The Pop Culture Playlist: Batman

Music and comics are two passions of mine, so I thought I’d combine them by introducing a new segment to the blog called The Pop Culture Playlist. Every so often I’ll be choosing one character and putting together a list of ten tracks that describe who they are, specific lyrics and why I’ve chosen each song. To begin, I’ll start with the incomparable Batman. Bruce Wayne has suffered and sacrificed a lot to become The Dark Knight, and here is a playlist that reflects his tireless crusade.

Hurt By Johnny Cash

I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that’s real

Johnny Cash’s bluesy voice is the perfect opener for telling the story of Batman. Bruce has lived with the pain of his parents’ murder for years. It motivates him as much as traps him within his mission. Bruce will continue to ‘hurt’ himself by clinging to the memory of his parents and not being able to let go of the pain. It’s a tragic song that mirrors the duality of Batman.

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7 Years by Lukas Graham

Soon I’ll be sixty years old, will I think the world is cold?
Or will I have a lot of children who can warm me?

7 Years tells the story of a full life and it made me think of Batman’s dedication to his mission. He’s sacrificed the chance at having a real family, but he does have his Robins and Batgirls. Dick, Jason, Tim, Damian, Barbara, Stephanie, Cassandra and Alfred are all part of the family he made. When he’s older and he can’t be Batman anymore, will Bruce look back fondly on his life or will he wish he’d done it differently?

I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin

I will not bow
I will not break
I will shut the world away
I will not fall
I will not fade

Breaking Benjamin are known for their grungy rock ballads, and this song is ideal for highlighting Batman’s determination. His will power is extraordinary and even when the odds are stacked against him he continues to persevere.

Scar Tissue by Red Hot Chilli Peppers

With the bird I’ll share
With the bird I’ll share
This lonely view
With the bird I’ll share
This lonely view

This song reminds me of the trauma Batman has faced. He’s a damaged man who has surrounded himself in darkness. The bird in the song represents Robin, who he’s able to share his thoughts with and lift his spirits.

nightwing

Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colours anymore, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Besides the obvious black costume choice, I see this song as representing Batman’s relationship to Gotham. The city is presented as being alive, demanding blood from all who live within her. Batman is the guardian who’s there to stop the blood shed, even if he needs to take part of the darkness into himself to fight it.

The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance

When I was a young boy
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band
He said, “Son, when you grow up
Would you be the saviour of the broken
The beaten and the damned?”

When listening to The Black Parade, I imagine a young Bruce walking with his father, Thomas. As the heir to a great fortune, Thomas is asking his son to protect Gotham against all the evil that will plague it in years to come.

So Cold by Ben Cocks

Oh, you can’t hear me cry
See my dreams all die
From where you’re standing
On your own
It’s so quiet here
And I feel so cold
This house no longer
Feels like home

So Cold is an emotional and soulful song that reminds me of Batman thinking of his parents. Wayne Manor doesn’t always feel like a home when they aren’t around, but he does have Alfred to talk to. This song also reminds me of the relationship Bruce has with Alfred as a son and father figure.

I Want To Live by Skillet

In a grave of roses, while the night is closing in
My soul is so cold, but I want to live again
I know you’ll come to me, I wait in misery
I want to fight for this, save me from this darkness
I reach for the light

I Want To Live is an epic ballad about making a conscious choice to live your life. Batman has a reason to live for more than his mission because of the children he’s trained.

Centuries by Fallout Boy

Some legends are told
Some turn to dust or to gold
But you will remember me
Remember me, for centuries

Centuries is an excellent song for describing Batman’s legacy and reputation. To Gotham he’s a legend that will be remembered for years to come.

batman1

Pain by Three Days Grace

You’re sick of feeling numb
You’re not the only one
I’ll take you by the hand
And I’ll show you a world that you can understand

This song makes me think of Batman and Robin’s dynamic. Bruce has trained children who have faced similar difficulties and he wants to give them a purpose in life. In his mind, he’s helping to channel their pain and turn it into something useful.

What songs do you think describe Batman best? And if there’s any superheroes or villains you’d like to see appear in The Pop Culture Playlist then be sure to comment below!

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Author: thecomicvault

Short story writer and freelance copywriter from Manchester, England. I run the pop culture website The Comic Vault and animal protection website Wings And Wild Hearts.

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