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From helping your neighbor to volunteering at an animal shelter, real-life heroism comes in many forms. Teleportation and invisibility are no more than cool on-screen tricks. Yet, compassion, friendliness, and generosity are qualities that help us become the best version of ourselves and uplift others in everyday life.
We've compiled a list of the 16 best songs about heroes. Hopefully, they will remind you that you can singlehandedly change your life and the lives of those around you for the better.
1. Hero, Mariah Carey
via Mariah Carey
“And then a hero comes along with the strength to carry on. And you cast your fears aside, and you know you can survive.”
One of Carey's most successful tracks, “Hero,” is about self-appreciation. The lyrics promote the message that when times get tough, you can tap into your inner strength and find the resilience to combat any inconvenience. We're shaped by our qualities that are stronger than outside circumstances. It's easy to lose sight of our innate courage, but it's always there to push us to rise above seemingly impossible problems. When help doesn't come your way, you can rely on your power and come out as an undefeated champion.
2. Heroes and Friends, Randy Travis
via Randy Travis
“Your heroes will help you find good in yourself. Your friends won't forsake you for somebody else. They'll both stand beside you thru thick and thru thin.”
This optimistic country tune expounds on the idea that heroes are idols who teach us valuable life lessons. They show us how to persevere and stay true to our vision, even when dark clouds are ahead. However, if you feel like you’re losing your way, the unsung heroes will step in and help you get back on track.
True friends do more for us than we sometimes realize. They laugh with us when the sun is shining, but they’re also ready to swoop in when we’re about to stumble and fall. It’s good to look up to incredible people and strive to become just as amazing, but friends who have your back make the journey to greatness less difficult.
3. Superheroes, The Script
via The Script
“When you've been fighting for it all your life, you've been struggling to make things right. That's how a superhero learns to fly.”
Everyone's going through struggles we may know nothing about. Whether they're going to work or doing household chores to help their family, people are trying to improve their lives in many ways. These unassuming heroes often go underappreciated because we're unaware of how much blood, sweat, and tears go into their efforts.
The chorus underscores the strength it takes to keep going when nothing seems right. Rather than knocking you down, your struggle pushes you to try harder and shows you how to face future problems head-on.
4. We Don’t Need Another Hero, Tina Turner
via Tina Turner
“Love and compassion, their day is coming. All else are castles built in the air.”
Turner’s song appeared in the 1985 movie “Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome” and captured the determination and hope of the main characters. Trapped in a barren post-apocalyptic desert, their chance of survival is slim. But they refuse to resign themselves to failure and are determined to help themselves and their friends.
This sentiment has touched the hearts of many people across the world.
Rather than waiting for the world to change, become the hero you want to see. Take positive action to better your position and inspire others. You might not think you’re capable of saving the day. But when others follow your lead, you’ll see that real heroes work together to turn their dreams into reality.
5. Wind Beneath My Wings, Bette Midler
“Did you ever know that you're my hero and everything I would like to be? I can fly higher than an eagle, for you are the wind beneath my wings.”
There’s nothing more motivating than unconditional support from your loved ones. Whether you’re on the brink of success or cowering in defeat, someone cheering you on is a reminder that you’re a hero no matter the outcome.
We should be proud of our achievements, but they shouldn’t go to our heads. It’s important to acknowledge the kind-hearted people who always had faith in us and encouraged us to continue working towards our goals. Even heroes suffer from self-doubt and need a bit of support to reassure them of their capabilities.
6. Heroes, David Bowie
via David Bowie
“We could steal time just for one day. We can be heroes for ever and ever. What d'you say?”
A catchy anthem that praises resilience, “Heroes” inspires our fighting spirit to stay strong in the face of hardship. Bowie's idea for the song came from a young German couple who meet secretly near the Berlin Wall every day. The couple was determined to keep their love alive against all odds.
Their story carries a powerful message. We should trust ourselves and stay true to the values we find dear. In the end, no oppression is stronger than the heroism of fighting for who and what you love.
7. Heroes (We Could Be), Alesso ft. Tove Lo
“Every day people do everyday things, but I can't be one of them. I know you hear me now; we are a different kind. We can do anything.”
Heroes don’t have to work miracles to unlock their full potential. Sometimes, falling in love is enough. Finding that special person doesn’t just make you happy and dizzy but also makes you feel powerful. No issue can overshadow your newfound motivation to make the good in your life even better.
With a kind-hearted person by your side, you’re ready to move mountains and turn obstacles into victories. Heroes never walk alone. They always have someone in their corner, glad to hold their hand and help them thrive.
8. I’ll Be There, Mariah Carey
via Mariah Carey
“I'll reach out my hand to you, I'll have faith in all you do. Just call my name and I'll be there.”
Another Mariah Carey entry, this soulful track pays homage to anyone ready to put another person's needs first. Selflessness is a superpower that makes others happy and transforms you into a more tender and compassionate human. There's nothing nobler than watching someone's eyes smile after you've raised their spirits. It's one of the most incredible things you can do for someone, stay by their side until they rediscover their inner hero.
9. Hero, Weezer
“When I was a kid, I thought I'd save the world. Running 'round and chasing all the criminals. Swinging on a web, flying in the sky, shooting lasers from my eyes. But now I know it never was my destiny.”
