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
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) at

"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. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 38 on October 27, 2001, following the September 11 attacks. It peaked at number 14 on the chart. 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.


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.

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.[1]
  • The song was covered by Boyce Avenue in 2011 via YouTube music video.[2]
  • 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.[3]
  • An anonymous cover was played on the seventh series of The X Factor after Liam Payne's audition.[4] The singer of this version was speculated to be Joe McElderry, the winner of the previous series.[5][6] 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".


"Superman (It's Not Easy)" became popularized by the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and during its release was used to honor the victims, survivors, police and firefighters involved in the attacks.[7]


  1. ^ "How I Want to Live: the Catman Chronicles 2". 
  2. ^ "Boyce Avenue - Superman (Five For Fighting Cover)". 
  3. ^ "Conan O'Brien & Jim Carrey Perform Superman Live". Retrieved 2 May 2011. 
  4. ^ cover version plays in the background after Payne's audition
  5. ^ Joe McElderry Forums | Joe song on The X Factor ?
  6. ^ Joe McElderry - Wide Awake
  7. ^
  8. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  9. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved 31 January 2018. 
  12. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". Top Digital Download.
  13. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  14. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". Top 40 Singles.
  15. ^ " – Five for Fighting – Superman (It's Not Easy)". VG-lista.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  17. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  18. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Five for Fighting Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "End of Year Charts 2002". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 12, 2017.