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I Am Great Song
"I've never lost in battle or game; I'm simply the best by far
When swords are crossed, 'tis always the same—one blow and au revoir!"
Lancelot, "C'est Moi", Camelot

Other musical characters might sing about the conflicts inherent in their position, or the obstacles in their path, or the things they know are missing from their drab, wretched lives.

Not this character.

The I Am Great Song is sung by someone who can't sing an "I Want" Song, because there's nothing left for them to want. Their accomplishments, popularity, and undisputed mastery of their field leave absolutely no need for daily affirmations—but they have them anyway, in musical form. Singing one of these songs feels better than it probably should.

Since protagonists have to face conflict, and people love to watch the mighty fall, the hero almost never sings this song. However, it is not always a Villain Song, and the singer can be legitimately great—if songs were Greek heroes, this one would be Achilles.

Can be used as a negative-space version of This Loser Is You.

Subtrope, naturally, of the 'I Am' Song. Works best sung by a Large Ham.

See also Bragging Theme Tune, Boastful Rap.

Examples

  • Miles Gloriosus' song in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum:
    Miles: I, in war the most admired, in wit the most inspired, in love the most desired, in dress the best displayed, I am a parade!
  • The page quote! Lancelot's song is nothing but this.
  • "Perfect Isn't Easy", in Oliver & Company.
    • "Pretty is nice, but still, it's just pretty. Perfect, my dear.... is MEEEEEEEEE!"
  • Harry Potter sings in the Potter Puppet Pals video "The Vortex" about being the "king" of Hogwarts, and defeating Voldemort as a baby. It has a melancholy end, though, as Harry remembers he also lost his parents as a baby, and had to move to an abusive foster home.
  • Frank Sinatra's legacy is typified by "My Way", which is sung from the perspective of an old man as his life draws to a close. The theme of the song is personal integrity; Alas, it has become synonymous with Sinatra's legendary abrasiveness and "take it or leave it" attitude (Ironically, even he thought the ego-stroking lyrics too much). Sid Vicious did a much-acclaimed punk cover of the song.
  • In the Broadway version of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston sings a song, "Me", about how Belle has no choice but to be madly in love with him, because of how perfect he is in every way. Gaston's eponymous song in the original film isn't just sung by him, but those parts he does sing would qualify as this, too.
  • Don McLean's song "Everybody Loves Me, Baby" is in the voice of a military dictator with wealth, territory, popular acclaim, and no (remaining) rivals, though it is sung to the one person who doesn't seem to be impressed.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's "This is the Life"
  • The Russian film adaptation of The Shadow contains the song "My Triumph" sung by the Living Shadow. In the song, The Shadow ponders how powerful he is , especially compared to the pitiful writer whose shadow he once was.
  • "Ego Trippin Out" by Marvin Gaye plays with this - half of it is a character singing about how amazing he is in every way, and how lucky people are to be in his presence - while the chorus seems to be a different character singing about how empty and broken the first character's egotism really is.
  • "Demolition Man", by Sting.
  • Adolpho gets one of these in The Drowsy Chaperone, fittingly titled "Adolpho".
  • Played with in Commentary! The Musical: "Better Than Neil" appears to be this, but can very easily be seen as Nathan desperately masking his insecurity.
  • Maximillian and Cunegonde in "Life is Happiness Indeed" from the musical version of Candide.
  • The various adaptations of The Wind in the Willows naturally include Toad's I Am Great song from the book. In the Spin-Off of the Cosgrove Hall version, Oh, Mr Toad!, it's used as a Bragging Theme Tune.
    The world has held great heroes,
    As history books have showed,
    But never a name went down in fame,
    Compared with that of Toad!
  • How I Met Your Mother: Barney's video resume is basically just this. Although he's not singing it. That would be lame.
  • Many, many modern rap songs are about this or being In Da Club. Quite obvious with rappers like Wiz Kalifa, Flo Rida and Pitbull.
  • Shady Could've Done It Better has Marik, Bakura and Shady Vox singing the notion that, "no matter what anybody else does, Shady could've done it better."
  • Charlie The Unicorn episode 4's obligatory song routine features a singing millipede who sings a song about how awesome she is.
  • Played with in The Mikado, where the title character sings about being a great Emperor in "From ev'ry kind of man," but "his daughter-in-law elect" Katisha interrupts and makes it about herself.
  • Pizzazz, lead singer of The Misfits in Jem, has an ego about the same size as her bank account. Some of the groups' boastful songs include "Takin' It All", "There Ain't Nobody Better", and "Universal Appeal".
  • Vanessa Doofenshmirtz has this masterpiece.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: "Joxer The Mighty". A song that just keeps on growing every time that it recurs.
  • The song Calvin performs in Chapter 9 of Calvin and Hobbes Get XTREME! is one of these.
  • "Towards the Crown of Nights" and "The Dark Conquest" by The Kovenant are both about some evil overlord praising themselves after bringing about The Night That Never Ends.
  • The Act One finale of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen", crossbreeds this trope with Welcoming Song as Willy Wonka introduces himself to the Golden Ticket finders with promises that they're going to see incredible things on their tour of his factory — all of which are of his invention. Of course, he's also a Trickster Anti-Hero, and the catchy, brassy, cheekily sinister, glamorously-visualized number owes a lot stylistically to the Villain Song trope...
  • "Don't Stop" by InnerPartySystem is a deeply cynical version of this.
  • At the height of the Federation Era in the WWE, Vince McMahon recorded a big music video for his own single called "Stand Back!" It's a collection of TakeThats leveled at his many critics over the way he runs his business and the product he puts out. It's a massive Never Live It Down for him, though he's willing to let the occasional jab at it slide.
  • Todd Rundgren's "Emperor of the Highway" is a short musical duel between The Emperor of the Highway and the Royal Prince of Foreign Sports Cars; each is a Large Ham and both characters show the egotism inherent in this trope.
  • From Rock and Rule, Mok's "Triumph (of the Glory of ME)". Omar's road song "I'm the Man" seems understated only by comparison. Mok is perhaps the most deliciously egotistical individual I have seen portrayed in any medium; his motivation for employing the Armageddon Key to trigger a new apocalypse is revenge on the public, because his last concert was not completely sold out.
  • Queen has several songs of this type; notably "Princes of the Universe", which sums up the Immortal ethos from the Highlander saga, as well as Freddie Mercury's apparent attitude toward life. "I am immortal! I have inside me blood of kings. I have no rival! No man can be my equal!" And the lyrics, if anything, are understated compared to the music.
  • Animaniacs has "I'm Cute", sung by Dot. Her brothers, who are singing the chorus, eventually get sick of it and interrupt with mocking lyrics of their own.
  • Horrible Histories has one for, fittingly, Alexander the Great. Though he prefers "the Greatest."

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