37 Best Songs About Heroes & Real-Life Heroism

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I think you’ll agree with me on this that the real heroes in our lives don’t have superpowers and don’t wear cool costumes.

Instead, we most likely have a parent who does everything to make sure we are raised right and have a good life.

It could be a group of strangers who offered a lifeline when we were having a personal crisis.

For some, it’s likely a teacher whose words and guidance inspire us to go after our dreams.

Their selflessness, compassion, and dedication are the pinnacle of what humans are capable of. The heroic acts they do restore our faith in humanity.

A lot of songs about heroes have been created to honor these amazing individuals. We’ve rounded up the best tracks to help you create a custom playlist to celebrate the heroes in your life.

Check out what we’ve got for you.

1. Not All Heroes Wear Capes, Owl City

He built me a house in the arms of a tree. He taught me to drive and to fight and to dream. When he looks in my eyes, I hope he can see that my dad's a hero to me.

Let’s start with this touching song from Owl City. It’s a tribute to a father who’s present in his son’s life.

Here, the son enumerates the ways his father has been there for him and their family, such as when the dad built a treehouse, consoled him when their dog died, and taught him life skills and to make goals.

The narrator understands that a hero doesn’t necessarily have to wear a cape or have superpowers. To him, having a dad present in his life is enough.

2. Wonder Woman, Miley Cyrus

She's a wonder woman. She knows what she likes. Never know she's broken. Only when she cries.

This song is about a strong and resilient woman. In the song, she is described to have countless painful experiences.

However, she is compared to Wonder Woman, a strong female superhero. The woman in the song may feel lost, hopeless, and broken.

Nevertheless, she pushes forward, leading her own life and trying her best to keep it all together.

3. Hero, Mariah Carey

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.

You have the potential to be a hero. And the life you save may be your own.

This song affirms that you are capable of being your own hero. It encourages you to develop self-love that will help you realize that you can actually achieve happiness even if you’re alone.

4. Heroes and Friends, 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 through thick and through thin. And that's how it goes with heroes and friends.

In this song, friends are compared to heroes. Both will stay with you through the good and bad times.

It is a wonderful tribute to those people who are have made a positive influence in your life

5. Don’t Wait for Heroes, Dennis DeYoung

So don't wait for heroes, do it yourself. You've got the power. Winners are losers who got up and gave it just one more try.

This empowering song is telling listeners to go after their dreams. It encourages you to not depend on heroes to make your dreams come true.

You actually have the power and ability to turn your life for the better. You just need to believe in yourself to achieve what you want.

6. Heroes, Paul Overstreet

‘Cause you know heroes come in every shape and size. Making special sacrifices for others in their lives. No one gives 'em medals, the world don't know their names. But in someone's eyes, they're heroes just the same.

This song is dedicated to parents and spouses who do their good works even without recognition. They make lives better for those around them, and that’s an achievement enough for them.

7. Superheroes, 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.

According to this song, real-life superheroes are forged out of hardships.

The true superheroes are the ones who are determined to get up no matter how life tries to bring them down.

Perhaps you know someone who’s like this — someone who never lets a bad experience get them down?

8. Somebody’s Hero, Jamie O’Neal

And that smile lets her know she's somebody's hero.

This song is about an average woman. She may be ordinary, but she gives her all in raising her young daughter into adulthood.

The woman is a hero to her daughter. In turn, through her example, the daughter grows up into a loving young woman. And she is also a hero to her mom.

9. Superman’s Song, Crash Test Dummies

Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy. And sometimes, I despair the world will never see another man like him.

This song highlights Superman’s true character and reflects on how the world lacks people who are more Superman.

The narrator contemplates that Superman’s considerable strength could have made it easy for him to crash through banks and rob those places. However, he didn’t do it but instead became a hero who focused on doing the right thing.

10. Heroes, Zayde Wolf

We are heroes. Heroes in the darkest times. When there is no light, we are heroes. Heroes in the darkest times. But we'll rise above. We are heroes.

People have shared stories about how, in times of personal crisis, some strangers approached them and lent a hand. These stories are touching because it reminds us that people have an innate ability to sense and help out those in need.

This song is about those who are able to sense other people’s crisis and decide that they can do something about it. They are heroes in their own right.

11. My Hero, Westlife

You’ve seen the long nights, the I'm-not-alrights, the ebb in the tide that's sold in the red eyes. You don't know how you're saving my life tonight 'cause I feel like you are my hero…

The hero this song is referring to is a loved one who is there for their partner through thick and thin. The narrator is aware that the actions of this person largely influenced the positive aspects of his life.

