Album: Music Box
I hope everyone got stuffed on great food and had a Happy Thanksgiving. Also, if you’re shopping – be safe.
Mariah Carey believes everyone can be courageous in the experienced “Hero.”
A consoling piano opens the single, setting an encouraging tone. Her best friend sobs, telling Carey she can’t do it, she can’t leave her husband. Her parents will think she didn’t try hard enough and believe she’s being selfish. She and her husband have drifted apart Carey pats her hand and says not to be scared of what they will say. She’ll figure out everything on her own. Eventually, the hurt won’t overpower her decision. (“There's a hero if you look inside your heart/You don't have to be afraid of what you are/And there's an answer, if you reach into your soul/And the sorrow that you know will melt away.”)
In the chorus, she tells her friend has an unknowable perseverence to get through this difficult period in her life. On one magic day, she will stop giving into her anxiety and doubts. She will be the one to save herself. (“And then a hero comes along/With the strength to carry on/And you cast your fears aside/And you know you can survive/So, when you feel like hope is gone/Just look inside you and be strong/And you'll finally see the truth/That a hero lies in you.”)
She feels bad for her friend and she recounts the story of her decision to move out of state for a job. She wasn’t finding anything where she lived. She received a job offer from a prestigious law firm in Chicago. The thought of not knowing anyone there panicked her. However, she found a group of friends and was able to call Chicago her home. She promises to be there for her, reassuring her that she will be okay again. (“It's a long road, when you face the world alone/No one reaches out a hand for you to hold/You can find love if you search within yourself/And then the emptiness you felt will disappear.”)
The chorus is sung again.
In the bridge, she says people will undermine others and crush their self-esteem for their own sake. She says she will realize what she wants and what she needs to do. (“Lord knows dreams are hard to follow/But don't let anyone tear them away/Just hold on and there will be tomorrow/And in time you'll find the way.”)
The chorus is sung again.
She sings one extra “that a hero lies in you” to end the single.
Carey’s prime vocals are understanding, offering kind words and guidance. She wants her friend to know that it will get better and capable of being on her own. However, she makes it seem as though gaining self-confidence is incredibly easy. After all, it was for her.
The misguided “Hero” says what people think they what need to hear without really listening.