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"Superman (It's Not Easy)"
Single by Five for Fighting
from the album America Town
Released April 2001
Format CD single, 7"
Recorded 2000
Genre Pop rock[1]
Length 3:42
Label EMI
Songwriter(s) John Ondrasik
Producer(s) Gregg Wattenberg
Five for Fighting singles chronology
"Easy Tonight"
"Superman (It's Not Easy)"
"Easy Tonight"
"Easy Tonight"
"Superman (It's Not Easy)"
"Easy Tonight"
Music video
"Superman (It's Not Easy)" on YouTube

"Superman (It's Not Easy)" is a song written and performed by American singer-songwriter Five for Fighting. It was released in April 2001 as the second single from his second studio album America Town. Following the September 11 attacks, the song was used to honor the victims, survivors, police and firefighters involved in the attacks,[2] allowing it to gain popularity. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 38 on October 27, 2001, then subsequently peaked at number 14, becoming Five for Fighting's first top 40 hit in the US. The single was even more popular in Australia and New Zealand, where it reached number 2 on both countries' national charts. Elsewhere, the song reached the top 20 in Ireland, Italy, and Norway. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the 44th Grammy Awards in 2002.[3]


The lyrics focus on the iconic hero Superman, specifically how, in the opinion of the singer, his life as a hero is surprisingly difficult despite his immense power.[4]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Ramaa Mosley and premiered in June 2001. A scene from this video was filmed at Yonge Street and Richmond Street in Toronto, Ontario. At the end of the song's music video, John Ondrasik lies in bed with his own wife and son.


In popular culture and covers[edit]

  • The song was covered by shadow musician Catman Cohen in 2005 via CD, How I Want to Live: the Catman Chronicles 2.[21]
  • The song was covered by Boyce Avenue in 2011 via YouTube music video.[22]
  • In his 2010 comedy tour, Conan O'Brien sang a cover of the song by himself before Jim Carrey appeared in a Superman suit and the two men sang a duet.[23]
  • An anonymous cover was played on the seventh series of The X Factor after Liam Payne's audition.[24] The singer of this version was speculated to be Joe McElderry, the winner of the previous series.[25][26] This turned out to be true when the track list for his debut studio album Wide Awake was revealed. McElderry's version reached number 56 in the UK Albums Chart on album downloads alone.
  • The Australian rock comedy ex boy band trio, The Axis of Awesome parodied this song with a new song, "Birdplane". This song turned out to have an impact on the boyband, as it represented Jordan Raskopoulos and her transgender transition.
  • Jimmy Fallon parodied the song on Saturday Night Live about the 2002 Winter Olympics and renamed it "Down Hill Ski".


  1. ^ "Superman (It's Not Easy) - Five for Fighting Attributes". AllMusic. Retrieved May 23, 2018. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ CBS News staff (January 4, 2002). "Complete List Of Grammy Nominees". CBS News. Retrieved May 23, 2018. 
  4. ^ "Superman (It's Not Easy) by Five for Fighting". Songfacts. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  5. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  6. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Superman (It's Not Easy)". Irish Singles Chart.
  9. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". Top Digital Download.
  10. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  11. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". Top 40 Singles.
  12. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". VG-lista.
  13. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  16. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  17. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2002". ARIA. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  20. ^ "End of Year Charts 2002". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 12, 2017. 
  21. ^ "How I Want to Live: the Catman Chronicles 2". 
  22. ^ "Boyce Avenue - Superman (Five For Fighting Cover)". 
  23. ^ "Conan O'Brien & Jim Carrey Perform Superman Live". Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  24. ^ cover version plays in the background after Payne's audition
  25. ^ Joe McElderry Forums | Joe song on The X Factor ?
  26. ^ Joe McElderry - Wide Awake

External links[edit]


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