12. Superman Tonight, Bon Jovi

Who's gonna save you when the stars fall from your sky? And who's gonna pull you in when the tide gets too high? Who's gonna hold you when you turn out the lights? I won't lie. I wish that I could be your superman tonight.

This song is about wanting to make the world a better place for someone you care about. It’s about trying to be a hero in that person’s life, to make them feel less alone in their personal struggles.

13. Superman, Taylor Swift

I watch Superman fly away. You've got a busy day today. Go save the world, I'll be around. And I watch superman fly away. Come back, I'll be with you someday. I'll be right here on the ground when you come back down.

This song is about a guy that represents everything good and right about the world. However, Taylor Swift narrates that this guy is out of her reach, possibly touching lives and making a difference for other people’s lives.

Nonetheless, she is enamored and hopes she can be together with this person one day.

14. Waitin’ for Superman, Flaming Lips

Tell everybody waiting for a 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 a Superman to lift.

This song encourages you to be a hero in your own life. Oftentimes, the ones you consider heroes also have their own share of troubles, their own burdens to bear that they are unable to help you make your life better.

15. One Call Away, Charlie Puth

I'm only one call away. I'll be there to save the day. Superman got nothing on me. I'm only one call away.

This song highlights the ability of a hero to appear quickly when someone is in need. In this track, Charlie Puth promises a person he cares about that he’s always going to be there to make sure everything’s alright and that he’s just “one call away”.

16. Something Just Like This, The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

But she said, ‘Where d'you wanna go? How much you wanna risk? I'm not looking for somebody with some superhuman gifts, some superhero, some fairytale bliss. Just something I can turn to. Somebody I can kiss. I want something just like this.’

Some people assume that their partners need a hero in their lives. Most of the time, though, we are all capable of being our own heroes.

In this song, this need is debunked, when a girl declares that she’s not after a relationship based on fantasy. What she wants is something dependable and real, and that what she’s looking for is happening between her and the narrator.

17. 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. We could be heroes. We could be heroes, me and you.

This song is a reminder that you can rise above your circumstance and do something extraordinary. It is an affirmation that you bring something unique to this world.

You have the potential to make a difference. That’s something to be proud about.

18. Everyday Superhero, Smash Mouth

I'm just your average ordinary everyday superhero. Trying to save the world, but never really sure. I'm just your average ordinary everyday superhero. Nothing more than that, that's all I really am.

This song is a tribute to those ordinary people who try their best each day to do something that makes a difference, no matter how small. They are considered superheroes.

This song is a reminder that even superheroes suffer from self-doubt, perhaps even imposter syndrome. However, that doesn’t stop them from doing what’s right.

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19. A Real Hero (Drive OST), College & Electric Youth

A real human being and a real hero.

This song became popular when it was used as a soundtrack for the movie Drive. However, the song is a tribute to a real-life hero.

The song is inspired by the heroic actions of Captain Chesley Sullenburger on January 15, 2009. On this day, the engines of the plane that Captain Sullenburger flew (U. S. Airways Flight 1549) were disabled when some geese flew into the engine.

Captain Sullenburger had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. All the passengers and crew survived and were rescued.

20. Hero in Your Own Hometown, Mary Chapin Carpenter

We were heroes in our own hometown.

This song is a walk down memory lane when you lived in a place where people in your inner circle looked up to you as someone capable of doing something great.

It empowers listeners to cherish those moments when they can express their individuality, to appreciate their personal stories, and acknowledge the hero within.

21. 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.

This song is a tribute to someone who has constantly supported the narrator. She considers this person not only a guide in what she also wants to become in life but is also someone who provides her everything she needs to reach her own potential.

22. My Hero, Foo Fighters

There goes my hero. Watch him as he goes. There goes my hero. He's ordinary.

This song is dedicated to those unsung heroes who nevertheless make a huge difference in the world, even saving a life or two.

It highlights how these heroes are often anonymous. And this anonymity is their greatest strength, being able to do the right thing without fanfare.

23. Hall of Fame, The Script ft. will.i.am

Standing in the hall of fame and the world's gonna know your name. ‘Cause you burn with the brightest flame and the world's gonna know your name. And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame.

Sometimes, fame is one of the results or rewards of doing some great heroic deed. This song tells of how a hero’s deed is immortalized in the Hall of Fame.

24. Superman (It’s Not Easy), Five For Fighting

It may sound absurd, but don't be naïve. 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.

This song explores the thoughts of someone who is burdened by people’s expectations. Maybe, he’s expected to be strong, dependable — somewhat like Superman.

However, he is human. Thus, he has emotions, gets exhausted, and can sometimes have an existential crisis.

25. 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 for what's right for what's right for what's right.

