Captain America probably isn’t a fun figure to write songs about, and in gathering titles for this entry, I feel even stronger about that. A few songwriters manage, but hell, this could’ve been a much longer entry if I hadn’t fallen victim to Captain America fatigue. In tribute to Captain America, I think my project of covering songs about him is going to go into suspended animation for a few decades before returning.
Jimmy Buffett – Captain America
I’m not much of a Parrothead, but this 1970 Buffett song has a jaunty country singalong vibe that actually makes Captain America seem kinda lighthearted and fun while also taking jabs at Spiro Agnew and Merle Haggard. Actually, I’ve always thought Cap was probably a much preferable superhero to have a beer with than Batman, who just seems like he would be depressing. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers – Captain America
This sounds a little bit like Wilco doing Yacht Rock, but if neither of those are your thing, don’t let that dissuade you. This Michigan band delivers a tribute to the First Avenger that might be construed as cynical, but I’m not exactly sure. Cap is driving a luxury car while everyone else is working their pants off, struggling for the American Dream, but because of the music vibe that I described, it’s not really depressing. It’s smooth. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
The Kinks – Catch Me Now I’m Falling
This 1979 Kinks song is more depressing than the Buffet song, but also more rocking, so there’s a trade-off. “Lola” was several years gone and “Come Dancing” was a few years off, but it is worth noting that this song shares an album with the band’s dynamite disco song, “(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman.” This song is mostly about Captain America making a phone call to an unappreciative person who he’s saved again and again and again and now Cap needs help and he isn’t getting it. I have a feeling that on the other end of the phone is America itself. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Daniel Johnston – Happy Time
Thank goodness for Daniel Johnston. This 1994 song isn’t strictly about Captain America. Rather Cap is in the sprawling list offered of ingredients to a happy time, alongside candy bars and kitty cats. Johnston was skilled at baring his soul in lyrics, but he was also second to none at evoking innocence. Better yet, he could do both at the same time, and acknowledge that within innocence there is darkness. He does that here with some of his inclusions and the aside about being called by God to go and baptize himself. So it’s complicated. But still, Captain America. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Mateo y Las Manos Pesadas – Captain America
If I had to venture a guess, things aren’t going so well for the guy who sings this song, and his lament about never knowing Captain America has something to do with things not getting better. If I had to venture a guess. Captain America songs sure can be depressing. And they can also be depressing in two languages. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Moe – Captain America
I had to look up Moe because I had never heard of them. I’m not much into jam bands and wasn’t in Buffalo in 1989, so that’s going to happen. Actually, I’ve never been to Buffalo, though I have spent a lot of time in Rochester, which is almost just there, but … well, that’s another story for another time. Moe sprung from the University of Buffalo to mainstays in the jam band circuit. This song has the singer claim that Captain America is holding him up to some mess of a guy as an example of what a really-together person is like and how he should be like that. That seems wrong to me. It seems like Captain America wouldn’t have to point to another person for that. Captain America seems like he’s enough in that area. The song does mention that Clark Kent is president as a bonus. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Moistboyz – Captain America
Another band I’ve never heard, but here they are, singing about good ol’ Captain America. More like Captain America’s evil doppelganger. It’s all about cocaine and going to jail and America being on the downturn. It’s got a sleaze rock guitar vibe and makes me think of the evil Cooper in Twin Peaks: The Return. This seems like something he would strut around to before doing something horrible. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.
Street Pharmacy – Captain America
I’m having a little trouble discerning whether Captain America is a wounded good guy or a bad guy getting what he deserves. I mean, in the context of this song. Heartfelt acoustic music. Buy it here or stream it on Spotify.