''I Don't Want to Wait'' -- Paula Cole's hit has become a mainstay on TV and in movies

Forget Jewel. Hollywood’s latest songsmith du jour is fellow Lilith Fair vet Paula Cole, whose top 20 smash ”I Don’t Want to Wait” — a soaring plea for romantic fulfillment — has steadily become a melodic mainstay in TV and film. The song first appeared last fall in promos for Fox’s Ally McBeal. It popped up again in spots for The WB’s ode to teenage lust, Dawson’s Creek. By the show’s January debut, the song had usurped Alanis Morissette’s ”Hand in My Pocket” (heard on review cassettes sent to the media in December) as Creek‘s opening-credits song. ”We wanted something a little more current,” explains Creek executive producer (and Cole fan) Paul Stupin. ”And the more we heard Paula’s song, the more we felt it hooked right into the yearning and bittersweet challenges of growing up that we explore on the show.” Most recently, ”I Don’t Want to Wait” was heard in promos for the ethereal romance City of Angels. Though it failed to make the movie’s soundtrack, another Cole tune did: the more sexually explicit ”Feelin’ Love.” Sums up Stupin: ”It’s a great song. I don’t blame lots of people for using it.”