♫ Superman (It’s Not Easy) ♫

I didn’t do a music post last night and almost didn’t do one tonight, for I am just tired … almost to the point of not caring about much of anything.  But that was before a special friend sent me a lovely email tonight in which she said, “If I may so bold … please allow me to say that you definitely seem to need some suggestions for your music posts …”  Boy is THAT an understatement!  In my present mood … or should I say my mood of the past several weeks, I keep reverting to those songs that warm my heart without really adding anything much new!  The lone suggestion by my darling friend was this one … Superman (It’s Not Easy) by Five for Fighting.  I listened, I remembered, I liked, and so here I shall play!

According to SongFacts …

This song about trying to fit in was written from Superman’s point of view. The superhero is portrayed as misunderstood and not as powerful as people see him: “I’m only a man in a funny red sheet.” Superman may be invincible, but he has feelings too, and while he’s off saving the world he sometimes wonders if anyone thinks about what he is going through.

The song reflects what John Ondrasik (who is Five For Fighting) felt at the time – he released his first album, Message for Albert, in 1997 and it went nowhere. Explaining what led him to write the song, which appeared on his next album, Ondrasik told us it was “frustration about the inability to be heard.”

He later explained: “I’ve learned 10 years later that it’s pretty damn easy to be me. I could never write that song now.”

Interestingly, this song became quite popular after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.

The reflective tone fit very well with the mood of the United States, and many radio stations put it in heavy rotation. Ondrasik heard from emergency workers and others who found it a source of comfort after the attacks.

Ondrasik performed this song on October 20, 2001 at the “Concert For New York,” a tribute to the police, firefighters, and rescue workers involved in the World Trade Center Attacks. It was a very touching moment, and he called this performance “the most important thing I’ll ever do musically.” Ondrasik stood next to James Taylor and Pete Townshend at the end of the show when they all sang “Let It Be.”

The first year or so that this song was out, I thought it had something to do with Sesame Street’s Kermit the Frog, one of my favourite characters, and that the lyrics were “It’s not easy to be green”.  Sigh.  I wonder how many lyrics I have completely scrambled in my lifetime?  Anyway … this song made the charts at #14 in the U.S. and #48 in the UK … I cannot find evidence that it charted in Canada, but did fairly well in a number of countries such as Australia (#2), Belgium (#4), Italy (#11) and Norway (#12).  And now, without further ado other than to thank my friend Ellen …

Superman (It’s Not Easy)
Five for Fighting

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
I’m just out to find
The better part of me

I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane
I’m more than some pretty face beside a train
And it’s not easy to be me

I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
‘Bout a home I’ll never see

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

Up, up and away, away from me
Well it’s all right
You can all sleep sound tonight
I’m not crazy or anything

I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees

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

Inside of me, inside of me, yeah
Inside of me, inside of me
I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
I’m only a man looking for a dream
I’m only a man in a funny red sheet
And it’s not easy
Oh, it’s not easy to be me

Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: John Ondrasik
Superman (It’s Not Easy) (iTunes Session) lyrics © Emi Blackwood Music Inc., Colgems-emi Music Inc., Five For Fighting Music

39 thoughts on “♫ Superman (It’s Not Easy) ♫

  1. At least I didn’t have to be the one to bring the replay to your attention. Hockey media love doing replays. When I read this last night I knew you had done it recently, but I was too tired to comment, So thank you, Clive, for pointing this out. It saved me from having to be the bearer of the news.

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      • You’re not the only brain-dead one around. In fact, my whole body is dead these days. I’m dragging my ass around on an ice sled, and there ain’t no more ice. If I accomplish one thing a day, I’m happy. Two things, and I am ecstatic. Today I watered all the new plants in the front yard. We (I) dug up the whole front flower bed and removed 99% of the grass roots. They can regrow at the dump. Gail chose potintillia as a bushy perennial. I also planted more potentillia between the young lilac bushes I am growing along the side property lines. The street we live on, a close they call it, a cul-de-sac in most towns, has only one small tree besides what is on our property. I couldn’t stand it, so I planted lilac seeds ten years ago. The ones that survived the first winter are now in various stages of growth, from six inches tall to about 8 feet tall. It seems some spots are better than others for growing lilacs. Anyway, hopefully in a few years the lilacs will be taller, with potentillia growing at their feet, It should look nice. Since I finished that project, I have run out of energy. The grass in the back yard has not been cut yet this year. It’s starting to look like a jungle, but no one else can see it so we really don’t care.

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        • I hear you! Things that used to be a walk in the park are now a major chore requiring far more energy than I have. At least you did some work in the garden and the lilacs sound gorgeous! I’m like you … nobody ever comes to visit, so I’m not worried about the inch-thick dust on the furniture. Sigh. I wish I were like Samantha of the old “Bewitched” series who could simply twitch her nose and the house cleaned itself!

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          • Then we would have to hire you. Our last house cleaner had twins just before Covid, and with Covid we were not able to replace her. I don’t know about an inch of dust, but six inches of cat hair could happily disappear every few months.

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            • Methinks I would be in great demand then! Yes, we have cat hair, dust, lint, human hair, and onion skins to contend with! And now cicadas!!! Be thankful you don’t have an invasion of Brood X!!!

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              • We got mosquitos. Do cicadas bite? Mosquitoes bite! Cicadas only last a few weeks after breeding, and the larvae go underground. Mosquitoes breed many times during a summer. They appear in late April to early May, and they are with us until the snow falls. Cicadas might be noisy, but mosquitoes are insidious. They are everywhere, including in our homes. Up where we live, in musket country, there is standing water everywhere, so mosquitoes probably number in the trillions or quadrillions, and no matter how many get eaten by birds or dragonflies, we never run out of them. Never having experienced cicadas, I think I’ll take them over the hordes of mosquitoes we get.
                But having said that, I still won’t kill them, except accidentally. They are my brothers and sisters.