The country has seen the fatal consequences of teen bullying across America. This song is an urgent call to do the right thing, as heroes would.

It encourages listeners to be kinder to each other because it might be the single act that can turn around a critical situation.

26. Hero, Enrique Iglesias

I can be your hero, baby? I can kiss away the pain.

This is an expression of unconditional love that is now a very rare thing. Here, the narrator makes a vow to be there for the person they love and make their life better in every way he could.

27. You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban

You raise me up so I can stand on mountains. You raise me up to walk on stormy seas. I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.

An Irish singer named Brian Kennedy sang the original version of this song. However, Josh Groban’s cover propelled this song to international fame.

This song is a tribute to the one who has supported you and made it possible for you to reach your potentials, overcome challenges, and become great.

28. A Hero Comes Home, Idina Menzel

Just wait. Though while he may roam, always, a hero comes home.

This moving song describes the tenacity and grit that a hero must have in order to make it through difficult situations. The song ends on a hopeful note, telling the listeners that a hero is sure to return to the place he considers his home.

29. Holding Out for a Hero, Bonnie Tyler

I need a hero. I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light. He's gotta be sure, and it's gotta be soon. And he's gotta be larger than life…

This song is about looking for someone who can give hope amidst despair. It is also an enumeration of the qualities a woman is looking for in a partner. For her, this man should be imbued with strength and capable of heroic deeds.

30. You’re My Hero, Teresa James

You're my hero. Chasing the monsters from my room. Going on trips around the moon. The one who's always been there faithfully. You're my hero and 'cause you're my Dad, I'm twice as blessed and lucky to be me.

This heartwarming song is a tribute from a daughter to a loving father. The father has been a positive influence and guiding presence throughout the daughter’s life.

Now that she’s starting a new chapter in her life, she gives thanks and acknowledges she’s proud that the man she considers a hero is also her dad.

31. Go the Distance, Michael Bolton

I will search the world. I will face its harms 'till I find my hero's welcome waiting in your arms.

Do you ever wonder what’s on a hero’s mind when he gets sent on missions? This song might shed light. It is sung from the viewpoint of a hero prepared to learn all he can to properly do the tasks expected of him.

32. Hero, Skillet

I need a hero to save me now. I need a hero to save me now. I need a hero to save my life. A hero will save me just in time.

In this song, a person is in a desperate situation. Maybe they’ve run out of options for saving themselves.

Their only course of action is to call for help, hoping that someone will hear their call and rescue them in time.

33. Celluloid Heroes, The Kinks

I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show, a fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes. Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain and celluloid heroes never really die.

Some people consider celebrities as their heroes. This song is about someone’s longing to escape the harsh reality of life and transport themselves to the world of movies.

It also puts a spotlight on the price some celebrities pay for their fame.

34. To Be Your Hero, Steps

I'd do anything to be your hero.

This song has message similar to Enrique Iglesias’ song (#26 in this article). Here, the narrator wants to prove the depths of his feelings for the person he loves.

He acknowledges that he’s just an ordinary person. However, because of his love for the person, he’s willing to do everything to make that person happy.

35. He Didn’t Have to Be, Brad Paisley

And looking back, all I can say about all the things he did for me is I hope I'm at least half the dad that he didn't have to be.

True heroes do the right thing and don’t expect any reward for their actions.

In this song, a man steps up and takes on the responsibility of being a father to a son who’s not his own. Through his heroic move, he’s become an important person in a young boy’s life.

And when the young boy grew up, he looked up to the person he called dad.

36. Wild West Hero, Electric Light Orchestra

Wish I was a Wild West hero.

This song is about wishing to live an extraordinary life that’s filled with adventure and has unlimited freedom. It reflects one’s desire to escape from the pressures of regular society and become a heroic symbol of a bygone time.

37. Heroes, Granger Smith

Here's to the fighters, lone survivors, one's that run right into the fire. Solid as a rock, givin' all they got and then some. So, let's raise one to the superstars in our neighborhood, not the ones on the screen out in Hollywood. To the all in, never quit, true grit few that we know. Here's to heroes.

This song is dedicated to all unsung heroes in our community. It celebrates the people who are selfless, thoughtful, compassionate, strong, and nurturing.

Final Thoughts on Songs About Heroes

Heroes walk among us. They don’t have superpowers but their works certainly leave a mark on the lives they save.

Hopefully, this collection of songs about heroes inspires you to be one yourself.

Also, if there’s someone you know that’s hero material, take the time today to let them know how much you appreciate what they do.

If you liked this article, you might also want to check out the following posts about song collections on specific topics:

songs about heroes | best songs about heroes | top songs about heroes
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