- 1. ‘Hero’ by Weezer
- 2. ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie
- 3. ‘My Hero’ by Foo Fighters
- 4. ‘Working Class Hero’ by John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band
- 5. ‘No More Heroes’ by The Stranglers
- 6. ‘Waitin’ for a Superman’ by The Flaming Lips
- 7. ‘Nobody Loves The Hulk’ by Roy Head & The Traits
- 8. ‘Heroes and Villains’ by The Beach Boys
- 9. ‘Celluloid Heroes’ by The Kinks
- 10. ‘Hero’ by David Crosby
- 11. ‘Magneto and Titanium Man’ by Paul McCartney and Wings
- 12. ‘Batdance’ by Prince
- 13. ‘Flash’ by Queen
- 14. ‘Superman’ by Eminem
- 15. ‘Batman and Robin’ by Snoop Dogg feat. Lady of Rage and RBX
- 16. ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ by Tina Turner
- 17. ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ by Bonnie Tyler
- 18. ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey
- 19. ‘My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys’ by Willie Nelson
- 20. ‘Something Just Like This’ by The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay
- 21. ‘Jimmy Olsen’s Blues’ by Spin Doctors
- 22. ‘Superhero’ by Jane’s Addiction
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and they inspire us in countless ways. Whether it’s a real-life hero who saves lives or a fictional hero who saves the world, their stories have captured our hearts and imaginations for generations. Music has also played a significant role in celebrating heroes and their deeds, with countless artists crafting songs that pay tribute to the courage, sacrifice, and bravery of these extraordinary individuals.
In this article, we’ll be counting down the top 22 songs about heroes, from classic rock anthems to contemporary pop hits. We’ll explore the themes of these songs, the stories behind their creation, and the impact they’ve had on popular culture. Some of these songs pay homage to historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Neil Armstrong, while others celebrate everyday heroes like firefighters, police officers, and medical professionals. Some songs are uplifting and inspiring, while others are melancholic and reflective. But all of them share a common thread: a celebration of the human spirit and the courage it takes to be a hero. So sit back, turn up the volume, and join us as we celebrate the heroes who have inspired us all.
1. ‘Hero’ by Weezer
Weezer’s ‘Hero’ is an uplifting rock anthem that celebrates everyday heroes who may not wear capes but still make a difference in our lives. The song is driven by a catchy guitar riff and features frontman Rivers Cuomo’s distinctive vocals. Cuomo sings about the struggles that many people face in their daily lives, and the inspiring actions of those who step up to help. The chorus encourages listeners to be their own heroes and to never give up, with the lyrics “If you’re feeling small and you can’t draw a crowd, hail to the chief who’s lost and never found. You can’t crush us, we’ll keep moving forward. We’ll build a new world that no one’s ever seen.” ‘Hero’ is a testament to the power of resilience and determination, and a reminder that we can all make a difference in our own unique way.
2. ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie
David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ is a classic song that celebrates the idea of heroism in the face of adversity. It features a driving rhythm and soaring melody, with Bowie’s distinctive vocals delivering lines that are at once hopeful and melancholic. The lyrics speak of two lovers who meet by the Berlin Wall, and despite the barriers between them, they feel like heroes for the brief moment they are together. The song is often interpreted as a tribute to those who fought against the oppression of the wall, and as a broader statement about the human capacity for heroism in the face of adversity. The iconic guitar riff and soaring chorus have made ‘Heroes’ a beloved anthem for generations, and its message of hope and bravery continues to resonate with listeners today.
3. ‘My Hero’ by Foo Fighters
Foo Fighters’ ‘My Hero’ is a powerful tribute to the everyday heroes in our lives. The song features a driving rhythm and catchy guitar riffs, with lead singer Dave Grohl’s signature vocals delivering lines that are both nostalgic and inspiring. The lyrics speak of a person’s admiration for a heroic figure, someone who stands up for what they believe in and inspires others to do the same. The chorus, with its anthemic “There goes my hero, watch him as he goes” refrain, is a powerful tribute to the idea that anyone can be a hero, regardless of their background or station in life. ‘My Hero’ has become one of the Foo Fighters’ most beloved songs, and its message of courage and selflessness continues to inspire listeners around the world.
