Thursday Playlist: Superheroes

We kind of skipped out on the whole kids’ music scene, and now that our son Jasper is approaching five it looks like we’ve left it behind. I know kids’ music has gotten much better in the past ten years, what with all the aging B- and C-list recording artists starting second careers once they become parents. I hear there’s some great stuff out there. But with the exception of our local favorite, Randy Kaplan, I just couldn’t get behind it. What’s the matter with our own music? It’s not like a three-year-old gets the drug references anyway, right?

Mommy, why is he waiting for the man? With $26 in his hand?

He’s waiting for the man who delivers raw milk. It’s illegal in New York City, but many people believe it’s really good for you…

So we’ve been putting together our own collections for Jasper. I have to admit, there aren’t very many. I’ve been lazy about this and have taken advantage of Jasper’s penchant for listening to the same songs over and over again. But I am particularly proud of our superhero mix based on Jasper’s favorites as well as old-but-not-moldy favorites from our own childhoods.

You can download it here.

Ben Ten by Sturmer: This show is about a boy who can turn into several different kinds of aliens depending on the situation. How can you lose with that premise? I really dig the theme song. I can’t really explain why and I will make no excuses for myself.

Wonder Woman: About a year ago Jasper was in the midst of a heavy Wonder Woman crush. He carried his little Wonder Woman action figure around with him everywhere, like King Kong hold his Fay Wray. Except he kept losing her everywhere and I was forced (forced!) to purchase a new Wonder Woman seemingly every week (you’re welcome, Mattel). We watched the theme song on You Tube over and over again and rented episodes from Netflix. I drew endless pictures of Wonder Woman flying her invisible airplane. Thankfully his passion finally began to cool by Thanksgiving, because otherwise I don’t think any of us would have survived a certain incident in which a certain DC dog chomped off Wonder Woman’s right leg from the knee down. We still have that Wonder Woman.


Batman by The Who: Batman is currently Jasper’s favorite superhero “because he has all the cool gadgets.” Batman is my favorite because of Mr. Bale.

Spider-Man by Michael Buble: I love this jazzy version of Spider Man. I have also taken the trouble to learn all the lyrics to this song. This is just one in the long list of things I never though I’d do before I had a son.

Flash by Queen: Puberty came early for me and was for the most part a menace. I still recall how menarche ruined an otherwise happy viewing of Xanadu on HBO. Anyhoo…. the one bright spot from those years was having my first inklings of lust while watching the movie Flash Gordon. Seeing that golden man, shirtless, struggling, well, even now I blush at the memory. What’s happening to my body? What’s this funny feeling? For that reason and also because the theme is sung by Queen this is my favorite song in the mix.

Teen Titans by Puffi Ami Yumi: As far as Cartoon Network shows go Teen Titans is actually somewhat enjoyable. Otherwise, as with Ben Ten, there is no excusing this song.

Fist of Fuggy by Brothers McLeod: Fuggy is the invention of Scottish illustrators the Brothers McLeod. He’s more of an anti-hero, really, but he tries so hard. Watch him train.


Kim Possible by Banaroo: Kim Possible succeeded Wonder Woman in Jasper’s affections. She’s a high school cheerleader by day, kick-ass secret agent by night. And thanks to her side kick Ron Stoppable, Jasper now knows what a naked mole rat is. Jasper wanted to get the original theme song but it’s not available from i-Tunes. To tell you the truth, it’s not much better than this version.

Superman by John Williams: This one puts a damper on the pace (and Jasper always wants to fast forward through it) but I had to include Superman. We rented the original movie recently and were amazed at how long and boring the exposition is. Speaking of Superman, did anyone else catch that picture of Al Gore (Gore-Al) sending off his son (Kal-Al) in a space ship to escape the dying planet Earth in The Onion?

Gore-Al and Kal-Al

Transformers by Lion: No, we haven’t let Jasper see the latest Transformer movie, much to his disappointment. But we have let him see the original animated movie and let me tell you, the soundtrack RAWKS! In a Journey/Queensryche kind of way. Don’t you feel invincible when you hear this song? Can’t you feel all the passion of the dying Detroit automotive industry rumbling within?

We Are All Made of Stars by Moby: I know, I know, but Jasper loves this song (thanks to the Sonic Vision show) and he really is made of stars, dammit!

Heroes by David Bowie: This was inevitable. Like I’m going to make a superheroes mix and not include this song? Please, I am not made of steel, unlike some people.

