Most people love songs about heroes because they take them back to their childhood when they had limitless imaginations.
Although most music doesn’t refer to heroes like Superman and Batman directly, many have focused on the concept of someone swooping in to save the day.
Whether you’re in need of rescue or you’re the one doing the saving, we’re sure these greatest hits will inspire you.
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The 23 Best Songs About Heroes & Heroism
There’s nothing better than when a superhero arrives in the nick of time and rescues people in distress. In a way, music is a hero of its own, offering comfort and refuge in times of need.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into our playlist of the 23 best songs about heroes & heroism:
23. Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
“Radioactive” was released from Imagine Dragons’ debut EP, Continued Silence, in 2012.
The electronic rock song is based on the lead singer, Dan Reynolds’ who struggles with depression and how he overcomes it and finds a new love for life.
“Radioactive” earned Grammy Award nominations for Record of the Year and Best Rock Performance in 2014.
22. Not All Heroes Wear Capes – Owl City
This synth-pop hit is about a son’s love and appreciation for his father, who he thinks is the greatest superhero.
If you’re an Owl City fan, check out our best karaoke songs of all time playlist, which features their hit, “Good Time” feat. Carly Rae Jepsen.
“Not All Heroes Wear Capes” comes from the band’s sixth studio album, Cinematic, which made it to #8 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart in 2018.
21. Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift
“Anti-Hero” is a pop rock jam released from Taylor Swift’s 2022 album, Midnights.
The lyrics describe Swift’s insecurities and how although she is a celebrity, everything about her and her life isn’t always glamorous.
The music video for “Anti-Hero” won The Music Video of 2022 at the People’s Choice Awards, while the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 the same year.
20. Hero – Weezer
Here’s a power pop anthem from Weezer’s Van Weezer album that’ll have you singing along in no time!
“Hero” talks about a man who always thought he’d become a superhero but realizes he’s just an outcast.
The tune earned the top spot on the Billboard Alternative Airplay and Rock Airplay charts in 2020.
19. You & The 6 – Drake
“You & The 6” was released on Drake’s commercial mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, in 2015.
The lyrics feature Drake paying tribute to his mother and how she raised him by herself in his hometown of Toronto, Canada.
The album became #1 on the Billboard 200, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and UK R&B Albums chart in 2015.
18. Superhero – Jane’s Addiction
Alternative rock band Jane’s Addiction released “Superhero” in 2003 from their third studio album, Stray.
This hit talks about a man’s infatuation with a woman he meets and how he wants to be her “superhero.”
The album made it to #4 on the Billboard 200 in 2003, and in 2004, “Superhero” became the theme song for a popular TV series on HBO called Entourage.
17. Kryptonite – 3 Doors Down
“Kryptonite” was one of the greatest anthems of the early 2000s, earning positive reviews in multiple countries, from the U.S. to Germany.
Throughout the song, the male narrator questions whether or not his friend will still think highly of him and be there for him through thick and thin.
The alternative rock track earned the #3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Adult Top 40 in 2000.
16. Something Just Like This – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
If you’re searching for something more EDM-themed, check out “Something Just Like This.”
The lyrics center around superheroes and speak of a man looking for ordinary love rather than a perfect relationship.
The anthem was nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2018 Grammy Awards and reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
15. Jesus Walks – Kanye West
“Jesus Walks” depicts Jesus Christ as the hero who comes to save humanity from racism, terrorism, and ourselves.
If you love Kanye West’s music, we suggest checking out our best songs of all time playlist, which includes his hit, “Gold Digger.”
This tune won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Song in 2005 and took the #11 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2004.
14. Heroes & Friends – Randy Travis
Randy Travis released this hit from his 1991 album of the same name, which was highly successful in the U.S. and Canada.
“Heroes And Friends” is a song reflecting on the two things that “last to the end,” the heroes everyone aspires to be and loyal friends.
This popular country track reached #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in 1991.
13. One Call Away – Charlie Puth
As one of the most popular singers in the world, many might even view Charlie Puth as a hero in his own right.
“One Call Away” is an anthem for people who are in a long-distance relationship that reassures them that they can still connect with a simple phone call.
The pop hit took the top spot on the Billboard Adult Top 40 and the Slovakian Radio Top 100 charts in 2015.
12. Waitin’ For Superman – The Flaming Lips
“Waitin’ For A Superman” is one of the greatest songs about heroes, released from The Flaming Lips’ 1999 album, The Soft Bulletin.
The track’s lyrics describe the heaviness felt worldwide and encourage listeners to keep holding out hope for a superman to save the day.
This alternative rock hit reached #73 on the UK Singles chart in 1999 and has also been recorded by Coldplay and Iron & Wine.
