It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane

I find it increasingly interesting how some conversations evolve between people. One person notes an interest in something a bit unexpected. Superheroes, for instance. Specifically the Man of Steel. Suddenly, almost every time you talk to this person, a Superman reference comes up. Sometimes with purpose, sometimes coincidentally. Even at the most unexpected times. Then you start having a similar conversation with other people (because interesting conversation material is highly contagious). And that is usually when strange coincidences happen. And all of it is interesting. And it makes you think and want to know more.

This is how the Superhero Talk got started. Two people talking Superman. Honourable mentions from other side conversations. Suddenly, I’m sitting in over 100 cars in a two-hour span and I hear three songs, nearly back to back, all a testament to Superman. Jaw. Dropping.

And I realized – I could easily name 10 songs devoted to the Metropolis Marvel (not kidding, that was once a popular nickname for Supe – I have mad Google skills). Funny the things you listen to your entire life and don’t really piece together until someone gives you a bit of conversational push.

Since it has been at least a couple of weeks since my favoured Top 5 lists, here it is: My Top 5 songs inspired by a Steel Man.

# 5: Our Lady Peace – Superman’s Dead

The only reason this one is getting mention is for mockery. It’s a song… well, it’s not really about Superman at all, really. I have actually wondered if “Superman’s Dead” got tossed in there because they couldn’t come up with anything else to rhyme with “In my head”. I’m sure there is probably some esoteric relevance here that could be read into the lyrics. And it’s not that I’m not even an OLP fan – I like them. Good Canadians. But, c’mon. “The world’s a subway” and half a song of wailing? It’s a good thing that OLP claimed Superman is dead. Because this is song may have killed him.

#4: Crash Test Dummies – Superman’s Song

Points for Solomon Grundy reference. Not because of the lesser-known reference, but because I’m fairly certain every kid I grew up with mis-sang these lyrics. We had no idea.

The Why:

Sometimes when Supe was stopping crimes,

I’ll bet that he was tempted to just quit and turn his back on man,

Join Tarzan

In the forest

But he stayed in city, and kept on changing clothes

#3: Flaming Lips – Waiting for Superman

An older choice, yes, but it was one of the first ones that popped into my mind when making this list. It gets a spot just for that one random remembering.

 The Why:

Waitin’ for Superman,

That they should try to hold on

Best the can

He hasn’t dropped them

Forgot them

Or anything

#2: REM – Superman

A Superman song and a cover? Perfect. REM covered this song in ’86 (it’s an original from The Clique, made famous by REM’s cover).

 The Why:

If you go a million miles away, I’ll track you down girl

Trust me when I say I know the pathway to your heart

I am, I am, I am Superman and I know what’s happening

I am, I am, I am Superman and I can do anything.

#1: Five for Fighting – Superman (It’s Not Easy)

I think this song sums up my own take on Superman – a hero, without a doubt, but not perfect. Which is good. I know it’s probably a bit cheese, but. contrary to popular belief, I’m not completely heartless. It’s an endearing song.

The Why:

It may sound absurd, but don’t be naive

Even heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed, but won’t you concede

Even heroes have the right to dream

And it’s not easy being me.

Side note – while discussing this blog post with my very bestest bests, Nom, who I adore more than words (note the Extreme reference there) mentioned that her brother once made her a Superman Song CD. She wonderfully provided the song list and I am sharing it here. Proving, again, there is something about the Superman Talk. Squishy hugs, Nom – well played. And everyone else, after enjoying some Supe songs, go check out Nom’s blog: you’ll see why I heart her so.

i am no no superman – dave matthews band
superman – five for fighting
i am superman – rem
superman – sublime
kryptonite – three doors down
honky tonk superman – aaron tippin
man of steel – aphrodite
superman – bad religion
adios superman – chabelo
sunshine superman – donovan
superman – eminem
hawaiian superman – brother iz
superman – lazlo bane
superman – marius muller-westernhagen
superman’s dead – our lady peace
original superman – pillar
superman – shawn desman
silvergun superman – stone temple pilots
i ishe i could fly like superman – the kinks
superman – vivkie winans
i whipped superman’s ass – wesley willis  


About Betty Beat

Musical afficionado extraordinaire. View all posts by Betty Beat

One response to “It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane

  • Steel Man

    Couldn’t resist commenting. Great list. Worthy of Lois Lane herself. If I had one tiny suggestion…..(IF), I might have put the John Williams theme in. Just for posterity sake. And because any list I have seen so far, has not included it. Although, that is only my opinion. Kudos. Up up and awaaaaaay!!!!!!

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