50 Best Songs About Heroes & Superheroes (2023 With Videos)

Not all heroes wear capes. That’s a saying that most of us have heard (and possibly used) plenty of times in our respective lives. Heroes come in different forms, which is why many songs about heroes and superheroes have been written over the years.

Songs About Heroes

Some heroes people play significant roles in our everyday lives that we couldn’t live without. To me, these are the true heroes. These are the people who do whatever they can whenever they can and don’t expect anything in return. It doesn’t matter which type of hero you are trying to honor. Here is a powerful list of songs that pay tribute to them.

1. My Hero by Foo Fighters

Genre Alternative Rock, Hard Rock
Year Released 1997
Album The Colour and the Shape

Over the years since this song was initially released on the Foo Fighters album “The Colour and the Shape,” there has been plenty of speculation as to whom the inspirational track “My Hero” was written about. For quite some time, the song was rumored to have been written about Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. However, Dave Grohl has stated that this song was not written about one person in particular. It was written about several Ordinary People who have played integral roles in Grohl’s life, although on the surface, they would not be seen as anything more than normal human beings.

2. Hero by Weezer

Genre Alternative, Indie
Year Released 2021
Album Van Weezer

When you think of superheroes, most of the time it conjures up images of muscle-bound, perfectly sculpted genetic specimens who use superpowers to fight evil. Weezer has a differing opinion on what constitutes a true hero. “Hero,” the first single released from their latest album “Van Weezer,” was written as a way to pay tribute to all of the emergency personnel and frontline workers who were helping to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, that’s not to say that Rivers Cuomo and Weezer don’t have fun with the concept. They have no qualms about injecting their personality into a song of this magnitude.

3. Superman (It’s Not Easy) by Five For Fighting

Genre Rock
Year Released 2000
Album Dawson’s Creek (Original Soundtrack)

When writing his hit single “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” John Ondrasik, who is better known by his stage name Five For Fighting, made the conscious decision to look at things from the perspective of the titular superhero rather than from those who are waiting to be saved. The result was a song that was the second single from his debut album, “Message for Albert,” and was featured on the television series Dawson’s Creek. Ondrasik stated that the song was “frustration about the inability to be heard.” Superman makes everything look easy, but have we ever thought that it might not be easy for him?

4. Superheroes by The Script

Genre Pop
Year Released 2014
Album No Sound Without Silence

When bands play in front of a sold-out show in the United States, it can give them a feeling that can only be described as superhuman. See how far you have come together can give you a sensation that is practically unmatched by anything you can experience. That’s exactly the feeling that inspired The Script’s single “Superheroes,” which was the first song they wrote for their album “No Sound Without Silence.” Frontman Danny O’Donoghue said that it was such a wonderful feeling that he felt the need to put it in a song. This catchy tune was the result.

5. Superman by Eminem

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2002
Album The Eminem Show

At the height of his popularity, Marshall Mathers was rumored to have had romantic relationships with several celebrities, including none other than Mariah Carey. As you may have expected, things did not necessarily work out as planned between Slim Shady and Mimi. However, their loss was our gain as the result of their bitter break up was the track “Superman,” which was featured on the Billboard 200 number-one album “The Eminem Show.” In this song, Eminem takes several jabs at Mariah, insinuating that he would almost have to be superhuman to deal with all of the emotional baggage she brought to the relationship.

6. Hero by Mariah Carey

Genre R&B, Soul
Year Released 1993
Album Music Box

There are going to be many times in our respective lives when a particular situation is going to call for us to rise and be our heroes. That’s what this beautiful ballad from Mariah Carey’s album “Music Box” is about. According to Mariah, the song (which was first performed live during her 1993 Thanksgiving special) is about “looking inside yourself and being your hero, like not always having to look for some kind of hero to come along and save you,” which is one of the most positive and awe-inspiring messages that the gifted singer could have gifted us with.

7. Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down

Genre Alternative Rock
Year Released 2000
Album The Better Life

In the year 2000, the alternative rock band 3 Doors Down took the music world by storm when they released their breakthrough debut album, “The Better Life,” which included the smash hit single kryptonite. The song would peak at the number three spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and propel the album into the top ten on the Billboard 200 charts. According to lead singer Brad Arnold, the song ass not only if someone will be there to help pick you up if you fall, but if they will also be there through all of the good times as well.

