Heroes and superheroes are things that are not too dissimilar and it makes sense that songs about heroes often blur into superheroes. The concept of a hero is one who does the right thing, makes the right choices, and stands up for those that cannot stand up for themselves. Superheroes embody this as well, though, naturally, they are entirely fictitious.
But superheroes also capture our utmost desires when it comes to doing everything we possibly can. A hero that can fly has super strength, or has any number of other powers could do a lot of good.
This is why songs about heroes and superheroes are so popular. They show us that, even without powers, people can do heroic things, even if they, themselves, don’t consider themselves a hero. Here are our top picks for songs about heroes and superheroes that will show you what it truly means to be a hero.
Heroes (We Could Be) – Alesso ft. Tove Lo
“Heroes (We Could Be)” is a popular electronic dance song by Swedish DJ and record producer Alesso, it features the vocals of Swedish singer Tove Lo. It was released on 25 August 2014, and it has since shot up in popularity, charting in several countries. In the United States, the song hit number one spot on the dance chart.
Lost Queen – Pharrell
In this playful song, Pharrell sings to a woman who appeared in his life from nowhere. He sings the glories of his love for her, expressing his thirst for treating her like a queen and serving her every need. The girl is someone who has lost her way, but he hopes that his love will lift her and turn her life around so that she can become the queen that he knows she is. Some say that the heroic meaning of the song is that Pharrell is the hero who is saving a heroic queen.
Heroes – David Bowie
This slow ballad has been known as David Bowie’s second-most covered song, coming after “Rebel Rebel”. It was inspired by Tony Visconti, Bowie’s producer-engineer, expressing his love for the Berlin Wall. The inspirational song tells the story of two lovers from opposite sides of the wall, West and East Berlin. As the song was developed, Bowie says that every word had a feeling of heroism and allowed him to bring some of the best performances of his life.
My Hero – Foo Fighters
The American rock group Foo Fighters released this song in 1998, representing the third single from their album, The Colour and the Shape. The song has become an American classic reaching number six on the US Billboard charts for Alternative Songs. It is dedicated to ordinary, heroes such as the everyday heroes, not necessarily sports figures or famous stars.
Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay
This song brought together an American electronic music duo becoming a popular single that made it to the top ten of many global charts. It hit number two in the UK Singles Chart and number three on the US Billboard Hot 100. A nomination at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance was the highlight of this tune.
Hero/Heroine – Boys Like Girls
This single from the band’s eponymous debut album was originally released as the first single but didn’t make it to the radio on its initial run. After the success of their popular song “The Great Escape”, they re-released this song and it successfully premiered on MTV’s TRL in 2007. By 2009, the song was certified Gold by the RIAA. The real meaning of the song has been debated, some say that it is about a girl that saves the guy that is in love with her, but it turns out that she is the one that considers him her hero.
Turn To You (Mother’s Day Dedication) – Justin Bieber
In this sweet dedication to his mother, Canadian recording artist, Justin Bieber describes the heroic journey she took raising her kids. It was composed by Justin Bieber, Nasri, Jacob Pena, Adam Messinger, and Tom Strahle and released as a standalone single. The artist says that the song turned out to be one of the best Mother Day’s gifts he has given his mother.
You & The 6 – Drake
This song is not only an epic production when it comes to the lyrics and the music, as Drake knows how to do best, but it also holds a very sweet meaning. It is dedicated to his mother with expressions of appreciation and admiration. The artist said that he owes his success to his mother and the dedication to raising him right.
Angels – Chance the Rapper ft. Saba
This upbeat rap song has a great video that portrays a play about a guardian angel or superhero. It shows the human version of a guardian angel that is less than perfect featuring a jumpsuit and a Sox hat, it represents the artist’s life in Chicago. The vocals include sounds of an angelic choir.
Jesus Walks – Kanye West
This classic Kayne West song continues to wow the crowds and stands the test of time as one of the most-performed songs by the artist. It portrays Jesus as his hero, lighting up the way in a dark world. Many publications have listed the song as one of the greatest songs of all time. The song was named #19 by Rolling Stone on their 100 Best Songs of the 2000s list.
Kryptonite – 3 Doors Down
If there’s anyone superhero that everybody knows about, it’s Superman. A very succinct name for a man that is a pillar of good and one that a lot of people wish they could be like. A bulletproof, strong, powerful bastion of good that does not let ne’er-do-wells have their way.
