Superman (It's Not Easy)

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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
Recorded 2000
Genre Soft rock
Length 3:42
Label EMI
Writer(s) John Ondrasik
Producer(s) Gregg Wattenberg
Five for Fighting singles chronology
"Easy Tonight"
"Superman (It's Not Easy)"
"Easy Tonight"
Music video
Superman (It's Not Easy) at

"Superman (It's Not Easy)" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Five for Fighting (stage name of American singer-songwriter John Ondrasik). It was released in April 2001 as the second single from his album America Town. The song was first released in 2000, and entered the Hot 100 charts at number 38 on October 27, 2001. It peaked in the number 14 position. 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.

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.

Covers and use in popular culture[edit]

  • The song was featured in the Superman TV series Smallville in episode "Stray" (1.16) in Season 1 and during the intro "Hereafter" (3.12) in Season 3.
  • 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.[1]
  • The song is also featured in on Dawson's Creek in season four, episode two, and on the second Dawson's Creek soundtrack.
  • The song was the backing track to BBC Match of the Day's "The Story So Far", bringing the group stages of the World Cup to an end.
  • An anonymous cover was played on the seventh series of The X Factor after Liam Payne's audition.[2] The singer of this version was speculated to be Joe McElderry, the winner of the previous series.[3][4] This turned out to be true when the tracklist for his debut album Wide Awake was revealed. McElderry's version reached #56 in the UK chart on album downloads alone.
  • The song also appeared in the cartoon The Ambiguously Gay Duo, in the episode "The Third Leg of Justice". Bighead plays the song, causing Ace and Gary to dance and to cry in empathy.
  • Australian comedy rock group The Axis of Awesome released a parody called "Birdplane".
  • The song was chosen as Nicholas McDonald's 'winner's single' in the 2013 series of The X Factor, and was performed by him in the final on December 15, 2013.
  • The song appeared on the tv show Hindsight.


Chart (2001–02) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[5] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 54
Ireland (IRMA) 5
Italy (FIMI)[7] 11
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[8] 43
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[9] 2
Norway (VG-lista)[10] 12
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 48
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 14
US Mainstream Top 40 (Billboard)[12] 15
US Adult Top 40 (Billboard)[13] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[14] 2