8. Not All Heroes Wear Capes by Owl City

Genre Electronic Pop
Year Released 2018
Album Cinematic

Most of us have heard the expression “not all heroes wear capes” at some point in our lives, but have you ever stopped to think about what that means? Simply put, it means that there are Ordinary People who are doing extraordinary things every day and expect no recognition or reward for doing what they consider to be the right thing. When I think of this, my dad is the first person that comes to mind. Owl City’s dad inspired his single “Not All Heroes Wear Capes,” and it is indeed a fitting tribute to him.

9. Waiting for Superman by Daughtry

Genre Alternative Rock
Year Released 2013
Album Baptized

Some people spend their entire lives waiting for someone to come and rescue them from the boredom and benign that makes up every day of their life. However, while this may never happen, it certainly won’t prevent these people from dreaming of a day when they can be rescued from whatever situation they feel is holding them down. That’s exactly the message that is being conveyed on the track “Waiting for Superman,” which is the song that put Chris Daughtry on the map and helped him to garner the attention of alternative rock fans and radio stations across the United States.

10. Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers (Featuring Coldplay)

Genre Electronic Pop
Year Released 2017
Album Memories…Do Not Open

The Chainsmokers have become one of the most recognized names in pop music, with five of their singles reaching the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. One of those songs was “Something Just Like This,” which featured a guest appearance from Coldplay. In The collaboration, Coldplay’s lead vocalist Chris Martin sings about his desire to have a relationship that doesn’t need heroic or superhuman deeds. The singer says, “This is about a relationship that doesn’t need to be superhumanly perfect, an ordinary love, a love everyone deserves like the boy on the cover art whose childhood memories are now boxed up.”

11. Holding Out For a Hero by Bonnie Tyler

Genre Pop
Year Released 1984
Album Footloose (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

One of the more popular films of the 1980s was the movie Footloose, which starred Kevin Bacon and was about a town where dancing in public was forbidden. “Holding Out For a Hero” was written by Dean Pitchford as one of nine songs that exclusively appeared on the film soundtrack. The soundtrack spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard charts based on the strength of singles such as this one, which was performed by Bonnie Tyler. The song is about the narrator’s quest to find someone that will come and rescue her from the everyday monotony that is her life.

12. Turn To You (Mother’s Day Dedication) by Justin Bieber

Genre Soul, Pop
Year Released 2014
Album 100X Liefde 2014 – Deel 2

Love him or hate him, Justin Bieber is one of the most successful pop acts of this decade. The Canadian-born singer has sold over 38.4 million albums worldwide and has had one RIAA diamond-certified album and six albums that have been certified platinum in his career. In 2014, the singer released a loving tribute to his mother that was titled “Turn To You (Mother’s Day Dedication).” The track honors Pattie Mallette, who gave birth to Bieber when she was only 18 years old and raised him as a single parent. The singer released this song on Mother’s Day of 2012 as her gift.

13. Working Class Hero by John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band

Genre Alternative, Indie
Year Released 1970
Album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

As a member of the Beatles, John Lennon helped The Four Lads from Liverpool to become the best-selling artist of all time, with over 183 million albums sold worldwide. However, despite all of their success, The Beatles went their separate ways in 1970, with John Lennon releasing a solo album with The Plastic Ono Band. Featured on that album was the track “Working Class Hero,” which was also one of the most controversial songs of Lennon’s career because many fans and critics felt that John Lennon had no business singing about the working class when he was raised in an upper-middle-class family. This is one of my personal favorite songs about heroes of all time.

14. My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Willie Nelson

Genre Country
Year Released 1979
Album The Electric Horseman

One of the most interesting facts about this song was that it was originally recorded in 1976 by Waylon Jennings, although it was never officially released as a single. However, Willie Nelson has officially gone on record as saying that he was always able to relate to the lyrics of the song because he always wanted to be a cowboy. Sadly, like many others, Nelson had to realize that being a cowboy is not as fun as you might think it would be. Unfortunately, it is filled with long days of misery and even longer nights of loneliness.

