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15 Songs Celebrating Heroes in Our Lives

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When the challenges have become too great, we look to our hero to save the day.

Who’s your hero? When you were a kid it was probably some superhero like Superman or Batman. But as we grow older, our heroes no longer have superpowers or save entire cities from destruction. Our heroes become regular people who we look up to for inspiration.

There are heroes all around us, even though we might think they’re just regular people. They can be firefighters or policemen. They can be our teachers or our doctors. They can be our parents. They can even be the friends we turn to when the going gets rough.

So to all the heroes out there, whether you save the day or help someone through a rough situation, we salute you! This playlist is for all the heroes out there who don’t need the cape or the fancy gadgets or the superpowers to make people’s lives so much better.

Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings

You can’t have a hero playlist without the ultimate hero appreciation song! Wind Beneath My Wings is a song about the hero we don’t see, the one who hides behind the curtains just quietly helping us along the way. They’re not there for glory or fame. Instead, they’re just there to help you through life’s challenges. That’s why in the song, the eagle gets all the glory, but it’s the wind beneath the eagle’s wings that let it fly.

Heroic lyrics: Did you ever know that you’re my hero?



And everything I would like to be

I can fly higher than an eagle

‘Cause you are the wind beneath my wings

 

Mariah Carey – Hero

Some of us want to be saved by the person we know we can count on in times of trouble. But in reality, there’s only one person we can rely on 24/7, and that’s ourselves. Hero is a song about finding the hero inside each of us. So when there’s no one out there hearing our cry for help, we can find the hero within us to help us get through our troubles.

Heroic lyrics: So when you feel like hope is gone

Look inside you and be strong

And you’ll finally see the truth



That a hero lies in you

 

David Bowie – ‘Heroes’

‘Heroes’ is a song inspired by a culturally and historically significant event which we still learn about in school today. The song was inspired by the sight of David Bowie’s producer and his girlfriend embracing by the Berlin wall. If you look at the lyrics, you can see a line there about kissing by the wall despite a barrage of gunshots. And maybe that’s exactly what Bowie wanted to say – that heroism is choosing love despite the violence all around you.

Heroic lyrics: I, I can remember (I remember)

Standing by the wall (by the wall)

And the guns shot above our heads (over our heads)

And we kissed, as though nothing could fall (nothing could fall)

And the shame was on the other side

Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever

Then we could be Heroes, just for one day

 

Foo Fighters – My Hero

According to David Grohl, the frontman of Foo Fighters, My Hero is a song dedicated to all the ordinary, everyday heroes we see all around us. Growing up, he never really had sports or musical heroes, so he found inspiration in all the “regular” people around him. And realistically speaking, the more we know about the world, the more we learn to admire the regular people just being good at what they do.

Heroic lyrics: There goes my hero

Watch him as he goes

There goes my hero

He’s ordinary

 

Bonnnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero

Now here’s a fun, fantastical song about a damsel in distress needing a hero. This upbeat tune is all about looking for a superman to sweep her off her feet. Sure, it’s unrealistic, but don’t we all have fantasies about our knight in shining armor saving us from monsters?

Heroic lyrics: I need a hero

I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night

He’s gotta be strong

And he’s gotta be fast

And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

 

Five for Fighting – Superman (It’s Not Easy)

When we think of superheroes, we thing of these awesome beings using their superpowers to save the world from death and destruction. But in the song Superman we see the more sensitive, human side of the superhero we’ve all come to know. Superman, strong as he may be, also has his own personal difficulties no matter how much other people see him as a demigod.

Heroic lyrics: It may sound absurd, but don’t be naive

Even heroes have the right to bleed

I may be disturbed, but won’t you concede

Even heroes have the right to dream

And it’s not easy to be me

 

Disney’s Hercules – Zero to Hero

Now for some lighthearted fun! Zero to Hero is a song from Disney’s Hercules that shows us Hercules’ progression from being a nobody to the idolized hero he has become. We all learn about heroes when they’re out there fighting, but rarely do we get to see how they’ve progressed throughout their heroic journey.

