Sunday Music: Pretending I’m A Superman

Great art can hit you in different ways when you experience it at different points of life. I am sure when I listened to “Superman” by Goldfinger in the late 90s, the idea of pretending to be Superman was backed by thoughts of still taking a shot at being able to do everything. Now, 20 years later, the emphasis falls on the vulnerability of pretending (for me).

The lyrics may not be grand poetry, but they’ve got some great turns of phrases. “I’m trying to keep / the ground on my feet” as opposed to keeping my feet on the ground is subtle and brilliant. “Growing older all the time / looking older all the time / feeling younger in my mind” balances the inarguable realities against the experience of life itself. Especially if we take “feeling younger” as becoming less certain or confident in so many things and learning to be OK with it.

I’m glad I was able to reconnect with this song. Holding on to who we are isn’t a game of pretending to be what we’re not, it’s an act of accepting vulnerability in our own lives. We “watch it fly,” not us with some cape. It’s not easy. It’s not always pretty. It doesn’t always look “super.” There’s a lot more here than I understood all of those years ago. Take a fresh listen to “Superman” by Goldfinger.

So here I am
Doing everything I can
Holding on to what I am
Pretending I’m a superman

I’m trying to keep
The ground on my feet
It seems the world is falling down around me
The nights are all long
I’m singing this song
To try and make the answers more than maybe
And I’m so confused about what to do
Sometimes I wanna throw it all away

So here I am
Growing older all the time
Looking older all the time
Feeling younger in my mind
And here I am
Doing everything I can
Holding on to what I am
Pretending I’m a superman

I’m trying to sleep
I lost count of sheep
My mind is racing faster every minute
What could I do more
Yeah, I’m really not sure
I know I’m running circles but I can’t quit
And I’m so confused about what to do
Sometimes I wanna throw it all away

Controlling everything in sight
Feeling weak I don’t feel right
You’re telling me I have to change
Telling me to act my age
But if all that I can do
Is just sit and watch time go
Then I’ll have to say good-bye
Life’s too short to watch it fly
So watch it fly

So here I am
Growing older all the time
Looking older all the time
Feeling younger in my mind
And here I am
Doing everything I can
Holding on to what I am
Pretending I’m a superman

The 2020 quarantine version (they’ve still got it)

Ps. I’ve got a great memory of seeing them in a smallish club (300 people maybe?) around 1997 or 1998 with Save Ferris. Im guessing it was a one-off date when they were on Warped Tour or something. It was before the Tony Hawk popularity hit, but after Hang Ups came out, so still riding the “Here In Your Bedroom” wave. Full horns, tons of energy, and they played the room like it was a stadium. The show left an impression on me about what a great performance looked like.

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