15. Hero by Chad Kroeger (Featuring Josey Scott)

Genre Alternative Rock
Year Released 2002
Album Music from and Inspired by Spider-Man

Although I have never been a fan of the Canadian band Nickelback (nor will I ever be), I would be remiss if I did not include this song from Nickelback lead vocalist Chad Kroger and Saliva lead singer Josey Scott. Despite the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the song, it was a huge hit, reaching the third spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. The song appeared on the Spider-Man soundtrack and won the 2002 2002 MTV Video Music Award for Best Video. However, it caused tension between Nickelback and saliva over a dispute as to how to divide profits from the song.

16. You & The 6 by Drake

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2015
Album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

I know that I can’t be the only person who finds it refreshing when somebody comes up and makes it big and then pays homage to and shows appreciation to the people who got him or her to the top. That’s what makes this song from Drake a fantastic change of pace from the usual braggadocious lyrics found in many rap songs today. In this song, Drake pays tribute to his mother, Sandra Graham, whom he sees as his hero) and his hometown of Toronto, Canada. “The 6” refers to the two area codes found in Drake’s hometown of Toronto, which are 647 and 416.

17. Hero by David Crosby (Featuring Phil Collins)

Genre Folk Rock
Year Released 1993
Album Thousand Roads

David Crosby has found success and notoriety as a member of The Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash, and as a solo artist. Although the singer tragically passed away in January of 2023, the Legacy he left at all three phases of his impressive musical career will live on, particularly with the song “Hero” from his record “Thousand Roads.” Featuring Phil Collins, the track makes the statement that people aren’t inherently good or evil. Instead, our personalities are a complicated mix of both sides of the proverbial coin. It’s about doing what you feel is right, even if there will be repercussions to be paid for your actions.

18. Hero Of War by Rise Against

Genre Alternative Rock
Year Released 2008
Album Appeal to Reason

Many of the people that we view as heroes struggle with demons that they do not allow the rest of the world to see. Many of the men and women who served our country struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and choose to suffer in silence rather than draw attention to themselves. In this acoustic ballad, Rise Against pays tribute to the servicemen and servicewomen of the United States who come home from war to fight battles that many of them will never win. The band has stated that the song was inspired by the documentary The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends. This is easily one of the most powerful songs about war ever written.

19. Flash’s Theme by Queen

Genre Hard Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1980
Album Flash Gordon (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

In 1980, long before there was such a thing as the Marvel or the DC cinematic universe, there was a full-length motion picture made about the superhero known as The Flash. First appearing in 1956, The Flash (also known as Barry Allen) was known for having superhuman speed. Perhaps even more impressive than the Flash’s blazing speed was the fact that Queen was tapped for the entire soundtrack for the film, which included his theme song. Although the film wasn’t a commercial success, it laid down the groundwork for future superhero movies and set the precedent for having a popular band appear on the soundtrack.

20. Jimmy Olsen’s Blues by Spin Doctors

Genre Alternative, Indie
Year Released 1991
Album Pocket Full of Kryptonite

Who says that the alternative rock bands of the 1990s didn’t have a sense of humor? The Spin Doctors certainly did, and this can be heard on their track “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues,” which was from their debut album “Pocket Full of Kryptonite.” The song is centered around the fictional character Jimmy Olsen, who developed a crush on Lois Lane while he worked with her and Clark Kent during their time at the Daily Planet. Olsen, while trying to woo Lois Lane away from Clark Kent, teases that he has a pocket full of kryptonite, which is Superman’s only known weakness.

21. Lost Queen by Pharrell Williams

Genre Hip-Hop, Funk, Pop
Year Released 2014
Album G I R L

Sometimes, when we least expect it, someone will pop into our lives seemingly from thin air and change our perceptions of what we think constitutes a true hero. Whether they accomplish a major feat that will forever change your life, or if the deeds they perform seem small and insignificant at the moment, your view of this person can be changed forever. That’s the message being delivered by Pharrell Williams in his song “Lost Queen,” which is about feeling a love so strong and true that this person’s presence feels like a blessing, and everything they do for you feels special.

22. Heroes by David Bowie

Genre Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1977
Album Heroes

It is nearly impossible to pigeonhole David Bowie into one specific genre. I have never seen an artist possess the ability to adapt to the changing times the way that Bowie can, which has earned him a spot as one of Classic Rock’s 100 Best Songwriters. One of my favorite tracks of his is the title track from his 1977 masterpiece “Heroes.” The song is about a German couple who fall in love and promise to meet daily under a gun turret in Berlin, which was inspired by a love affair between his producer Tony Visconti and backup singer Antonia Maass.