4. ‘Working Class Hero’ by John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band
‘Working Class Hero’ by John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band is a searing indictment of the class system and the ways in which society fails the working class. The song is stripped down, featuring just Lennon’s vocals and an acoustic guitar, giving the lyrics a raw and uncompromising quality. The lyrics themselves are a powerful social commentary, with Lennon taking aim at the “hypocrites” and “mindless, uptight” people who perpetuate the system of oppression. The chorus, with its repeated refrain of “You’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see,” is a powerful reminder of the reality of life for those at the bottom of the social ladder. Despite its unflinching criticism, ‘Working Class Hero’ is also a song of hope, with Lennon urging listeners to “keep you doped with religion and sex and TV” and to “make your own way” instead. The song’s message of empowerment and resistance has resonated with generations of listeners, making it a classic protest song that remains as relevant today as it was when it was first released.
5. ‘No More Heroes’ by The Stranglers
“No More Heroes” is a punk rock classic by The Stranglers that delves into the notion of heroism in society. The lyrics criticize the culture of hero worship and highlight the futility of looking up to certain individuals. The song’s memorable chorus reinforces the idea that there are no more heroes left in the world and that people should take charge of their own lives instead of waiting for someone else to come and save them. Musically, “No More Heroes” features a driving bassline and guitar riffs that perfectly complement the rebellious lyrics. The song has become one of The Stranglers’ most popular tracks and remains a staple of the punk rock genre to this day.
6. ‘Waitin’ for a Superman’ by The Flaming Lips
“Waitin’ for a Superman” is a melancholic ballad by The Flaming Lips that tells the story of a person who is waiting for a superhero to come and save them from their troubles. The song’s lyrics deal with themes of helplessness, loneliness, and the search for a savior. Musically, “Waitin’ for a Superman” features lush orchestration and a haunting melody that perfectly captures the song’s somber tone. The track has become one of The Flaming Lips’ signature songs and is often cited as one of the band’s greatest achievements. It has been covered by a number of artists over the years and remains a poignant reminder of the power of music to express complex emotions and ideas.
7. ‘Nobody Loves The Hulk’ by Roy Head & The Traits
“Nobody Loves The Hulk” by Roy Head & The Traits is a fun and energetic tribute to one of the most beloved superheroes of all time. The song captures the angst and frustration of the Hulk, who is often misunderstood and feared by those around him. With its catchy beat, catchy lyrics, and powerful vocals, “Nobody Loves The Hulk” is a must-listen for any fan of the Marvel Comics universe. The song is also notable for its clever use of the Hulk’s trademark catchphrase, “Hulk smash!”, which is woven seamlessly into the song’s chorus. Whether you’re a diehard fan of the Hulk or simply appreciate great music, “Nobody Loves The Hulk” is a song that is sure to delight and entertain.
8. ‘Heroes and Villains’ by The Beach Boys
“Heroes and Villains” is a song by The Beach Boys, known for its complex and experimental structure. The track was recorded in numerous sections and later assembled into a cohesive song. Lyrically, it explores the dichotomy of good and evil, heroes and villains. The song features a wide range of sounds, including sound effects and spoken word sections, giving it a cinematic quality. The song has been praised for its use of layered harmonies and intricate arrangement, as well as its ambitious and imaginative scope. It was released as a single in 1967, but despite its critical acclaim, it failed to chart well in the US. However, it has since become a cult classic and is often cited as one of the band’s most innovative and influential works.
9. ‘Celluloid Heroes’ by The Kinks
The Kinks’ “Celluloid Heroes” is a poignant tribute to Hollywood and the people who made it famous. The song talks about the various Hollywood icons who have graced the silver screen and the Walk of Fame, from Rudolph Valentino to Bette Davis to Mickey Rooney. Ray Davies’ vocals are wistful as he sings about the fleeting nature of fame and the fact that the stars of yesterday are often forgotten today. The music has a nostalgic feel, with a slow tempo and gentle instrumentation, which adds to the reflective mood of the song. The chorus is catchy and upbeat, with Davies singing about how the stars will always be remembered on the silver screen, even if they’re forgotten in real life. The lyrics are both a celebration of Hollywood and a lament for the transience of fame, making it a fitting addition to any playlist about heroes.
10. ‘Hero’ by David Crosby
David Crosby’s “Hero” is a tribute to everyday heroes and their acts of bravery, courage, and selflessness. With a folk rock style, the song expresses gratitude towards those who stand up for what is right and good in the world, even when it means putting themselves in harm’s way. Crosby’s voice, accompanied by acoustic guitar and harmonica, creates a raw and authentic sound that captures the sincerity of his lyrics. The song inspires listeners to recognize and appreciate the heroism that exists all around us, even in the smallest acts of kindness. Through his song, Crosby invites us to be our own heroes and to make a difference in the lives of others. “Hero” is a powerful reminder that we all have the potential to be heroes in our own right, and that our actions can have a positive impact on the world around us.
