The Offhand Band - Step Back Swooperman

from by Various Artists

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about

Doing an Appreciative Inquiry on the subject, I quickly became interested in playfully critiquing our notions of superhero/supervillain. Thinking about how disempowering it is for “the masses” to always need saving by superheroes, I related that to parents who are always providing “help” to their kids even when their kids don’t really need it. Immediately, the whole idea for the song popped into my head. If Superman constantly swooped in as a parent the way he did as a superhero, he’d have a child who had a hard time getting to know his superpowers and who might eventually one day rebel and want to even become a supervillian.

For fun, there are some playful references to other relevant works — about a dozen musical elements inspired by John Williams’ score for the 1978 movie Superman (see if you can catch them all and one notable lyric line from Five for Fighting’s song Superman (It’s Not Easy).

lyrics

It's not easy to be me
Child of a superhero
But it's not that Dad's off saving only strangers
While he treats me like a zero

Au contraire, he's always there
Swoopin' in most every minute
Always helping me to finish every little thing
As soon as I begin it

Homework answers by the score
So my scores are kind of crummy
With his Superbreath he cleans up all my messes
And he lets me win at rummy

Does heroics on his own
Tells me it would be traumatic
It's no wonder he can leap tall buildings while
The highest I can do's the attic

Though your Superintentions mean well, I suppose
The only super thing you do for me is Superimpose

Step back Swooperman
My style is cramped
My progress prevented
Development damped
I can't get very far
As long as you're party-pooper-man
Step back Swooperman

Hanging out sometimes with friends
Maybe going to the mall
But no matter where I go, your X-ray vision
Always sees me through the wall

Every little thing I do
You just have to have your knowledge
What on Earth will happen when I'm fighting bad guys
Much less partying in college?

Yeah, it's nice that you just want to know I'm okay
But with your constant Supervision, how can I find my way?

Step back Swooperman
My style is cramped
My progress prevented
Development damped
I'm not asking for much
Just stop being such a snooperman
Step back Swooperman

Harder than you think
To grow up with falling not allowed
Now I'm on the brink
Since I'm not using it, I'm losing it now

Maybe I will steal away
And become a supervillain
Wreaking havoc so you'll have to clean my messes
I'm sure that would be fulfillin'

Massive crises every day
Is there no-one else to brave 'em?
Maybe if you just gave everyone a chance
They wouldn't need someone to save 'em

Step back Swooperman
My style is cramped
My progress prevented
Development damped
I might make a mistake
At least I'll be Shake-My-Stupor-Man

Step back Swooperman
My style is cramped
My progress prevented
Development damped
I might make a mistake
At least I'll be Shake-My-Stupor-Man
Step back Swooperman

credits

from SpinTunes #1: Round 1, released June 25, 2010
There was no collaboration, but there are some playful references to other relevant works -- about a dozen musical elements inspired by John Williams' score for the 1978 movie "Superman" (see if you can catch them all :) and one notable lyric line from Five for Fighting's song "Superman (It's Not Easy)."

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Spintown Middletown, Ohio

I run a songwriting contest called SpinTunes. Most of the material hosted on this account is a result of that contest. You can follow the contest on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or my personal account (@Spintown).

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