My oldest son Morgan and I have this ritual at bedtime.
"Daddy, make up a song!" he requests. So I'll sing a silly song or a lullaby. Eventually, that morphed into a challenge to be more specific: "Daddy, make up a song about elephants" or "Daddy make up a song about what we did today." It's a good songwriting exercise for me. Though I'll admit my rhyme schemes are typically pretty predictable when I'm making stuff up on the fly. One night, he hit me with this question:
"Daddy, are you a superhero?"
"No, son. I'm not. I can't fly. I can't break through walls. I'm just an ordinary man. But I'm trying to be the best daddy I can."
"Make up a song about it Daddy!" So this song began as a lullaby—at least the chorus anyway. I spent the next few months perfecting the lyrics, putting together verses and giving the song a deeper meaning. How often do we put people on a pedestal? In our marriages, our relationships, at work...perhaps even at church? At the end of the day, we're all just ordinary people trying to be better. Better dads, moms, co-workers, bosses, employees, believers, whatever.
So I initially wrote this song at bedtime with my 6-year old. But it has become much more than that.
It's a declaration of humanity.
It’s an honest, self-assessment. And it's a reminder to the listener, to not expect too much from me:
"I am just an ordinary man, trying to do my best and I still get hurt when I fall."
But then there's the bridge:
"But I'll wear this cape if you want me to. Be your escape in this shade of blue. Bullets can't stop me from being with you."
Sometimes we have to play the role of superhero, even when we don't believe it about ourselves. Sometimes, that's what it takes to profess our love, our devotion, our commitment. To my son, I say, "You need me to be a superhero today? Then I'll put on a cape and do my best to fly for you. Because that's how much I love you."
So that's the story behind my new single, I'm No Superhero. I hope you enjoy the song as much as I've enjoyed writing it…especially now knowing the story behind it.
If you haven't heard I’m No Superhero yet, you can buy it now for just 99 cents on iTunes.