11. ‘Magneto and Titanium Man’ by Paul McCartney and Wings
Paul McCartney’s “Magneto and Titanium Man” is a playful and upbeat rock tune that tells a story of a group of superheroes taking on their foes. With its catchy chorus and bouncy melody, the song features memorable characters from the Marvel comics, including Magneto, Titanium Man, and the Crimson Dynamo. McCartney’s vocals soar over the energetic instrumentation, which includes punchy horns and a propulsive bassline. The song’s lyrics are full of pop culture references, and the playful tone of the song reflects the whimsical nature of comic book heroes. Overall, “Magneto and Titanium Man” is a fun and enjoyable tribute to superheroes that showcases McCartney’s musical prowess and creativity.
12. ‘Batdance’ by Prince
“Batdance” is a funky, high-energy song by the legendary artist Prince, inspired by the 1989 Batman film. It features a mix of dialogue and sound effects from the movie, along with Prince’s signature guitar riffs and synthesizer melodies. The lyrics reference various characters and themes from the film, including Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne, the Joker, and the bat signal. The song’s infectious beat and catchy chorus make it an instant dance-floor classic, while Prince’s vocal delivery and playful sense of humor add to its charm. “Batdance” was a major hit upon its release, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries and solidifying Prince’s reputation as one of the most innovative and influential musicians of his generation.
13. ‘Flash’ by Queen
“Flash” is a classic rock anthem from the British band Queen, released in 1980. The song was written as the title track for the science fiction film “Flash Gordon.” The lyrics were inspired by the comic strip character, and they narrate Flash’s heroic journey to save the universe from the evil forces of Ming the Merciless. The song’s driving beat and Freddie Mercury’s soaring vocals create an energetic and uplifting atmosphere that perfectly captures the spirit of the story. The song’s memorable chorus, “Flash! Ah-ah! Savior of the universe,” has become an iconic part of pop culture, and its use in films and TV shows over the years has only added to its popularity. “Flash” remains one of Queen’s most beloved and recognizable songs, and its status as an anthem for heroism continues to resonate with audiences today.
14. ‘Superman’ by Eminem
“Superman” by Eminem is a love song with a twist. Rather than traditional declarations of love and affection, the song portrays the rapper’s complicated relationship with his partner, who he describes as being both his kryptonite and his superhero. The lyrics are intense and raw, with Eminem grappling with feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and possessiveness. Despite the dark themes, the song is catchy and upbeat, with a pulsing beat and Eminem’s signature rapid-fire delivery. The chorus is particularly memorable, with Eminem repeating the phrase “I love you more” as if to reassure himself that his feelings are genuine. Overall, “Superman” is a complex and layered exploration of the highs and lows of a tumultuous relationship, with Eminem drawing on the superhero metaphor to highlight the extreme emotional states that love can induce.
15. ‘Batman and Robin’ by Snoop Dogg feat. Lady of Rage and RBX
“Batman and Robin” is a rap song by Snoop Dogg featuring Lady of Rage and RBX, released in 1997. The song is inspired by the comic book superheroes Batman and Robin, and their alter egos, Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson. Snoop Dogg raps about his love for the dynamic duo, referencing their heroic deeds and unique gadgets. Lady of Rage provides an energetic chorus and RBX adds a verse about his own admiration for Batman and Robin. The song also features samples of dialogue from the 1960s Batman TV show, adding a nostalgic touch. The upbeat and catchy melody combined with the lyrics’ tribute to the iconic comic book characters make “Batman and Robin” a fun and entertaining rap song for both fans of the superheroes and rap music.
16. ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’ by Tina Turner
“We Don’t Need Another Hero” by Tina Turner is a powerful anthem about standing up for oneself and fighting for a better future. Released in 1985, the song served as the theme song for the film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” The lyrics encourage listeners to break free from the chains of oppression and to be the hero of their own lives, rather than relying on someone else to save them. The soaring vocals of Tina Turner are backed by a catchy synth-pop beat and a driving rhythm section, creating an infectious and memorable tune. With its memorable chorus and empowering message, “We Don’t Need Another Hero” remains a beloved classic to this day.
