Laurie Anderson's 1981 song, which was incorporated into her Habeas Corpus installation, takes inspiration from "O Souverain," the big tenor aria from Massenet's El Cid. "O king, o judge, o father" becomes "O Superman, O judge, O Mom and Dad." As Richard Taruskin notes in his Oxford History of Western Music, Anderson heard the African-American tenor Charles Holland sing the aria in 1978, and found herself haunted by it. (In a 1984 conversation with Charles Amirkhanian on KPFA, Anderson played a recording of Holland's performance and provided verbal annotations.) Susan McClary, in her book Feminine Endings, delivers a virtuoso analysis of "O Superman," noting that the seemingly rudimentary harmonic basis of the song — triads of C minor and A-flat major, rocking back and forth — creates a sense of hovering unease, as the ear is unable to decide which chord functions as the tonic. It is, as McClary says, a "musical semiotics of desire and dread, of hope and disillusion, of illusion and reality," matching the fractured imagery of the lyrics. "Another Day in America," from Anderson's 2010 album Homeland, rests on a similar ambiguity, though there the dread is much closer to the surface.