Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stop Talking About Comics or I'll Kill You

Laying in bed this morning, trying to find the will to get up and get ready for work, I was half-listening to the clock-radio when a sudden thought surfaced in my sleepy head:


The local "we play anything" station had just started "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies, a song so crammed with auctioneer-style lyrics that I'd never bothered to learn the words. But I could've sworn the singer said something about Aquaman, and a quick Google check later confirmed the band's Curry name-dropping (Sailor Moon's mentioned, too). And now that I was awake I started wondering; how many songs mention superheroes, anyway?

Off the top of my head (and showing my age), I was able to come up with:

• "Land of Confusion" — Genesis

• "Sunshine Superman" — Donovan

• "Iron Man" — Black Sabbath

• "Kryptonite" — 3 Doors Down

• "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" — Jim Croce

• "Catch Me Now (I'm Falling)" — The Kinks

• "The Ballad of Barry Allen" — Jim's Big Ego

• "Jimmy Olsen's Blues" — Spin Doctors

• "In the Garage" — Weezer

And a bunch of songs by Ookla the Mok including "Arthur Curry," "Theme From Super Skrull" and — of course — "Stop Talking About Comics or I'll Kill You."

I know I'm missing a lot of songs, so I put it to you, Internets: What's your favorite superhero song? I'm a little embarrassed that there aren't any rap songs in my mental checklist, and I'm curious whether there are any country-comic songs out there, so let me know.

But wait — there are rules! I'm looking for songs that explicitly name a hero (or at least alludes so much that there can't be any confusion), cartoon or TV show themes don't count (sorry, Spider-Man theme), and neither do accidental mentions of comic book characters (sorry, "Ghost Riders in the Sky").

Other than that — let's hear it!


Jeff Hebert said...

I have that song on my iPod in my "jogging" folder so I end up singing the Aquaman lyrics a lot. Great song!

One of my favorite songs that mention a super-hero is also on my iPod, "Where Are You Going" by Dave Matthews Band:

I am no Superman
And I have no answers for you
I am no hero, oh that’s for sure
But I do know one thing:
Where you are, is where I belong
I do know, where you go
Is where I wanna be

Mr. Franks said...

might be useful

personally, it has to be "In the garage"

Kyle said...

Ghostface, of the Wu, actually has a whole Tony Starks alter ego that shows up in a lot of his songs. His first album was even called "Ironman." Needless to say, I was a tad disappointed he didn't make the soundtrack. (Although I read he filmed a scene that was cut.)

One of my first superhero-song exposures was Anthrax's "I Am the Law." I still love that song. ... It reminds me of a time when rap-rock fusion was full of promise. *Sigh* I would have been less optimistic if I had known Anthrax and Public Enemy doing "Bring the Noise" was going to lead to Linkin Park.

rob! said...

there's that Magneto and Titanium Man song by McCartney and Wings.

oh, and

"a sudden thought surfaced in my sleepy head:


...is how i start every day of my life.

Maxo said...

Jeff: There's another one that's slipped by me — I'll have to dig that one up!

Mr. Franks: That's one hell of a list! Yeah, I like "In the Garage" a bunch, and I've got a soft spot for Ookla the Mok, too. Thanks for commenting!

Kyle: Ha! I didn't know Ghostface had the whole Tony Stark thing going on — I'm going to have to dig out my Wu-Tang and give it a fresh listen.

Can't beat a Judge Dredd reference, can you? But yeah, how'd we let that get so screwed up? And Anthrax was right at the front of that, and it had so much potential! I remember the Judgment Night soundtrack was kinda cool and thinking, "Man, this is going to lead to some kick ass stuff."

Not so much.

Rob!: Ha ha ha! That made me literally laugh out loud!

Baddie said...

I have nothing to add to the list. I just want to ask if Sabbath's "Iron Man" should even be there? Even after reading this article, I'm still confused.

That's all I have.

Siskoid said...

The obvious for me is Superman Song by the Crash Test Dummies. It has Superman fighting Solomon Grundy and not getting paid for it. Check the video on you-tube for Superman's funeral complete with ageing heroes.

What about Superman's Dead by Our Lady Peace?

Not any heroes we know, but I also have to give a shout out to Particle Man by They Might Be Giants.

Scott said...

"Paradise City" by Guns N' Roses namechecks Captain America...

Maxo said...

Baddie: I don't blame you — it's a pretty confusing history. I included it because it COULD be at least partly inspired by the character, and it's also been tied to Iron Man so much over time that most people connect him and the song. Believe it or not, I went back and forth about whether I should include it or not!

Siskoid: I gotta watch that! And man, Superman shows up in a lot of songs, doesn't he?

Scott: Ah hell ... now I have to find my copy of Appetite for Destruction! :) Thanks for the comment, Scott!

Siskoid said...

Ah, in the interest of getting traffic to my blog rather than You-Tube, I posted about the video once:

Scipio said...

Well, you could just listen to Big Monkey Comics radio on Live365...

Maxo said...

Siskoid: I'd rather you got the traffic, too — thanks for the link!

Scipio: I've always wanted to ... damn my company's crackdown on streaming internet!