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Our Lady Peace - Superman's Dead - Lyrics Meaning

This song was released as the first single from the band's second album, Clumsy, which was released in 1996. The lead singer, Raine Maida, has stated that the song is about how the youths of today are influenced by television and the media. When Maida was young he grew up watching black and white television that portrayed fictional characters as clearly defined heroes and villains. One of his favorites was Superman. Although the title character in that show had "superpowers" and was a hero, he was still portrayed as a generally good person when not fighting crime. The show did not dwell on internal struggles of right verse wrong; it was perceived that Superman would always do what was right. This resonated with Maida and after taking note of the superficiality of today's media and television programming for young people, he decided that the heroes of his childhood no longer existed and that type of good-natured, wholesome role model was indeed dead.

The media has always been an influence on people of all ages, but it seems children are more susceptible than adults to what they view. During the song Maida references children with ordinary names and ordinary waist lines, but says "ordinary's just not good enough today" which means the media is telling our young people to imitate what they see on the screen and to avoid being yourself. He says that television of today is shaping our children and not for the better, by clouding our judgment and questioning morality in many cases. The last line of the song says, "...the world's a subway" which is a reference to the Atari 2600 Superman video game where Superman would fly into the subway tunnels of New York City, which depicted a distorted and hazy view of the above ground world. This is meant to symbolize the cloudy view of reality that is portrayed on children's television programming today.

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