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                • Nah, cicadas don’t bite, they are just loud and obnoxious … hey, that must mean they are Republicans, yes??? I think the big things about cicadas are they are big, they make a horrid sound (I’m told, but since it’s very high-pitched, I cannot hear it … there are benefits to deafness) and they tend to come in swarms, landing in hair, on skin, etc. Yes, mosquitos are more dangerous, for they carry diseases, and more obnoxious in the sense that they can make you quite itchy, but … they are not nearly as numerous in one place at one time as cicadas. Thankfully, though, the cicadas come only once every 17 years, whereas the ‘skeeters’ are around every summer!

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                  • Come on up to the Far North, Jill. Mosquitoes swarm in groups of millions, and they are hungry for human blood. What you got down south are butterflies compared to our mosquitoes.

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                    • Sigh. I suppose every place on earth has some things that are beautiful and others that are dangerous or obnoxious. I wonder, if I came there and brought a box of cicadas, if in 17 years they would emerge up there, or if the brutal winters would kill them?

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  2. Jill, I love this song. To me it tell us that even Superman is not perfect and his doubts. So, we should not fret when we have them as we are not perfect either. Keith

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  3. “Music frees your soul from the dungeon of your mind.” – Wiss Auguste. You have done a marvelous job with the history of what is known in my family as “Tina’s Song”. This song has been on continuous replay in my mind for the last week resulting in humming and, even worse, my singing! I do not know if you lacked the necessary stamina to research the man himself last night (or early this morning) so I shall share a wee bit. John Ondrasik is an amazing human being who refers to himself as “a twenty-year overnight success”. If you are familiar with ice hockey you will understand the meaning behind Ondrasik’s 1995 chosen stage name of Five For Fighting as the 5 minute penalty imposed for participating in a fight. An interesting story there, but rather than indulge my Propensity for Loquacity…I suggest going to the website at Five For Fighting and read the bio which is well worth the investment of your time. I do not recall if it mentions his charity initiated in 2007 “whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com”. I learned about the charity from a recipient, the Gary Sinise Foundation. If I had to choose a favorite song I would be hard pressed to do so, but as I have the 2011 CD “Playlist : The Very Best of Five For Fighting” it becomes unnecessary. I would only add the 2013 “What If” from the “Bookmarks” CD…the YouTube video of the song is delightful! As it appears that I have indeed indulged the P for L (I thought it had departed forever), just one last thing that YOU will enjoy! Ondrasik was a registered Republican until 2016 when he switched to an Independent voter!! Thank-you!

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    • I imagine that your singing is somewhat similar to my own, and if we started a duo, we could knock the world off its feet! Literally! Thank you, dear friend, for suggesting this song! I did not check to see, but it turns out that I played it already just three months ago, back in March! Oh well … it’s a good song and nobody complained. Thank you for the extra info about Five for Fighting and about Señor Ondrasik. Yes, I was too tired on Saturday night to research the man himself last night, but you qualify as my research assistant on this one and you have done admirably! I am so happy to know that your P for L hasn’t died after all!!! Speaking of Gary Sinise, though … I used to admire him until he took up with the former guy and I suddenly no longer did. Ah well … politics make strange bedfellows, as they say! Do pop in more often, my dear, dear friend! I have missed you terribly! WHAK!!! ❤

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      • What if you had played “What If”?! What if there could be no need for self-recrimination or my shame-faced apology? That is “The Riddle” which now cannot be solved. But, what if it could be chosen for another day? Well at least no time consuming research was necessary, as a family we are well versed in Five For Fighting history and trivia! Be that as it may, for what it’s worth, I want to say something in defense of Gary Sinise. It is well known that over a decade ago Sinise was the founder of Friends of Abe (FOA) along with Kelsey Grammer and that reprobate Jon Voight. In these latter years Sinise has distanced himself from FOA and, though a Republican, did not vote for Trump in 2016…not sure about 2020. He also had written a letter condemning Trump’s disparagement of John McCain’s status as a war hero. My support of Gary Sinise is based upon the excellent work of his foundation and the Lt. Dan Band. Thank-you!

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        • There is no need for self-recrimination or your shame-faced apology, my dear friend! I should have double checked before posting, but I was tired. Lesson learned! Is “What if” a real song? I’ll do some more research on Sinise, and I do know his foundation has done much good. However, I seem to recall him being an avid trumpeter not so long ago. Still, that doesn’t negate the good he has done. 😊

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          • Obviously, YOU are much, much, much too tired!! Dear girlfriend, near the end of my original comment and I quote : ‘I would only add the 2013 “What If” from the “Bookmarks” CD…the YouTube video of the SONG is delightful.’ Yes it is indeed a real song and the video is a favorite of a wee someone near and dear to my heart! Do get some rest, you are beyond exhausted!! Thank-you!

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            • Oh Oh OH! You are so right, dear friend … I am indeed exhausted and brain dead. This will be my last comment for tonight, as I now see just how badly I need to go to bed and close my eyes and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Love you, dear Ellen. Thanks for putting up with this zombie!

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  4. Pingback: ♫ Superman (It’s Not Easy) ♫ | Filosofa’s Word | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  5. Before 911, I found the song to be pretty much a self-absorbed statement. The fact that first responders took it to heart and found comfort made it greater than even John had intended. Always good to listen to, Jill. Thanks.

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