacred cantata ''Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben'' (BWV 147). The former title, by the way, appears nowhere in the translated text of the cantata. In fact, the melody of ''Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring'' is actually from two, almost identical movements of the cantata (''Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe'' and ''Jesus bleibet meine Freude'' respectively). The melody is very famous in both religious and secular circles; in the latter, the melody often appears stripped of its religious lyrics and any hint of its Baroque origin.
* Music/BruceSpringsteen's recording of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" was first released on the 1982 multi-artist children's album ''In Harmony 2'' (although the song was recorded seven years earlier in 1975). And while the album itself has yet to be reissued on CD (even though it won a Grammy), the song has received annual airplay on radio stations for decades.

* Music/TheBlackEyedPeas recorded a [[{{Bowdlerize}} clean]] version of their song "Let's Get Retarded", "Let's Get It Started", to be the image song for television coverage of the 2004 [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation NBA]] playoffs. After all was said and done on the court, it became one of the group's biggest hits; [[BleachedUnderpants did you even know there was a "dirty" version?]]

* "You've Got Possibilities", covered by Barbra Streisand and Peggy Lee among others, originally came from a Broadway musical about Superman. (Yes, this happened.)
* "Ah! Sweet Mystery Of Life" from ''NaughtyMarietta''
* "One Night In Bangkok" and "I Know Him So Well" from ''Theatre/{{Chess}}''. While the soundtrack was released as a concept album at first, it was always intended to eventually be staged.
** It was written by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus from ABBA, there's even a performance with them and one of the girls from ABBA as backup singers. Too bad (for ABBA fans) the other girl is not there and the main singer is Murray Head so there's not an ABBA version.
* The endlessly covered song "All The Things You Are" was originally written for a poorly-received Broadway musical called ''Very Warm For May''.
* "September Song" from ''Theatre/KnickerbockerHoliday''. Didn't know it was from a musical? Neither did the girl from the play ''The Seven Year Itch''.
* ''Right This Way'', an extremely obscure Broadway flop of 1938, produced the hit "I'll Be Seeing You (In All The Old Familiar Places)." The same songwriters wrote the near-standard "I Can Dream, Can't I?" for the same show.
* "If I Ruled The World" from ''Pickwick''.
* "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" from ''Promises, Promises''.
* Music/ColePorter's "Begin the Beguine" and "Just One of Those Things" originally came from the musical ''Jubilee'' (1935), a show which was largely forgotten after it sunk under its exorbitant production costs. Interestingly, though the songs became two of Cole Porter's biggest hits, this was not the case until years after the show closed.
* Another Cole Porter example: "It's De-Lovely" from ''Red, Hot and Blue''. (You're more likely to hear it in revivals of its spiritual predecessor ''Anything Goes'', since it's become RetCanon there.)
* The political-satire musical ''I'd Rather Be Right'' was a success in 1937, but has rarely been revived since due to its reliance on topical humor about the F.D.R. administration. The show's enduring legacy is the song "Have You Met Miss Jones?"
* "I Wanna Be Loved By You" was originally from ''Good Boy'', a 1928 Broadway musical remembered for little else.
* "Feeling Good" from ''The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd''.
** From the same show, "On a Wonderful Day Like Today."
* "Too Close For Comfort" from ''Mr. Wonderful''.
* "Mack the Knife" is a crooner classic, but who remembers it's from a musical that brutally criticizes the frivolities of capitalism? Easily the best remembered song from Creator/BertoltBrecht and Kurt Weill's ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera''; double points for being translated from the original German.
** And then there's "Alabama Song" from Brecht & Weill's followup, ''Theatre/TheRiseAndFallOfTheCityOfMahagonny'', best known for the cover recorded by TheDoors in 1967.
* "Once Upon A Time (Never Comes Again)" from ''All American''.
* "Comes Love" from ''Yokel Boy''.
* "Here's That Rainy Day" from ''Carnival in Flanders'', a ScreenToStageAdaptation which bombed horribly in 1953.
* "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" from ''Film/{{Roberta}}.''
* "Hey, Look Me Over" from ''Wildcat'', a Creator/LucilleBall vehicle on which Creator/DesiluStudios lost a good chunk of money.
* A number of Stephen Foster songs that most Americans think are "folk songs" (such as "Oh Susannah", "Camptown Races", etc.) were originally performed in 19th century minstrel shows.
* "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" from ''Oh, Look!''. (Of course, its principal motif was lifted from the even older Fantaisie-Impromptu by Frederic Chopin.)
* Most of George M. Cohan's famous songs, with the exception of his World War I song "Over There," hailed originally from the stage musicals he created in the earlier part of his career:
** "The Yankee Doodle Boy" and "Give My Regards To Broadway" from ''Little Johnny Jones'' (1904).
** "Mary's a Grand Old Name" from ''Forty-five Minutes from Broadway'' (1905).
** "You're a Grand Old Rag" (not a typo ... that was the original name, before Cohan changed it to the more PC "Flag") from ''George Washington, Jr.'' (1906).
** [[SpellingSong "Harrigan"]] from ''Fifty Miles from Boston'' (1908).
* "Rule, Britannia" was originally composed for the 18th-century masque ''Alfred''.
* "Makin' Whoopee" and "Love Me Or Leave Me" from ''Whoopee''. ("Love Me Or Leave Me" was a SetSwitchSong irrelevant to the plot and didn't even appear in the film version.)
* Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" was almost certainly not written specially for ''Betsy'' (1926), but the show's producer, Florenz Ziegfeld, could get away with pretending that it was. It was far more popular than either the show (which was a flop) or the songs Rodgers and Hart wrote for it.
* Broadway musical revues practically deserve their own category. They were plotless SketchComedy shows and ephemeral to the point that many of them [[AnnualTitle put the production year in the title]], and were not meant to be revived. They also were more likely than ordinary musical comedies to throw in songs which were already popular to sell tickets. On top of all that, they often kept their SketchComedy routines entirely separate from their potential hit tunes. Nevertheless, they produced some enduring tunes:
** "Shine On, Harvest Moon" from ''Follies of 1908''.
** "Poor Butterfly" from ''The Big Show'' (1916), one of a series of circus-style revues produced at the enormous Hippodrome Theatre.
** "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" from ''Ziegfeld Follies of 1919''.
** "Say It With Music" from ''Music Box Revue of 1921''.
** "Somebody Loves Me" from ''George White's Scandals of 1924''.
** "The Birth of the Blues," "Black Bottom" and "Lucky Day" from ''George White's Scandals of 1926''.
** "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" from ''Blackbirds of 1928''.
** "Get Happy" from ''The 9:15 Revue'' (1930), a particularly short-lived show.
** "Memories Of You" from ''Blackbirds of 1930''.
** "On the Sunny Side of the Street" from ''Lew Leslie's International Revue'' (1930).
** "I Found a Million Dollar Baby in a Five and Ten Cent Store" from ''Crazy Quilt'' (1931).
** "Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries" from ''George White's Scandals of 1931''.
** "Alone Together" from ''Flying Colors'' (1932).
** "Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?" from ''New Americana'' (1932). This song even came to define TheGreatDepression era.
** "Autumn In New York" from ''Thumbs Up!'' (1934).
** "I Can't Get Started" from ''Ziegfeld Follies of 1936''.
** "How High the Moon" from ''Two for the Show'' (1940).
** "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" from ''Seven Lively Arts'' (1945).
* "I Enjoy Being a Girl" is popular with drag queens everywhere. ''Literature/FlowerDrumSong'', with its offensive ([[FairForItsDay more or less]]) depictions of Asians, is not so.
* "Lazy Afternoon" from the AcclaimedFlop musical ''Theatre/TheGoldenApple''.
* ColePorter's timeless song "Night and Day" originated in the 1932 musical ''Gay Divorce'', a show that reputedly became a hit mostly on the popularity of that song. It was the only song retained in the film version, ''The Gay Divorcée''.
* "My Heart Belongs To Daddy" from ''Leave It to Me!''.
* "Bilbao Song" from ''Happy End''.
* "Make Someone Happy" from ''Do Re Mi''.
* The work of StephenSondheim is suspiciously absent of these for the most part, mostly due to his difficult rhythms and specificity of lyrics...with one notable exception: "Send in the Clowns" from ''Theatre/ALittleNightMusic''.
* "It’s Only a Paper Moon" did this ''twice''. Originally titled "If You Believed in Me", it was written for the otherwise non-musical 1933 play ''The Great Magoo''. (The play was produced by Billy Rose, who as usual demanded and got joint credit for the lyrics.) This flopped badly, but by the time it closed, Hollywood had come calling in a big way for composer Harold Arlen, and he was able to sell the song on. It soon reappeared, under its now-familiar title, as a new number in the film version of the stage musical ''Take a Chance''[[labelnote:*]] (which, coincidentally, had enjoyed its highly successful stage run at the theatre next door to the one where ''The Great Magoo'' had appeared)[[/labelnote]]. This was a hit on release, remained well known through the rest of the 30s and 40s and then slowly sank out of sight.
* "My Funny Valentine" and "The Lady Is A Tramp" from ''Babes in Arms''. (Neither of these songs were featured in the well-known Creator/{{MGM}} movie version of ''Babes in Arms'', but both did appear in the movie version of ''Pal Joey''.)
* Cat Stevens attempted a musical that he called ''Revolussia'' but eventually abandoned it. From it he recorded one of his most famous songs, "Father and Son."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* "Late Goodbye", by Finnish rock group PoetsOfTheFall, was originally recorded for ''VideoGame/MaxPayne2TheFallOfMaxPayne'' and based on a poem written by the game's lead writer after a dream he once had. The game itself didn't sell too well, despite being critically loved and developing an almost cult status, but the song wound up becoming the band's breakout hit, both in Finland and abroad.
* For the Japanese release of the original ''{{Pikmin}},'' Nintendo comissioned an artist to perform a promotional song called "[[NonindicativeName Song of Love]]." [[LyricalDissonance It's actually about how the Pikmin continually do dangerous deeds for the protagonist and follow him without question; even though many of them lose their lives helping him, "We don't ask that you love us."]] The game sold modestly. The song was a ''huge'' hit, particularly with thy [[{{Salaryman}} salarymen]] who identified with the Pikmin's plight.
* "Megalovania" was actually written for ''VideoGame/TheHalloweenHack'''s FinalBoss. Most people associate it with Webcomic/{{Homestuck}} instead.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* "[[ Run with Us]]", the theme from ''WesternAnimation/TheRaccoons'', was initially recorded by Steve Lunt as a [[SingleStanzaSong single-stanza]] [[ChorusOnlySong chorus-only song]] for the first season, but [[RearrangeTheSong rearranged]] [[ThemeTuneExtended and extended]] by Lisa Lougheed, who was [[TheDanza also the voice of Lisa Raccoon]] on the show. Sadly, [[OneHitWonder this was her only hit song]].