Sunday, March 21, 2010

Superman Songs: Cryptonight

From a panel in Action Comics Annual #10, 2007. [source]

Cryptonight was written as a song.

I know songs about Superman are a dime a dozen. I am particularly fond of Superman's Song by the Crash Test Dummies. The weariness in the line "in dirty old phonebooths till his work was through:"

Sometimes when Supe was stopping crimes
I'll bet that he was tempted to just quit and turn his back
On man, join Tarzan in the forest
But he stayed in the city, and kept on changing clothes
In dirty old phonebooths till his work was through
And nothing to do but go on home

While I am not a fan of Three Doors Down, I did like how the word "krypronite" ties it down at the end:

If I go crazy then
Will you still call me Superman?
If I'm alive and well
Will you be there holding my hand?
I'll keep you by my side
with my Superhuman might

I find Five for Fighting just hard to listen to, "pretty face beside a train" is good, as is the "silly red sheet," "special things inside of me" induces nausea:

I’m more than a bird
I’m more than a plane
More than some pretty face beside a train
It’s not easy to be me
I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for Kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a funny red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me

Same thoughts about the Spin Doctors, the last line makes it:

I think I'm going out of my brain.
I got it so bad for little miss Lois Lane.
Oh Lois Lane, please put me in your plan.
No, you don't need no Superman.
Come on down town and stay with me tonight.
I, I got a pocket full of Kryptonite.

There is a substantial body of information about Kryptonite on Wikipedia. I found these references appropriate and amusing (the bit on Krypto's tail is simply bizarre) :

In Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, red kryptonite initially caused Superman to become apathetic. (Season 2, Episode 20, titled "Individual Responsibility") He simply did not care about catching criminals; instead shrugging his shoulders, blaming others and talking to a girl. It was hypothesized that, given enough exposure to red kryptonite, Clark's condition would become permanent. However, after talking to a psychiatrist, Clark was able to resist the effects of the red kryptonite, and he picked up the rock and threw it out of a window (Season 2, Episode 20, titled "Individual Responsibility"). [...]
On the TV series Smallville, red kryptonite has a drug-like effect, causing severe changes in Clark Kent's personality. Under this influence, Clark loses his inhibitions, becoming unpredictable and acting purely on erotic and selfish emotions. Once he ran away to Metropolis and became a criminal who broke into automated-teller machines to impress girls with expensive toys such as sports cars. He also stole his father's credit card to buy large screen TVs and high end audio equipment. Smallville red kryptonite requires close contact with skin to be effective, such as being worn in a ring or necklace.

In Krypto the Superdog, effects on Krypto include temporary amnesia, losing all superpowers, causing Krypto's tail to detach from his body and come to life, turning into a fish, and body-swapping.

When I wrote this, I spelled it "Cryptonight", not so much wanting to separate myself from the comic book world as to emphasize the mystery in the word, the coded qualities of "crypto-". I went back and forth on changing it to the "correct" spelling, but chose to let it stand as was written.

The lines,

And the sun will go out
The sun will go out

reference William Blake's invectives against making another person doubt in the Auguries of Innocence,

If the sun and moon should doubt,
They'd immediately go out.

So now that I've set out the ring, here's my hat:

I once was a man of steel
Could jump tall buildings
It was no big deal

Out run those trains
Burning down the tracks
I'd never look back

No one told me Cryptonight
Creeps up on you in the middle of the night
Now I wake up and nothing is right

It's Cryptonight
It is my life

Cryptonight weakens every thought in my brain
Cryptonight makes me think I'm going insane
Cryptonight fill my mind with doubt

And the sun
Will go out
The sun will go out

She said forever would never end
Then she said that we should
Just be friends

I don't know
It all depends
on Cryptonight

It is my life