A subversive take on the superhero narrative, this song underscores that many heroes remain unknown. It was released in the spring of 2020, and it's dedicated to the essential workers whose tireless work has protected millions of people from the pandemic.
Traditionally, we're taught that heroes are well-known, idolized, and different from regular people. But the regularity of everyday people is exactly what the song appreciates. Being true to who you are and doing your best doesn't always look heroic, but it's an impressive feat we should respect and acknowledge more often.
10. Something Just Like This, The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay
via The Chainsmokers
“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.”
This upbeat collaboration reworks the concept of great mythical characters. Unlike the heroes from classical mythology, the narrator is struck that he has no qualities that make him stand out. He has no hidden powers that would compel others to admire him. But when he turns to his relationship, he finds a way to become a superhero.
Supporting our loved ones and listening to their needs is the ultimate act of care and affection. Fictional characters fight monsters and complete unbelievable tasks, but daily life requires a different hero, a loving, kind, and selfless person.
11. Superman (It’s Not Easy), Five for Fighting
“I'm more than a bird, I'm more than a plane. I'm more than some pretty face beside a train and it's not easy to be me.”
The song's narrator is Superman himself, and the lyrics express his innermost thoughts and doubts. He struggles under the weight of peoples' expectations and feels that this superhero persona overshadows his true identity. It's as if he's had to sacrifice a part of his identity to achieve greatness.
But despite the difficulty he’s faced and the pressure he’s under, he continues to serve and protect others. The worry and anxiety are not as strong as his desire to do good.
The song reminds listeners that life’s not always smooth sailing. Heroes grapple with self-doubt, but they don’t allow it to crush their spirit.
12. When You Believe, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston
via Whitney Houston
“There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it's hard to kill. Who knows what miracles you can achieve?”
No matter how put-together they appear, even the most self-assured people don't have all the answers. Finding your way through the murky uncertainty is challenging, but guidance comes from believing in yourself. The world is often unfair, so bleakness seems like the only outcome. However, looking deep within yourself and discovering hidden courage will reassure you that you're capable of heroic acts.
13. Go the Distance, Michael Bolton
via Michael Bolton
“I'll be there someday, I can go the distance. I will find my way if I can be strong. I know every mile would be worth my while.”
This Disney classic was written for “Hercules,” an animated movie that follows the trials and tribulations of the young hero before he fulfills his destiny. Hercules is a demigod, so he possesses many abilities unattainable for the ordinary person. He still faces many hurdles, and what makes him fight harder isn't some godlike superpower but his self-confidence.
When your plans go awry, it’s hard not to question your self-worth. You’re unsure whether your next steps will lead you to success or failure. However, keeping your course despite all your fears is a courageous deed. Arm yourself with determination and hope, and victory will come your way.
14. My Hero, The Foo Fighters
via Foo Fighters
“There goes my hero. Watch him as he goes. There goes my hero. He's ordinary.”
The Foo Fighter's Dave Grohl claims that he didn't look up to celebrities growing up. Instead, he admired the hard work and perseverance of ordinary people. This sentiment is deeply embedded in “My Hero.”
The lyrics are concerned with paying your respects to the people you pass on the street every day but fail to notice. Their accomplishments won't be televised, and you won't hear them interviewed on your local radio station. At first glance, they're just regular people, but their lives are nothing short of extraordinary.
The accompanying music video builds on this idea, depicting an unidentified man saving items from a burning house. We can’t see his face, but that’s the whole point. We may never discover his identity, but his heroic actions are worthy of praise and respect.
15. We Are the Champions, Queen
via Queen Official
“I've done my sentence but committed no crime. And bad mistakes, I've made a few. I've had my share of sand kicked in my face, but I've come through.”
No sporting event is complete without playing Queen's anthemic tune. The lyrics celebrate victory and show that the path to triumph is full of challenges.
Setting goals is relatively quick but reaching them takes a lot of effort. True winners understand that hardship teaches them to be stronger and more resourceful. Each time they make a mistake, they're ready to learn from it and strengthen their mindset. The journey to success isn't always enjoyable, but it shows us how to turn mistakes into small victories.
16. Hero, Superchick
“You could be a hero — heroes do what's right. You could be a hero — you might save a life. You could be a hero — you could join the fight.”
Many people fight an internal battle that eats away at their strength and confidence. The song's lyrics introduce us to several people who are suffering silently, unable to ask for help. Their problems are different, but, ultimately, they all feel weak and alone. Once the chorus kicks in, the message becomes clear. When heroes see others in pain, they're quick to lend a hand and help them heal. Whether it's a kind word, encouraging smile, or thoughtful pep-talk, what you have to offer can change someone's day for the better.
Final Thoughts on Songs About Heroes
Music can have a powerful impact on our perspective. It can make us realize that the hero we’ve been waiting for has been within us all along. Or it can help us appreciate our friends and family more for their unconditional love and support.
We hope that these 16 songs about heroes will add a dash of courage and selflessness to your life. Make sure to check out the accompanying song and video links to awaken your inner hero.
For more songs to listen to, check out these other lists:
Finally, if you want to use these songs to make a lasting change to your life, then check out these 100 LIFE GOALS that can help you wake up each morning with a sense of enthusiasm about making progress toward what's important..