Superman songs of the 1990's

The thread on Five for Fighting’s “100 Years” was linked to a lyrics site which then linked to their “Superman” lyrics. I then recalled “Jimmy Olson Blues/Pocketful of Kryptonite” by the Spin Doctors and “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down. All of these were pretty decent hits within a few years of each other. Is “Superman” the Christ-figure of choice for 1990s Pop-Rock artists?

Why not Batman?

Don’t forget “Superman’s Song” by the Crash Test Dummies.

Why Superman and not Batman? Because Batman is scary and dark and doesn’t represent in any way an ideal of humanity.

The Spin Doctors did both “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” and “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues.” The Flaming Lips did “Waiting for Superman.” REM did “I Am Superman.” I forget who sings “I’m No Superman.” Also, the Kinks’ “Wish I Could Fly like Superman.”

It’s kind of interesting that–except for the Spin Doctors’ offerings–songs about Superman tend to be very sad, like he’s a religious figure who ultimately lets you down when you really need him, or he’s someone you ultimately can’t match. I wish there were a body of Batman and Spider-Man songs to compare him with. The Kinks “Captain America Calling” is pretty comparable.

Yeah, if you’re gonna write a song about Batman, it works even better if it’s about Hannibal Lecter.


Isn’t this just one song? I thought the song was called “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” (or something close) and the chorus had the line “I’ve got a pocket full of kryptonite”.

Revtim is right – “Pocketful of Kryptonite” is a line from “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues.” The album took it’s name from the line in the song (much like Elvis Costello’s album “My Aim Is True” took it’s name from a lyric in “Alison”).

Superman’s Dead, by Our Lady Peace

Weren’t there enough Batman songs just from the Soundtrack albums? Prince’s Batdance was a pretty big hit.

And what about these, which I don’t believe to be on the albums?

Twizted, “I Wanna Be Batman”

Snoop Dogg, “Batman And Robin”

Bowling for Soup, “Assman”

Don’t forget Laurie Anderson’s “O Superman,” which reached #2 in the UK. Granted, that was in 1981, but maybe this posits her as the seminal founder of the artist movement we now know as “People Writing Stupid Songs about Superman.”

(Stupid except for “I Am Superman” by REM. That song still kicks ass.)

The already mentioned “(I Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman” by the Kinks was released as a single in January of 1979.

A year early for the '90s, but there’s also Robyn Hitchcock’s “Superman.”

REM’s “I Am Superman” is a cover of the 1960s original by The Clique.

Which may make The Clique the seminal Superman artists.

So, you want to play rough, do you?

The Clique’s b-side was released in 1969.

I give you the 1966 It’s A Bird … It’s A Plane … It’s Superman original cast soundtrack recording.

What month in 1966?

'Cause I’m certain you realize that Donovan’s “Sunshine Superman” was released in the summer of '66.


…and recorded in 1965.

I strongly suspect Five-for-Fighting’s Superman tune was written in an effort to submit something for the main title theme for the Smallville TV series; and when it wasn’t chosen, they just went ahead and released it.

Hmmm. Looks like even Donovan doesn’t get the title of seminal Superman artist, as folk group The Brothers Four released their own “Superman” in 1960.

Well if you’re going to be that way about it, the theme for The Adventures of Superman was recorded in 1952 (and of course the theme for the radio show debuted with the show in 1940).

Theme songs are cheating, as everyone knows.

Lazlo Bane