A Dissection of 90's Pop Lyrics With Dr. Noodles: My Hero

My Hero may not be best song in Foo Fighters' catalogue, but god damn is it catchy and loud and eminently listenable. The simplistic seeming lyrics tend to obscure the song's intended meaning, offering up a readily consumable façade of hero worship/mortality. While this may suffice for casual listeners, it is not enough for us, the avid fans of music from the 90's.

Too alarming now, to talk about
Take your pictures down, and shake it out
Truth or consequence, say it aloud
Use that evidence, race it around

See what I mean? This doesn't really mean a ton at face value, but I want you to focus on that second line. Keep those "pictures" in mind as we go forward and then we can "use that evidence" to elicit meaning.

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

Big-time hook. It's really hard to think when you're are screaming the lyrics in your Trans Am, but there are actually a couple big clues here. First, pronouns let us know that the hero in question is male. Second, I'm going to ask you to keep the second line in mind here as well.

Don't the best of them bleed it out
While the rest of them peter out
Truth or consequence say it aloud
Use that evidence race it around

"The best of them" is referring to our male hero. Don't let your hero go out there and give it all he's got for years and years while his contemporaries fall to the wayside. I think I know who the hero is, but I'll wait for a little more evidence to start guessing.

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

Nothing new, just the big bold hook that leaves you wondering what size Truck Nutz would look best on the Am.

Kudos my hero
Leaving all the best
You got my hero
One that's on

Wow. Gold mine here. The hero is the "one that's on," but what is he on? Also, unless I'm way off the mark, the use of hero is self-referential. Take a moment for that to sink in.

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes
There goes my hero
He's ordinary

Couple of choruses to send us boldly into the night to grab a few beers and make some off-color jokes at the bar. The guys probably won't even notice the new Nutz.

Ok, I know this has been a little helter-skelter, but if you're writing a song in which you call yourself a hero you might want to keep it confused as well. Think back to those lines I told you to pay attention to: Take your pictures down, and shake it out; Watch him as he goes; One that's on. In my opinion, there can only be one conclusion drawn from all of this: Dave Grohl filming his own HBO series.