11. Hero – Chad Kroeger ft. Josey Scott
Lead vocalist of Nickelback, Chad Kroeger, and lead singer of Saliva, Josey Scott, teamed up on this hit for the 2002 film, Spider-Man.
The song talks about a person who becomes their own hero instead of waiting around for one to arrive.
“Hero” received Grammy nominations for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television, or Other Visual Media, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2002.
10. Lost Queen – Pharrell
“Lost Queen” comes from Pharrell’s second studio album, Girl, which was released in 2014.
The lyrics describe Pharrell’s desire to please his woman and treat her to the finer things in life as if she were royalty.
The album was a massive success worldwide, earning the top spot on charts in Australia, Belgium, Norway, and the UK in 2014.
9. Hero – Enrique Iglesias
Spanish singer-songwriter Enrique Iglesias released this passionate love song in 2001 from his second album, Escape.
In this romantic ballad, Iglesias reassures his significant other that he will be her everyday superhero and care for her needs.
“Hero” won an MTV Video Music Award in 2002 and became #1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in 2001.
8. Heroes And Villains – The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are one of the best bands of all time, so you know this song will automatically be a good one!
Although there are different interpretations, many believe that “Heroes And Villains” is about American history and the Pilgrim’s arrival at Plymouth Rock.
The tune reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #8 on the UK Record Retailer chart in 1967.
7. Hero – Mariah Carey
“Hero” was released in 1993 from Mariah Carey’s third studio album, Music Box, but was originally sung by Gloria Estefan.
The inspirational ballad talks about how each of us is an average everyday superhero if we look inside of ourselves.
“Hero” was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 1995 Grammy Awards and took the top spot on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 in 1993.
6. Superman – Eminem
This hardcore rap hit features Eminem rapping about the promiscuity of women he’s been with and how he doesn’t want to be in a romantic relationship.
If you’re a fan of Eminem, we suggest checking out our best 90s songs playlist and listening to his popular track, “My Name Is.”
“Superman” peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #10 on the Mainstream Top 40 in 2003.
5. Heroes (We Could Be) – Alesso ft. Tove Lo
“Heroes (We Could Be)” is a progressive house hit that’ll surely inspire you to widen your horizons, featuring Swedish DJ Alesso and Swedish singer Tove Lo.
The lyrics talk about a woman’s desire to be more than just an average person who does average things.
The upbeat track peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart and #6 on the UK Singles chart in 2014.
4. Superman (It’s Not Easy) – Five For Fighting
This superhero song comes from Five For Fighting’s second studio album, America Town, released in 2001.
“Superman (It’s Not Easy)” is written from superman’s perspective and talks about how he often feels misunderstood by the general public.
The soft rock anthem received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 2002 and charted #1 on the Billboard Adult Top 40 in 2001.
3. My Hero – Foo Fighters
If you love the alternative rock genre, then we think you’ll definitely consider this one of the best songs about heroes.
In this hit from 1998, the Foo Fighters’ lead vocalist, Dave Grohl, sings about all the unsung heroes he met.
“My Hero” peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1998 and #2 on the Billboard Hot Hard Rock Songs chart in 2022.
2. Heroes – David Bowie
“Heroes” was released from David Bowie’s album of the same name in 1977. It was inspired by a love affair between his producer and backup singer after Bowie discovered them kissing near the Berlin Wall.
The lyrics talk about two fictional characters (a man and a woman in love) who strive to become “heroes, just for one day.”
“Heroes” reached #8 in Ireland, #9 in the Netherlands Single Top 100, and #24 on the UK Singles chart between 1977 and 1978.
1. Holding Out For A Hero – Bonnie Tyler
“Holding Out For A Hero” is one of the greatest songs about heroes, recorded for the 1984 film, Footloose and featured on Tyler’s sixth album, Secret Dreams, and Forbidden Fire.
The rock tune talks about a woman’s desire to find true heroes who are strong, fast, and good-hearted. Some also believe it’s a love song in which the woman dreams about her knight and shining armor.
If you’re a Bonnie Tyler fan, check out our best 80s songs playlist, which features her mega-hit, “Total Eclipse Of The Heart.”
The song earned the #2 spot on the UK Singles chart, #1 in Ireland, and #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1984 and 2021.
As you can see, there are plenty of incredible songs about heroes to add to your playlist.
We chose “Holding Out For A Hero” by Bonnie Tyler as our top pick because of its thoughtful superhero-themed lyrics, impressive accolades, and incredible popularity worldwide.
The truth is, you don’t have to be Batman, Superman, or Spiderman to be a true hero! Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, or simply a kind-hearted person, you can make a difference.
What’s the best song about heroes, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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