Obviously missing from this mix is Iron Man. Anything else?

11 responses to “Thursday Playlist: Superheroes”

  1. Rachel says:

    What, the boy’s not ready for Black Sabbath? Oh, well. Stereolab has a song called “Iron Man” as well.

    The Ramones did a nifty version of the Spider-Man theme for that Saturday Morning Cartoons compilation that came out in the 90s. And there’s the R.E.M. cover of “I Am Superman.”

    Daft Punk’s “Superheroes” might try even your powerful capacity for repetition.

    Finally, one of my guilty pleasures is Tricky’s “#1 Da Woman”, which borrows liberally from the Wonder Woman theme, especially that rockin’ bass arpeggio. Jasper has good taste!

  2. Paul O'Brian says:

    First: Kitty-Man is awesome.

    Second: Yay “Waiting For The Man” joke.

    Third: “Sunshine Superman” by Donovan. There are actually a bunch of Superman songs, besides the R.E.M. cover mentioned above. Crash Test Dummies have one, as do Five For Fighting and The Kinks. He’s mentioned in Joe Jackson’s “Man In The Street”, Aimee Mann’s “Save Me”, etc. You could probably make a whole mix out of Superman alone. However, Donovan wins for also mentioning Green Lantern

    On the Beatles end of things, there’s “Bungalow Bill” (“So Captain Marvel zapped him right between the eyes. Zap!”) Also, McCartney’s “Magneto and Titanium Man” is technically about super-villains, but still awesome.

  3. Angelica says:

    Superman by Five For Fighting. Sounds llike a tough band, but this is actually a slow emotional 90’s ballad. Superman 1st person “…I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a plane, more than a pretty face beside a train…” If you are looking for some melodramatic inner struggle within Superman, here’s your song.

  4. Donovan wins for also mentioning Green Lantern

    Fiddy Cent sings about Green Lantern too, but it’s not really a fit song for this collection. I love love love “Sunshine Superman”, it might be my favorite Donovan track. Coulda tripped out easy but I’ve, I’ve changed my ways.

    Robyn Hitchcock offers among many songs that could be considered marginally superhero-related, “Crunchy Little Superman” and “Antwoman”

  5. Greg says:

    The Flaming Lips have a couple entries my kids like: “Waiting for Superman” off the Soft Bulletin, and “Yoshimi” off the album of the same name (“She’s gotta be strong to fight them/That’s why she’s takin lots of vitamins”)

    My six year old son’s favorite cd right now has just two tracks — the original Indiana Jones theme and the original Star Wars theme.

  6. Rachel says:

    John Williams has a pretty fine Superman theme, too. What it lacks it subtlety it makes up for in bombast.

  7. Kate the Great says:

    I think Tenacious D’s Wonder Boy has to be included here.

  8. swells says:

    I have to say that while there are probably plenty of possible additions, this playlist is fantastic on its own!! Since I was never a superhero kid, lots of this is new to me, and I am absolutely enthralled by the Wonder Woman graphics (all those stars) and the LYRICS!!

    “Make a hawk a dove; stop a war with love; make a liar tell the truuuuuuuuth!!!”

    Now THAT is my kind of superherol

  9. Dave says:

    Wonder Woman was my absolute favorite show when I was six, and Lynda Carter was my idol. And yes, such a groovy theme song.

    Noticed in the credits: “Stanley Ralph Ross.” A guy with three first names.

  10. Adriana says:

    Gosh, thanks everyone for the great suggestions! I’ll have to keep adding to the mix.

    Rachel, I’ve been thinking of listening to the Black Sabbath and Stereolab versions since the movie came out but just hadn’t gotten around to it. He may actually prefer the Black Sabbath…

    Swells, I love “In her satin tights/ fighting for her rights” — says it all about being a woman in these modern times. I’m sad that Jasper isn’t as into her now, but it’s so cool that there are so many other female superheroes (two in Teen Titans, for example, and even Ben Ten’s sister Gwen gets a turn). We still need more, of course, but seeing my son makes me think creators can afford to take more chances with female superheroes without risking boys’ interest.

    Lynda Carter has a cute cameo as the principal at a superhero high school in the movie Sky High.

  11. PB says:

    Wait. Let me get this straight. Jasper’s daddy allowed Bowie on the mix????

    Good thing you are in charge of the musical education. You are a wonderwoman mom, all those who love Bowie unite and worship your heroic taste.