17. ‘Holding Out For a Hero’ by Bonnie Tyler
“Holding Out For a Hero” is an energetic and powerful song by Bonnie Tyler that showcases her distinctive raspy vocals. The song was released in 1984 and became an instant hit, appearing in the soundtrack of the movie “Footloose”. The lyrics speak about a person who is searching for a hero to save them from their problems and challenges. The song’s upbeat tempo, catchy chorus, and driving beat make it a classic ’80s anthem. Tyler’s powerful vocals and the song’s soaring chorus make it an ideal choice for motivational purposes, especially in the context of sports or exercise. The song’s memorable music video features Tyler singing on a stage in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic setting while dancers perform choreographed routines. “Holding Out For a Hero” has become a pop culture classic and is still widely recognized and loved by fans of ’80s music.
18. ‘Hero’ by Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s hit single “Hero” is a powerful ballad that celebrates the strength and courage of everyday heroes. The song’s uplifting melody and heartfelt lyrics make it an anthem for anyone who has ever faced adversity and found the courage to persevere. Carey’s soaring vocals are complemented by a stirring orchestral arrangement that builds to a triumphant crescendo, making the song a favorite for graduations, weddings, and other special occasions. “Hero” was an instant hit when it was released in 1993, becoming one of Carey’s most beloved and enduring songs. Its message of hope and perseverance has resonated with audiences around the world and helped make Carey one of the most successful and influential artists of her generation. Whether you’re facing a personal challenge or simply looking for inspiration, “Hero” is a timeless reminder that we all have the strength and courage to overcome adversity and achieve greatness.
19. ‘My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys’ by Willie Nelson
“My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” is a country classic written and performed by Willie Nelson. Released in 1980, the song reflects on the speaker’s admiration for the cowboy lifestyle, values, and attitudes. The song’s mournful tone is set by the simple, acoustic guitar melody and Nelson’s smooth, distinctive voice. The lyrics evoke the sense of nostalgia for a bygone era when cowboys were the embodiment of rugged individualism, freedom, and honor. The song’s chorus, “My heroes have always been cowboys / And they still are, it seems / Sadly, in search of and one step in back of / Themselves and their slow-movin’ dreams,” captures the essence of the cowboy mythos and its contradictions. The song became an instant classic and a fan favorite, earning Nelson a spot as one of the most beloved country music performers of all time.
20. ‘Something Just Like This’ by The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay
“Something Just Like This” by The Chainsmokers featuring Coldplay is a song that celebrates everyday heroes. The lyrics speak of a person who is content with being ordinary and not having superhuman abilities like the heroes in comic books. However, the person still aspires to be like them and do great things. Coldplay’s Chris Martin sings the chorus, “I’m not looking for somebody with some superhuman gifts, some superhero, some fairytale bliss. Just something I can turn to, somebody I can miss.” The Chainsmokers’ electronic beats provide a backdrop to Martin’s soaring vocals, making for an uplifting and catchy tune that celebrates the power of everyday people. The song’s message resonates with listeners, as it reminds them that being a hero does not always require extraordinary abilities but rather ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
21. ‘Jimmy Olsen’s Blues’ by Spin Doctors
“Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” is a song by the American rock band Spin Doctors, released in 1991. The song is a tribute to the fictional character of Jimmy Olsen, who is Superman’s close friend and confidant. The lyrics tell the story of a man who is struggling to find his place in the world and feels overshadowed by the heroism of Superman and the achievements of others around him. The song features a catchy guitar riff and a distinctive harmonica solo, as well as the signature vocals of lead singer Chris Barron. “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” is a humorous and lighthearted take on the idea of heroism, emphasizing the importance of individuality and self-discovery. The song became a hit for the Spin Doctors, reaching the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and earning critical acclaim for its catchy melody and clever lyrics.
22. ‘Superhero’ by Jane’s Addiction
“Superhero” is a rock song by the American band Jane’s Addiction. Released in 2011, the track features a powerful guitar riff and driving rhythm section, accompanied by lead singer Perry Farrell’s dynamic vocals. The lyrics of the song explore the theme of heroism, with Farrell singing about wanting to be a superhero and save the world. The chorus encourages listeners to find their own inner strength and power, with Farrell singing “Everybody wants something they can’t have, but I’m not greedy. I just want to save the day.” The song’s production is polished and energetic, featuring a soaring guitar solo and powerful vocal harmonies. “Superhero” is an anthem of empowerment, urging listeners to embrace their own strength and become the heroes of their own lives.