23. Nobody Loves The Hulk by Roy Head & The Traits

Genre Rock, Classic Rock
Year Released 1969
Album Nobody Loves The Hulk!

When you ask most people who their favorite superhero is, most of the time, you will get answers like Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman. It’s not very often that somebody will cite the Incredible Hulk as one of their favorite heroes, but that’s what makes this classic rock track from Roy Head & The Traits so incredibly enjoyable. This track is a humorous take on a few of the reasons why most people find the Hulk so intimidating while also taking a shot at how preposterous it is to hate someone for something as trivial as the color of their skin.

24. Everyday Superhero by Smash Mouth

Genre Pop
Year Released 2006
Album Summer Girl

Formed in San Jose, California, in 1994, Smash Mouth toiled away playing shows at local clubs until breaking into the big time with the release of their album “Astro Lounge,” which peaked at the number six spot on the Billboard 200. In 2006, they released their sixth studio album, “Summer Girl,” which included the track “Everyday Superhero.” Like many other songs on this list, this song honors many of the people who don’t see themselves as heroes, although their deeds might specify otherwise. Some of these individuals might include firemen and firewomen, policemen and policewomen, and those who serve in the US military.

25. Waitin’ for a Superman by The Flaming Lips

Genre Alternative, Indie
Year Released 1999
Album The Soft Bulletin

Formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1983, The Flaming Lips Are One of alternative music’s most unsung Heroes. While the band has never been what I would consider a mainstream success, they have certainly developed a cult following of rabid fans in their four decades together. In 1999, The Flaming Lips released their album “The Soft Bulletin,” which featured the fan favorite “Waitin’ for a Superman.” This slow-burning track of what’s the narrator’s desire for someone to bring some hope and happiness into his otherwise dreary life was inspired by a conversation that leads vocalist Wayne Coyne had with his brother while their father was dying.

26. We Don’t Need Another Hero by Tina Turner

Genre R&B, Soul
Year Released 1985
Album Mad Max Beyond Thunder dome (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

In 1985, the third installment of the Mad Max films entitled Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released, with R&B legend Tina Turner tapped to perform the film’s theme song. However, not only did Tina Turner perform the film’s theme song, but she also starred as the primary antagonist Aunty Entity. The powerful track, which earned Tina Turner a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song, is about the world’s remaining population yearning for a brighter future than what is depicted in the movie’s bleak, dystopian future in which the world has been ravaged by nuclear war.

27. Hero by Enrique Iglesias

Genre Pop, R&B
Year Released 2001
Album Escape

Co-written with British songwriters Paul Barry and Mark Taylor, “Hero” propelled Spanish singer-songwriter and pop star Enrique Iglesias to the third spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Although this song wasn’t initially written as a tribute to America’s First Responders, it was adopted by the rest of the country as a way to pay tribute to ordinary Heroes doing extraordinary things. Iglesias also performed the song live during the 2001 Tribute To Heroes telethon, which helped to raise over $150 million for the victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Iglesias has also said that this was one of the most memorable moments of his life.

28. Wonder Woman by Lion Babe

Genre Classic Soul
Year Released 2016
Album Begin

Most songs about superheroes are generally written for country, alternative, or rock genres, which is what makes this soulful track from Lion Babe such a breath of fresh air. This song, which serves as an empowerment anthem for women around the globe, is not afraid to tell the listener to see the narrator for what she is. Instead of shying away from the spotlight, she steps directly into it and proclaims that she can be the hero that we are all looking for. She is a Wonder woman, and she is not afraid to let every one of us know it.

29. Superhero by Jane’s Addiction

Genre Alternative Metal
Year Released 2003
Album Strays

Jane’s Addiction is one of those bands that I have always thought is nearly impossible to pin down to one particular genre of music. Their eclectic Style crosses several boundaries and transcends many styles to give us a sound that can only be brought to us by Jane’s Addiction. They combine alternative, rock, metal, and a hint of reggae to create songs like “Superhero,” which was featured on their third studio album titled “Strays.” The song is about meeting someone whom you find so impressive that you want to be anything and everything for them, including being their superhero.

