Deconstructing Holding out for a Hero

If the Americans should make a “gritty remake” of Dragonball, it should include this song. The beats and the theme fit the series, if not the overt implication of romance. Actually it has been in 7 movies, first appearing in Footloose (1984). This tune, while being sung by a very sexy voice, was meant for action and not just the romantic type. When the radio plays this tune, I can’t help not singing with the backup singers. It is so well put together!

The correct title is Holding Out for a Hero, and not, I Need a Hero. That said, deconstructing:

1 Where have all good men gone
2 And where are all the gods?
3 Where’s the street-wise Hercules
4 To fight the rising odds?

5 Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
6 Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need

7 I need a hero
8 I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
9 He’s gotta be strong
10 And he’s gotta be fast
11 And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
12 I need a hero
13 I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
14 He’s gotta be sure
15 And it’s gotta be soon
16 And he’s gotta be larger than life

17 Somewhere after midnight
18 In my wildest fantasy
19 Somewhere just beyond my reach
20 There’s someone reaching back for me

21 Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
22 It’s gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet

23 I need a hero
24 I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
25 He’s gotta be strong
26 And he’s gotta be fast
27 And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
28 I need a hero
29I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
30 He’s gotta be sure
31 And it’s gotta be soon
32 And he’s gotta be larger than life

33 Up Where the mountains meet the heavens above
34 Out where the lightning splits the sea
35 I would swear that there’s someone somewhere
36 Watching me
37 Through the wind and the chill and the rain
38 And the storm and the flood
39 I can feel his approach
40 Like a fire in my blood

41 I need a hero
42 I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
43 He’s gotta be strong
44 And he’s gotta be fast
45 And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
46 I need a hero
47 I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the morning light
48 He’s gotta be sure
49 And it’s gotta be soon
50 And he’s gotta be larger than life

My inputs:

1 Reminiscent of “Where Have all the Flowers Gone,” anyone?
2 Gods? Heathen! We’ve got a heathen in our midst! A heathen with a sexy voice.
3 Street-wise may fit Hercules well, and makes him seem less the jock he is thought to be. Still, this line evokes images of Perseus in pre-CGI Clash of the Titans.
4 And needing Hercules, just to make the odds even? Who are we up against? Kratos

    ?

    5-6 I am getting the feeling that this song was written by a man whose view of relationships are heavily influenced by preteen notions. Some chess imagery alright… with a flaming horse! Maybe the lyricist was pressured into making the theme. Or he was into D&D.

    7-8 A hero until the end of the night. Why the reverse curfew? Is it only a one night stand? But there is nothing explicit in the song that suggests intercourse.

    9 He’s gotta be strong? Check.
    10 He’s gotta be fast? Check.
    11 Fresh from the fight? Now what was the writer thinking? Women “come” before fights. That’s how it happens in the movies.

    14-16 Sure and soon. Looks like the lyricist got some performance issues. Larger than life? Check.🙂

    17 So the imagined man didn’t come even after it was past midnight, wasting 6 hours of the night.
    18-20 Yes. Imagined. Good luck woman. Keep reaching out for that dream.

    21-22 In spite of my comments (which are too late, anyway) the woman keeps waiting for a, yes, SUPERMAN. Such high standards.

    33-40 The song moves into the territory of the raw power of the elements, the kind depicted in romance novels with Fabio on the cover (most of the time, it really is Fabio). But looking closer at the words used reveals the impossibility of the scenarios. It talks about an imaginary place on the horizon (and the Earth is an oblate spheroid, ladies and gentlemen), lightning splitting up the sea and fiery blood. Mmm… Fire in the blood. I want.

    Taking it in as a whole, I am reminded of the joke in which a department store for women only sells husbands, only for them to find out that women are impossible extremely hard to please.

    Lyrics as sung by Bonnie Tyler’s portrait:


One response to “Deconstructing Holding out for a Hero

  • Don Dee

    I loved this song in “Johnny Five” (what’s the title of that movie again?). Hahahaha… I found myself rooting for that silly robot., mostly because of the song. Johnny Five is my hero.

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