The Man of Steel has fallen fast when it comes to superhero movies. The 2006 Superman Returns reboot starring Brandon Routh as Superman and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor was quickly forgotten. Meanwhile, Batman has ruled the day (Tim Burton's and especially Christopher Nolan's versions). Spider-Man had a big run with Tobey Maguire. And Robert Downey Jr. turned Iron Man into the coolest superhero around.
But Superman easily whips the competition when it comes to pop music. There are hundreds of Superman references out there in every genre.
So in honor of Zack Snyder's Superman reboot — Man of Steel, which debuts with late showings tonight — we've rounded up 20 Superman songs. Most are solid tunes. And then there is one by Barbra Streisand.
1. Superman by R.E.M.: Mike Mills took lead on vocals for R.E.M.'s cover of The Clique's charming track.
Lyrics: "You don’t really love that guy you make it with now, do you?/I know you don't love that guy 'cause I can see right through you/I am, I am, I am Superman/And I know what's happening."
2. Superman by Eminem: The rapper's chorus is "I can't be your Superman." Add that to the verse below, and we have exhausted the printable portion of the song.
Lyrics: "They call me Superman, I'm here to rescue you/I want to save you girl, come be in Shady's world."
3. Superman by Taylor Swift: Because he'd be the best boyfriend ever-ever-ever.
Lyrics: "I watched Superman fly away/You've got a busy day today/Go save the world, I’ll be around."
4. Jimmy Olsen's Blues by Spin Doctors: The alt-pop goofballs are the lone band to take fledgling journalist Jimmy's point of view. Thank GOD.
Lyrics: "Lois Lane please put me in your plan/Yeah Lois Lane, you don’t need no Superman/Come on downtown and stay with me tonight/I got a pocket full of Kryptonite."
5. Waiting for a Superman by The Flaming Lips: One of the prettier tunes by the eccentrics from Oklahoma City.
Lyrics: "Tell everybody waiting for Superman/That they should try to hold on best they can/He hasn't dropped them, forgot them or anything/It's just too heavy for Superman to lift."
6. Sunshine Superman by Donovan: The '60s star got psychedelic and borderline creepy on this big hit. Though it's a little odd to dis superheroes, then boast, "I can make like a turtle."
Lyrics: "Superman or Green Lantern ain't got nothing on me/I can make like a turtle and dive for your pearls in the sea."
7. Superman by Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson: What happens when the rap legend and the country legend get together? Cheech and Chong get a mad case of the munchies.
Lyrics: "Well the doctor said, 'Son, it's a crying shame/But you ain't Clark Kent and I ain't Lois Lane/You ain't Superman, you ain't Superman/Trying to do more than you can, you got a little out of hand/You ain't Superman.'"
8. Kryptonite by Three Doors Down: The big rock hit still holds up fairly well, though Superman might object to all the "crazy" talk.
Lyrics: "If I go crazy then will you still call me Superman?/If I'm alive and well will you be there holding my hand?/I'll keep you by my side with my superhuman might/Kryptonite."
9. Superman (It’s Not Easy) by Five for Fighting: Hang on, the Man of Steel is fully capable of making his own fashion choices.
Lyrics: "I'm only a man in a silly red sheet/Digging for Kryptonite on this one-way street/Only a man in a funny red sheet/Looking for special things inside of me/… It's not easy to be me."
10. Superman by Joe Brooks: All I need is the power of flight to make you love me!
Lyrics: "If I could be a Superman/I'd fly you to the stars and back again/'Cause every time you touch my hand/You feel my powers running through your veins."
11. Superman by Monica: The R&B singer gets major points deducted for offering "super super love" because her man is "super super hot."
Lyrics: "It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Superman/I can be your Lois Lane/There ain't nothing you can't do/I just want to be with you/And I hope you feel it too/You're my Superman."
12. Superman’s Dead by Our Lady Peace: We still have a hard time getting the "yiiiey-yiiey-yiii!!!" out of our heads from this 1997 alt-rock hit.
Lyrics: "An ordinary boy, an ordinary name/But ordinary's just not good enough today/Alone I'm thinking why Superman's dead?/Is it in my head?/We'll just laugh instead."
Lyrics (and we use that word loosely here): "Watch me crank it, watch me roll/Watch me crank that Souljah Boy/Then Superman that — OHHHH."
14. Superman's Song by Crash Test Dummies: Deep-voiced singer Brad Roberts is best known for the oddball 1993 hit Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm. But the band did have other notable moments, like this somber song, in which Superman is compared to Tarzan, who “could hardly string together four words."
Lyrics: "Sometimes when Supe was stopping crimes/I'll bet that he was tempted to just quit and turn his back on man/Join Tarzan in the forest/But he stayed in the city/And kept on changing clothes in dirty old phone booths/'Till his work was through/And nothing to do but go on home."
15. Resignation Superman by Big Head Todd and the Monsters: What if Superman retired? Actually, that sorta became the plot of the Will Ferrell-Brad Pitt animated flick Megamind. But that is analysis for another day ...
Lyrics: "He'll come flying out of this town/Resignation Superman/And today the bad guys win/'Cause he turned his cape in/Now he says, 'Yes I've turned my back on this world.'"
Lyrics: "Baby, I can fly like a bird/When you touch me with your eyes/Flying through the sky, I’ve never felt the same/But I am not a bird and I am not a plane/I'm Superman/When you love me, it's easy/I can do most anything."
17. Superman Tonight by Bon Jovi: Twenty years ago, Superman might have changed the lyrics to "I wish I could be your Jon Bon Jovi tonight."
Lyrics: "Who's gonna hold you when you turn out the lights?/I won't lie, I wish I could be your Superman tonight."
18. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman by The Kinks: C'mon, Ray Davies. You're RAY FREAKIN' DAVIES. Put Lola on the Victrola and get it together.
Lyrics: "I looked in the mirror at my pigeon chest/I had to put on my clothes because it made me depressed/Surely there must be a way for me to change the shape I'm in/Dissatisfied is what I am, I want to be a better man/Superman, Superman, wish I could fly like Superman."
19. Superman Inside by Eric Clapton: And he says yes, my red Underoos look wonderful tonight.
Lyrics: "Look in the mirror, even with a broken heart I'm fine/Living is so sweet, now with Superman inside."
20. Man of Steel by Hank Williams Jr.: Given Junior's ancestry, Superboy might be more appropriate.
Lyrics: "So I kinda got toughened up and hard and learned not to feel/They started calling me the man of steel/And my friends all call me Superman/I never let nobody get an upper hand/Lord I don't know what I'm going to do/'Cause the man of steel done got the blues."
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