30. Magneto and Titanium Man by Paul McCartney and Wings

Genre Rock
Year Released 1975
Album Venus and Mars

After The Beatles disbanded in 1970, John Lennon and Paul McCartney each went on to have impressive solo careers. While John Lennon sang songs of peace and love, Sir Paul McCartney took a much lighter approach to his solo career. One of the Lesser known facts about McCartney is that he is a huge fan of Marvel Comics. However, his passion for two of the primary arch nemesis of Iron Man Came to light in 1975 on the track “Magneto and Titanium Man,” which appeared on his second album with his band Wings, “Venus and Mars,” which followed the hit album “Band On the Run.”

31. Spidey’s Curse by Black Lips

Genre Alternative, Indie, Rock
Year Released 2011
Album Arabia Mountain

Most songs about superheroes are written about heroic deeds they perform, but hardly any of them discuss the backstory that drove our heroes to live a life of fighting crime and injustice. Well, that’s where Atlanta, Georgia’s Black Lips dare to separate themselves. While this track may not touch on what inspired Peter Parker to pursue a life of fighting crime, it does touch on a particularly dark part of his past when he was molested as a child. When asked what inspired the track, Black Lips frontman Cole Alexander told Spin magazine, “People don’t know that happened. It’s kind of a dark comic.”

32. Jesus Walks by Kanye West

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2004
Album The College Dropout

Jesus Christ may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of a superhero, but the son of God certainly tops the list of controversial rapper Kanye West. Kanye says that one of his primary goals was to write a rap song about Jesus, specifically mentioning him by name and getting that single to be played on secular radio. West has gone on record as saying, “They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus. That means guns, sex, lies, and video tapes, but if I talk about God, my record won’t get played, huh?” He was correct.

33. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman by The Kinks

Genre Rock
Year Released 1979
Album Low Budget

The Kinks were known for having a rock-oriented sound, but for this track, they decided to opt for a disco feel, which was the hot sound at the time. That still didn’t prevent lead vocalist Ray Davies from interjecting his political viewpoints into the song, no matter how upbeat and danceable the groove was. Always on the lookout for people doing heroic things in unconventional settings, The Kinks’ lead vocalist has said that this track was “a very political song about people going on strike.” Unfortunately, the song did not manage to crack the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

34. No More Heroes by The Stranglers

Genre Punk Rock
Year Released 1977
Album No More Heroes

The characteristics that makeup punk rock music are usually angry lyrics coupled with fast, simple chords that generally last less than two minutes. However, The Stranglers decided to throw conventional wisdom out the window when they chose to incorporate pop sensibilities into a punk song that lasted approximately three-and-a-half minutes. The result was guitarist Hugh Cornwell paying homage to many of the individuals whom he considered to be his personal Heroes. Some of these included comedian Lenny Bruce, communist party leader Leon Trotsky, Elmyr de Hory, and Don Quixote’s sidekick Sancho Panza. Talk about an eclectic bunch!

35. Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNATION

Genre Alternative Metal
Year Released 2011
Album Megalithic Symphony

When people use the phrase “Kill Your Heroes,” they are not saying that you should kill your heroes. What they are saying is that we should subdue the ideology that most of us have that our heroes are flawless. Most of us have glorified versions of our heroes that exist within the confines of our minds. We should learn to accept that even our heroes have some faults. That message is the interpretation that I get from the track “Kill Your Heroes,” which appears on AWOLNATION’s album “Megalithic Symphony.” It’s about curbing your expectations while still waging war against apathy. This is one of the most popular songs about heroes ever written. It’s also a song that uses a lot of figurative language.

36. That’s Really Super, Supergirl by XTC

Genre Pop-Punk
Year Released 1986
Album Skylarking

One of the hardest realizations that we will have to face in our adult lives is when a relationship has run its course and there is no longer any chance for reconciliation. Although I have always found this feeling to be practically indescribable, the pop-punk group XTC has managed to sum these feelings up in “That’s Really Super, Supergirl,” which appeared on their album “Skylarking.” In this song, the narrator is in a relationship with Supergirl but has grown weary of her sudden absences and has become exhausted wondering where she is and what she is doing at any given time.

