By Album Four, Foreigner Were Far From Strangers To Music Fans
Weird facts are always popping up during my internet searches, and this latest one struck me as rather morbid. Throughout the United Kingdom, the most frequently played song at funerals is an often mis-titled Bette Midler hit.
Casual music fans refer to the theme from the Beaches film as “Hero,” based on the refrain. Its actual title, however, is “Wind Beneath My Wings”, although neither name seems to be terribly appropriate for a funeral.
While the deceased could be revered as someone's hero, the term still seems too cliched to evoke strong emotions upon his or her passing. That being said, Midler's number one hit from 1988 does make a better choice for a funeral than most other “Hero” songs.
Presented for you, right hero and now, is the sweet sixteen of the best songs with that term in their titles. I have omitted any choices with just one word, such as Weezer's “Hero” or David Bowie's “Heroes”, as well as “My hero” by the Foo Fighters.
1. Working Class Hero by John Lennon
Sarcastically the term is applied on this Plastic Ono Band cut, as the new Ex-Beatle ripped every institution from school to church to employment to the military
2. Hero Takes a Fall by the Bangles
The gals went walking like Egyptians on a manic Monday, only to reach the fact that popularity soon wanes.
3. Billy Don't Be a Hero by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods
His girlfriend pleads with the title subject to not take unnecessary risks while serving his country, advice he ignores in the same way she ignores the letter pronouncing his death.
4. A Hero's Death by Fontaines DC
This title track comes from the punk band's second album, its follow up to the excellent Dogerel record.
5. No More Heroes by the Stranglers
Leon Trotsky and Sancho Panza are two of the heroes mentioned in this title track, which accompanies concert favorites such as “Bring on the Nubiles” and “Something Better Change.”
6. Too Late the Hero by John Entwistle
Bassist for the Who was not his only talent, as evidenced by this sharp solo debut with catchy tunes like this title track and “Talk Dirty.”
7. Juke Box Hero by Foreigner
It no longer felt like the first time by the time 4 came out, as the hits like this one just kept rolling.
8. Cosmic Hero by Car Seat Headrest
Teens of Denial is the home of this single, an album mate of “Destroyed By Hippie Powers” and “Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales.”
9. Wild West Hero by Electric Light Orchestra
“Sweet Talkin' Woman”, “Mr. Blue Sky” and Turn To Stone” were the biggest hits from Out of the Blue, but the double album also offers lesser-known gems like this one.
10. Action Hero by Fountains of Wayne
Chris Collingwood and Adam Schlesinger offered this heartwarming portrait on Sky Full of Holes, the indie band's last release before Schlesinger's 2020 death.
11. Hero Ground Zero by the Who
Emerging in the middle of the pandemic, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend united to bring out this rock piece and a dozen others for a self-titled release
12. Local Hero by Dire Straits
Officially listed as “Going Home”, this theme from the Local Hero film closes out the soundtrack.
13. Nobody's Hero by Rush
Drummer Neil Peart of course wrote the lyrics for this single and the rest of Counterparts, which also features “Animate” and “Stick It Out.”
14. Somebody's Superhero by Paul Heaton and Jaqui Abbott
“With a fanfare played on paper and comb kazoos, I'm somebody's superhero just don't know whose” Heaton sings on Manchester Calling, the best album from 2020.
15. Hero of the Day by Metallica
If you got a Load of the rock band's 1996 album, you were treated to this track.
16. Heroes and Villains by the Beach Boy
This single emanated from Smiley Smile, an album that was originally left unfinished in 1967.