Heroic lyrics: Bless my soul, Herc was on a roll

Undefeated, riding high

And the nicest guy, not conceited

He was a nothing, a zero, zero

Now he’s a hot shot, he’s a hero

 

Boys Like Girls – Hero/Heroine

When you’re madly in love with someone, you can feel like you’re on top of the world. And in a way, you feel like the hero in your own story. Hero/Heroine is a song about feeling like you and your partner can take on the world. Even if it’s a fantastical ideal, the adrenaline rush of being in love can be enough to make you think that you can do anything!

Heroic lyrics: And you caught me off guard

Now I’m running and screaming

I feel like a hero

And you’re my heroine

Do you know that your love is the sweetest sin?

 

Enrique Iglesias – Hero

Hero was a song released just days after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. However, it was one of the only songs chosen by radio DJs to be remixed with audio from the police, firefighters, and civilian who were helping out. While it’s a romantic song about being someone’s hero, the timeliness of its release marked it as one of the songs that fostered solidarity among Americans.

Heroic lyrics: I can be your hero, baby

I can kiss away the pain

I will stand by you forever

You can take my breath away

 

Dashboard Confessional – Vindicated

You might know this song as the soundtrack for the Spider-Man 2 movie, and it was a very fitting song for the movie. In the song, the narrator admits that he is far from perfect. However, he’s doing his best to become the hero that the person he loves deserves.

Heroic lyrics: I am vindicated

I am selfish, I am wrong

I am right, I swear I’m right

I swear I knew it all along

And I am flawed, but I am cleaning up so well

I am seeing in me now the things you swore you saw yourself

Remy Zero – Save Me

Here’s another song about needing a hero. Save Me is about the narrator asking someone to save him from whatever it is that’s going on in his life. It was the song used in the season 1 finale of Smallville, which is a television series about Superman’s younger years.

Heroic lyrics: Somebody save me

Let your warm hands break right through and

Save me

I don’t care how you do it

Just stay, stay

Oh, come on

I’ve been waiting for you

 

Black Sabbath – Iron Man

While some of you may know this as the theme for the first Marvel Iron Man movie, there’s more to this song that just that! In fact, the song wasn’t even written with Marvel’s Iron Man in mind. The lyrics of the song tell an entirely different story about heroism, time travel, prophecies, and destruction. And no, we’re not going to ruin it for you because you simply must listen to the song instead!

Heroic lyrics: Heavy boots of lead

Fills his victims full of dread

Running as fast as they can

Iron Man lives again

Coldplay – Fix You

Being a hero isn’t always about saving thousands of people in a city. Sometimes, it’s just about helping one person get through a time of need. Chris Martin, the frontman of Coldplay, wrote this song for his wife Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth’s father had just passed away, and he wrote her a song to express how he wants to help her heal.

Heroic lyrics: Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones

I will try to fix you

 

Kelly – I Believe I Can Fly

Much like in Mariah Carrey’s Hero, I Believe I Can Fly is a song about learning how to get back up and become your own hero. In this song, the narrator is on the verge of giving up, and that’s exactly what propels him forward until he find the hero within himself. I Believe I Can Fly is one of the most famous inspirational songs out there. It’s been covered by various artists and used in so many films.

Heroic lyrics: I believe I can fly

I believe I can touch the sky

I think about it every night and day

Spread my wings and fly away

I believe I can soar

I see me running through that open door

I believe I can fly

 

Jackson 5 – I’ll Be There

From all the entries in this list, you can see that everyone has a different version of what a hero is. It can be a knight in shining armor. It can be a regular person you see every day. And it can even be the person who has been helping you without taking credit for any of it. But the one thing they all have in common is embodied in this timeless Jackson 5 song. A hero is the one who’ll be there for you.

Heroic lyrics: I’ll be there to protect you

With unselfish love that respects you

Just call my name, I’ll be there

 

Who’s the hero in your life? Is it someone you’ve looked up to for inspiration? Is it someone you see every day like your parents, your siblings, or your teacher? Is it someone who inspired you to become a better person? Or are you the hero of your own story?

Whoever your hero might be, send them some of the songs on this playlist to show them just how much you appreciate them.

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