37. Superman’s Song by Crash Test Dummies

Genre Alternative, Indie
Year Released 1991
Album The Ghosts That Haunt Me

Before Crash Test Dummies broke onto the alternative music scene with their Billboard top-ten hit single “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm,” they were busy making a name for themselves and their native Canada with their debut album “The Ghosts That Haunt Me.” That record featured the track “Superman’s Song,” which remains one of the most unique songs about superheroes that I have ever heard. Instead of singing about Superman’s heroic Deeds, this song serves as a eulogy for the Man of Steel. While Superman could have used his powers for evil at any time, he never profited from any of them.

38. Batman & Robin by Snoop Dogg (Featuring Lady Of Rage and RBX)

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2002
Album Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss

Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, also known as Snoop Dogg, has one of rap’s most loveable personalities and has made a name for himself as one of the most respected and successful emcees in the genre. In 2002, Broadus released his sixth studio album, “Paid tha Cost to Be da Boss,” which charted at number twelve on the Billboard 200. One of the more enjoyable songs on that album worth the track, “Batman & Robin,” which featured Snoop Dogg, Lady of Rage, and RBX, providing me colorful and humorous insight into what a typical day of fighting time would be for the dynamic duo.

39. Side Kick by Rancid

Genre Punk Rock
Year Released 1994
Album Let’s Go

For my money, Rancid has always been one of the most underrated bands in the punk rock genre. Lead singer Tim Armstrong has a knack for incorporating clever, hidden political messages into many of his songs. One of the best examples of this can be heard on the track “Side Kick,” which was from Rancid’s 1994 release “Let’s Go.” At face value, this song appears to be about a dream that Armstrong had in which he pursued a life of fighting crime. However, if you dig a little deeper into the lyrics, it could be interpreted as Rancid’s take on the war against homelessness.

40. Blood Of Heroes by Megadeth

Genre Thrash Metal, Metal
Year Released 1994
Album Youthanasia

If you are like me, one of the first images that come to mind when you hear the word hero is the proud men and women that serve in the United States military. Megadeth mastermind, guitarist, and lead vocalist Dave Mustaine feels this way as well. Although the album “Youthanasia” was not well received by fans and critics, their standout track, “Blood Of Heroes,” remains a fan-favorite. The song is about a troop who was ambushed and is in a no-win situation. However, they choose to fight on because they know that even in death, they will all be remembered as heroes.

41. Heroes by Paul Overstreet

Genre Country
Year Released 1987
Album Forever and Ever Amen

You probably wouldn’t have to look too hard to find plenty of people around you who do amazing things regularly but never receive any credit for the wonderful things they do. Thankfully, we have country artists like Paul Overstreet to recognize these individuals for the amazing work they do and for the blessings that they bring into our lives every day. Featured on his record “Forever and Ever Amen,” Paul Overstreet wants to make sure that our mothers, fathers, and plenty of the other authority figures in our lives get the credit that they deserve, even if they don’t do these things for recognition.

42. Hero Of The Day by Metallica

Genre Alternative Metal, Metal
Year Released 1996
Album Load

After spending the majority of the 1980s as the Undisputed Kings of Thrash Metal, Metallica shifted its sound to a much more radio-friendly format. The result catapulted them to becoming one of the most commercially-successful acts of the 1990s, with three RIAA diamond-certified albums and ten platinum records. In 1996, the Bay Area natives released “Load,” which sold over 8 million copies based on songs like “Hero Of the Day.” According to Rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist James Hetfield, this track is about children who have to look outside of their homes to find Heroes when their Heroes should be their parents.

43. Hero/Heroine by Boys Like Girls

Genre Pop-Punk
Year Released 2006
Album Boys Like Girls

“Hero/Heroine” was originally released as the first single from the pop-punk group Boys Like Girls. However, the song initially failed to gather much attention, so the band decided to re-release it the following year after the success of “The Great Escape.” Lead vocalist Martin Johnson had this to say about the song, “‘Hero/Heroine’ is about how fast life can turn around and how someone just being there can save you. I am usually very closed-off when it comes to relationships and don’t let many people in. For some reason, this particular girl turned my life around 180 degrees without even trying.”