But even the strongest superhero has his weakness, and in this case, it’s Kryptonite. A fitting allegory that Superman’s greatest weakness is his deathly allergy to pieces of his long-destroyed homeworld whose destruction he could not have done anything about.
This song by 3 Doors Down puts us in Superman’s shoes, reminding us that as much good as we can do, we all have weaknesses that we have to live with, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be heroes in spite of them.
We Don’t Need Another Hero – Tina Turner
Tina Turner turns things around in this song. While some people long for a hero to save them from their misery, this song shows us that that’s not what everybody wants or needs. As hard as they try, a single hero can’t do everything by themselves. Individuals have limits, and sometimes you need more than a single hero can give.
This song proposes that each individual in the community becomes their own hero and saves their own day. By giving yourself the strength to overcome your personal obstacles, you will naturally eventually be able to help others who may not be as strong as you.
Hero – Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s soft, soothing voice paints us a picture of a hero deep inside your soul. Some people may not consider themselves heroic in the traditional sense. But, depending on your circumstances, sometimes even the smallest thing you do could be considered heroic.
You don’t have to save someone from a burning building or take down a bank robber to be called a hero. It could be something as simple as lending a hand to a stranger when they’re in need.
And even if things in your life are bleak, remember the times you did these heroic things, and realize that you can do them again, because there’s always a hero inside you.
Hero – Enrique Iglesias
Sometimes there’s only one person that can save you. Not because you’re in danger of mortal peril, but it’s because your heart desires a certain someone. And that person is the only one who can be your hero.
Though things may not always work out in the end, the mere knowledge that there’s a hero out there for you could give you the strength to carry on. And if you and your hero do end up together, your connection is sure to be the stuff of legends.
One Call Away – Charlie Puth
Having a special connection with another person can make you both each others’ hero. If one of you needs the other, they’ll always be there for you. Being only one call away is a sign that there’s never that great of a distance between you two, even if geographically you might be far apart.
Long-distance relationships can be difficult, but as long as both people trust each other and communicate clearly, it’s nothing short of heroic to be there for each other.
Flash – Queen
Not to be confused with DC Comics’ Flash, this song is about Flash Gordon, an unassuming, normal man with no superpowers. He finds himself in precarious circumstances and has no choice but to become a hero to save those in need.
This kind of task may not come so easily to most people. But the survival instinct is strong, and it’s likely that if you’re ever put into a situation in which you need to break out the heroism, you will probably be able to.
Kill Your Heroes – AWOLNATION
Heroes can sometimes be a bad thing. That might sound strange, but it makes sense if you think about it. Idolizing a person can lead to delusions that you’re not good enough because you’ll never be as good as your hero, even if you’re doing the best with what you’ve got.
Killing your hero simply means to understand that any hero you may have is just another person, just like you, and they happen to have done some heroic things in their life. Don’t judge your life against theirs to see where you stack up, as even if your feats aren’t as grand or celebrated, you can still be heroic on your own.
Working Class Hero – John Lennon
Working Class Hero is a daunting explanation of how some people see their lives. Living with abuse at home and bullying in school. Being ostracized for their intelligence or made fun of for their foolishness.
And eventually being pushed into the workforce even though they may not be ready. Well, you have bills to pay now, so you’d better be ready.
The working-class hero is no hero at all, but a position that many people believe they are forced into as a circumstance of life.
Waiting for Superman – Daughtry
It must be said that you shouldn’t spend your life waiting for something that might never come. This song tells the sad story of a woman waiting for her Superman indefinitely. She makes excuses for him, imagining scenarios in which he has to save the world before coming to get her.
But he never comes. There is no Superman. Sometimes heroes, likewise, are just a fantasy, and they, unfortunately, cannot help you in the way that you may want them to.
Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
This song gives life to the unsung heroes of our own lives. The teachers, the parents, the mentors, all the people that were there to shape our futures.
Nobody is in control of how or where they are born, so they must rely on others to teach them how the world works and how to live. For them, they’re just doing what comes naturally.
But for the one being nurtured, they are nothing short of heroes for giving them the tools and knowledge they need to be able to navigate the world until they can be their own hero for others.
Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.