Sunday, February 24, 2013

Song Note Sunday #3: Cardboard Heroes

Last week's Song Note Sunday was cancelled due to illness.

Cardboard Heroes goes back a long way. It was the title track of an album I made in 1996, that was released only on cassette.

1996 cassette release of Cardboard Heroes
I think I wrote the song in 1995. I was living in a basement apartment on Beatrice Street in Toronto. I was getting over the breakup of my first true love and feeling really dark about a lot of things. I felt like the way I had grown up made me unfit to have a successful relationship. 

Close by my apartment, at the corner of Harbord and Grace, there was a hockey card store called "Cardboard Heroes". The phrase ricocheted around my brain and developed into the basis for a song. The name of the store, and the idea that people were so invested in the 2-dimensional heroes they found on hockey cards, resonated with me. 

I had known the Malvina Reynolds song, "Little Boxes", since childhood. I felt like my generation was living in the fallout from that generation of hollow, middle class expectations. Cardboard Heroes is like the bastard child of Little Boxes. 


  1. Hadn't thought about Malvina Reynolds in a long time. Thanks for taking me there.

    1. You're welcome, Frank. Malvina was a tremendous songwriter, and like many of my heroes, came to her passion for songwriting later in life.