44. Angels by Chance The Rapper (Featuring Saba)

Genre Rap, Hip-Hop
Year Released 2016
Album Coloring Book

Chance the Rapper is one of the more confrontational rap artists in the genre; most people will agree that when he wants to make a point, he has no qualms whatsoever about speaking his mind. His Chicago roots certainly shine through on the track “Angels,” which is featured on his 2016 release “Coloring Book.” Featuring fellow Chicago native Saba, this track expresses Chance’s beliefs that those who have passed before him have now become angels and are capable of protecting him from his haters and detractors. Chance says that this song paid homage to all of the positivity that was going on around Chicago during this time.

45. Safe and Sound by Capital Cities

Genre Alternative, Indie
Year Released 2013
Album In a Tidal Wave of Mystery

Capital Cities was formed by Ryan Merchant and Sebu Simonian in Los Angeles, California. Although their track “Safe and Sound” was released as the first single from their album “In a Tidal Wave of Mystery,” the track dates back to 2011, when the two were earning a living writing jingles for advertising campaigns. When asked about the song’s meaning, Merchant said: “It seems like every generation feels like it’s living in the worst of times.” This song was his way of letting all of us know that, wow, things may feel hopeless, but we are not going through the worst of times.

46. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

Genre Pop Rock
Year Released 2012
Album Night Visions

In 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada’s Imagine Dragons released their debut album “Night Visions.” The second single from that album, which was called “Radioactive,” shot up to the number-three spot on the Billboard charts. Although there have been several interpretations as to the meaning of this song, the band has never come clear as to what they were writing about. However, with all of the interpretations that I’ve heard regarding this song, the one that makes the most sense to me is that the narrator is empowered to the point where his exuberance is overflowing, and he cannot contain it any longer.

47. Hand Of God (Outro) by John Bellion

Genre Pop
Year Released 2016
Album The Human Condition

Although he has made a name for himself as a producer and songwriter for many of music’s top acts, “The Human Condition” was John Bellion’s debut solo album. The result was a project that seemed to be much wiser than what most people would have expected from the 25-year-old songwriter. What the singer was trying to accomplish (and he does so magnificently) Wednesday thanks to what it feels like to be truly human in a broken world. This level of honesty and vulnerability has allowed his fans to connect with him in a way that is sincere and meaningful.

48. Ode To A Superhero by Weird Al Yankovic

Genre Pop Rock
Year Released 2003
Album Poodle Hat

“Weird Al” Yankovic has made a career of parodying popular songs with comical lyrics that most of us thoroughly enjoy. The most recent example of this is his song “Ode To A Superhero,” which is found on his 2003 release “Poodle Hat,” and parodies the Billy Joel track” Piano Man.” This song tells the story of Peter Parker (also known as Spider-Man) and his romantic interest Mary Jane. As you may have imagined, some of Spider-Man’s biggest rivals (such as the Green Goblin) are also mentioned in this tune. While Parker does not get the girl in the end, there is a promise for a sequel.

49. Spiderman Theme by The Ramones

Genre Punk Rock
Year Released 1995
Album Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits

Despite there being many lineup changes since their inception, The Ramones remained one of punk rock’s most admired but loved and respected bands until their last remaining original member (Tommy Ramone) died in 2014. In 1996, the band took part in a project that saw rock bands performing versions of their favorite cartoon theme songs on a record called “Saturday Morning: Cartoons’ Greatest Hits.” Of course, the Ramones contributed their version of the classic Spider-Man theme song. Although the album wasn’t a commercial success, The Ramones’ cover of the Spider-Man theme song became a fan favorite around the world.

50. Nobody’s Hero by Rush

Genre Progressive Rock, Hard Rock
Year Released 1993
Album Counterparts

Sometimes, we don’t have to look very far to find ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The song is about a good friend of Peart’s, who was gay and ended up dying due to complications from the AIDS virus. The drummer thought that this was the best way he could show respect to the fallen. When asked about the meaning of “Nobody’s Hero,” Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart said, “I had a lot of reflections over the last couple of years about the nature of heroism, what a ‘role model’ is supposed to be, and the differences between the two.”

Final Thoughts:

While the intention of this list was not to get any of you to redefine what you think a hero is, maybe some of these songs may have helped you to open your minds and see heroic deeds where you may have otherwise not noticed them. I know that several of these tracks have helped me to broaden my perspective as to what I think makes up a hero. Nevertheless, whether you have broadened your perspective or not, what I wanted to accomplish was to make every one of you notice some of the little things that people do that make our lives better every day. The world would be much darker and more desolate please without them.

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