Prepare to experience one of the most influential rock / punk / emo / pop infusions of the 21st century. My Chemical Romance (MCR) “Welcome to the Black Parade” had the kind of cultural influence that no other song by the band has had in its entire life since 2001. MCR guitarist Ray Toro, once said that “Welcome to the Black Parade” to My Chemical Romance is what “Bohemian Rhapsody” is to Queen. So let’s try to dissect the meaning of this epic track by taking an in-depth look at its award-winning clip.
“Welcome to the Black Parade” is the first single from the third studio album, “The Black Parade”, by American rock collective My Chemical Romance. The single was released on September 12, 2006 and has not lost its appeal since.
The song “Welcome to the Black Parade” was inducted into the list of 500 songs that shaped rock and roll of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rolling Stones magazine named the song to its 2006 “100 Best Songs of the Year” list. Time magazine also named the song to its “Top 10 Everything: Songs” list for 2006.
There is more. “Welcome to the Black Parade” became the only single from My Chemical Romance’s Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. However, the single managed to climb to No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart and stayed there for two weeks. The song was certified triple platinum (over 3 million units sold) by the RIAA in the United States in 2017.
My Chemical Romance guitarist Ray Toro talks about their hit with great affection;
“(the song) is probably the most epic song on the record. I love the way it came together. It’s a song we’ve been writing since the band started, but it started out in a very different form. .
- 1 Watch the music video for “Welcome to the Black Parade”
- 2 “Welcome to the Black Parade” song lyrics and meaning review by MCR
- 3 Watch MCR perform “Welcome to the Black Parade” live in Mexico
Watch the music video for “Welcome to the Black Parade”
The above music video was inducted into MTV’s ’50 Greatest Music Videos of the 21st Century’ list in 2017. The video centers on a patient on his deathbed in a hospital. As doctors and nurses gather around him to comfort him as he walks into “the other world,” he is greeted by the Black Parade. The parade has the centerpiece of MCR performing the song, surrounded by a group of masked people.
Download the single “Welcome to the Black Parade” on Apple Music and Amazon
In an interview for the album ‘The Black Parade’, MCR frontman Gerard Way spoke about the lead single and its influence throughout their new album; “It’s basically the only song that sounds the song for recording and all the risks we took have concentrated into a mini-epic. And it still retains everything that made us special. He also mentions that this song is his favorite song on the album.
“Welcome to the Black Parade” song lyrics and meaning review by MCR
After a spooky solo piano melody, Gerard Way indulges in his lyrics as the music that accompanies him grows and adds around him.
The song begins with the singer recalling a memory from his childhood. The singer’s father takes him to town to see a marching band. This is an actual preview from Gerard Way. He spoke about it in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine; “I have fond memories of my dad who took me and Mikey to a parade. I remember the big inflatable balloons, even those from cartoon characters that I loved, were so big. So I wouldn’t say it was my best memory, but there’s something really cultural about a parade, which is why it became the perfect vehicle. This could represent a funeral procession, or the Day of the Dead or a celebration. For the character on the album (the patient), that’s what he wants death to be.“
The following lines recall a conversation between the young singer and his father. Her father asks her to become a good human being, one who helps the less fortunate and the misunderstood. The father also asks his son to overcome his own inner demons and to fight against unbelievers. These words contain a strong Christian message, as the father portrays the role of God, the son playing the role of Jesus and Satan being called demons.
The father’s message continues as he says that someday he will come and so will the son. That day, the father will leave him a “ghost” to lead the son to paradise. Ghost in layman’s terms is a ghost. With this, MCR intelligently completes the cycle of the Holy Trinity by mentioning the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit / Ghost.
The “black parade” acts as the last send to that person in the afterlife. Everyone has to join the black parade at some point in their life.
The tone of the song changes completely with the passage to the first verse of the song. However, MCR retains the theme of the song.
In the first verse, Gérard mentions a “she” who watches over him. This “she” could be a personification of death. Death is also depicted in the clip with a female character wearing a metal robe and gas mask. She is known as Mother War, a fictional character appearing in the MCR universe, to represent war and death.
The rest of the first verse sings about the calamities of life. Ups and downs and ups and downs, through it all we fight against every obstacle on a daily basis. These words end with a cliffhanger taken from the chorus.
Continuing from the first verse, these lyrics proudly cry out that we live beyond death. How? ‘Or’ What? Because, the memory of each of us will be cherished in the memory of someone.
In many religions and philosophies around the world, death is not the end. It is simply a transfer of your consciousness to another dimension that is not accessible to earthly beings.
Watch MCR perform “Welcome to the Black Parade” live in Mexico
The feelings that Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance wants to convey about the pursuit of life he cannot express. He says this hymn is not enough for him to inject energy into everyone’s life. But he does a great job trying.
Even more morale and energy are thrown your way in the second verse of “Welcome to the Black Parade” from My Chemical Romance!
No matter what the world throws at us, there will be no surrender. Because in this world you only have yourself. No one else will be able to buy your salvation or happiness ticket. Live and let live. Your problems should not be blamed on others, and vice versa. Defiant until the end of life and beyond, we proudly cry out and stand proudly to our feet. There is no one who can steal our free will and there is no one to say otherwise. In death and beyond, we will carry our flags high and keep going!
In the song’s second chorus, MCR replaces the last line with a mention of the patient’s wife. When the patient passed into the afterlife with the help of the Black Parade, his wife was left behind. She is tired of the pain and grief that her departure has caused her. But she continues. There is nothing else to do but get up, dust yourself off and keep going!
The lyrics of the song’s bridge are almost a song – a song to breathe life into everyone who listens to this song. These lyrics are about hanging on, going on, living your life and putting on a smile while doing it all. There are no easy fixes or shortcuts to life. You just have to bite into the dust and see for yourself the rainbow on the other side.
Gerard Way also goes on to say that he is not a hero telling tales of legends and myths. It is a mere mortal who found the strength and courage to write these words so that we can all hear and understand them. He might even get a backslash for those lyrics for talking about the afterlife, which is a bit of a voodoo topic even today. But he just doesn’t care what everyone else thinks. He’s on a mission to get a message across and he won’t stop.
The most important thing in life is the ability to deal with anything and everything that the world throws at us. You smile through it all and never let the world break the human within you.
If “Welcome to the Black Parade” doesn’t lift your spirits and energize you at the end of the day, there aren’t many songs to help you out. Let us hear your thoughts on this song in the comments below, and share your thoughts on this epic music video creation.
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