This song from 1993 wasn’t exactly one of the biggest hits of the time — only made it to 44 on Billboard’s Top 100 that year. But it definitely had more of a personal impact on me than any of the other 99. (Other than “Whoomp! (There It Is)” — just kidding!!).
“Hero” will always be one of those songs that hooks into a very specific era of my life. It was a time of disruption and transition, and the song instantly taps into the emotions associated with having to profoundly reorient my thinking in the context of uncharted life territory.
It not only takes me back there, but the lyrics have held up ever since for expressing a sentiment somewhat emblematic of my life — one of disillusionment and then acceptance. “I wish it were that simple…” It’s a deceptively plain story/melody, with some dissonance to be resolved along the way. Said another way (with a nod to William Blake), it’s about the passage from innocence to experience.