When I was a young boy The Black Parade
My father took me into the city
To see a marching band
He said, "Son, when you grow up
Would you be the savior of the broken,
The beaten and the damned?"
He said, "Will you defeat them,
Your demons and all the non-believers,
The plans that they have made?
Because one day, I'll leave you
A phantom to lead you in the summer
To join the Black Parade."
is an album and Rock Opera
by My Chemical Romance
. It tells the story of a terminally ill cancer patient (known simply as "The Patient") and the last thoughts and visions that go through his head as he lies dying in a hospital. When death arrives for him, it appears to him as a parade, recalling the fondest memory he has of his past.
With a grandiose epic sound influenced by Emo
, Progressive Rock
, Pop Punk
, and Glam Rock
, the Black parade gained the attention of a larger audience than the band's earlier releases and is commonly viewed by critics and audiences as a generation defining magnum opus
- "The End" (1:52)
- "Dead!" (3:15)
- "This is How I Disappear." (3:59)
- "The Sharpest Lives" (3:20)
- "Welcome to the Black Parade." (5:11)
- "I Don't Love You." (3:58)
- "House of Wolves." (3:04)
- "Cancer" (2:22)
- "Mama" (4:39)
- "Sleep" (4:43)
- "Teenagers" (2:41)
- "Disenchanted" (4:55)
- "Famous Last Words" (4:59)
The Sharpest Tropes:
- Arena Rock: Seems to be their attempt at this.
- Auto-Tune: Subtly used in "Cancer"
- Concept Album: See the description above.
- Crapsack World
- Dark and Troubled Past: Several songs imply that the Patient was a soldier, and is still haunted by it.
- Dem Bones: On the album cover.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The WTTBP music video set looked very eerily like Ground Zero.
- The End: Song one.
- Gothic Punk: Plays as some kind of Emo, Burtonesque, 1970's rock opera. The Patient fits gothic tropes by being a flawed hero, one who recognizes his horrible faults on death's door, and is thus unable to make peace with his former lover and his mother, and on "Disenchanted he ultimately makes peace with himself, and dies in a penitent state, in the grand tradition of many tragic heroes.
- Harsher in Hindsight: "Dead!" is a hilarious and upbeat song with many a clever insult to someone soon to be dead... then you remember that the album is about a terminally ill cancer patient.
- "No one ever had much nice to say; I think they never liked you anyway"
- However, most of the songs seem to be from the dying patient's perspective. The context of these lyrics is different of the patient is saying these things to himself. If you look at it that way, it's much sadder, as it sounds like he's trying to tell himself that he sucked in life and convince himself that nobody should miss him too much when he's gone.
- The Black Parade itself seems to recall a happy memory, but it actually refers to a funeral procession.
- Hidden Track: "Blood."
- Large Ham: This album isn't so much "over the top" as it is "not on the planet any more". For example, not even a minute and a half into the album, Gerard Way sounds like he has a seizure with the lyric "when I grow up, I want to be NOTHING AT ALL!"
- Last-Second Word Swap: From "The Sharpest Lives"— Not exactly a word swap, but it still changed the meaning.
I've really been
On a bender and it shows,
So why don't you blow me...
... A kiss before she goes?
- Lyrical Dissonance: About half the album, but especially "Dead!", whose main chorus line is "Have you heard the news that you're dead?" set to incredibly upbeat, over-the-top music.
- Made of Explodium: Apparently every instrument and amp in the "I Don't Love You" music video.
- Mood Whiplash: "House of Wolves" is followed by "Cancer" is followed by "Mama".
- No Name Given: The Patient.
- Power Pop: The genre of "Dead!", as an homage to Cheap Trick, ELO, and the cars.
- Progressive Rock: A big influence on the album, along with Glam Rock,
- Rock Opera: The album tells the story of an unnamed dying cancer patient.
- Something Completely Different: "House of Wolves" returns them to their old "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" sound.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: MCR was criticized for attempting to rise above their station with this album, as it was apparently too good.
- Teens Are Monsters: "Teenagers". Provides the page quote.
- War Is Hell: "Mama."
- Wild Mass Guessing: The mysterious way in which the band began promoting the album led to this, resulting in a forest of Epileptic Trees.
- Your Days Are Numbered:
- The second track states that the Patient has "maybe just two weeks to live".
- In "Mama", it's stated "raise your glass high, for tomorrow we die".
- You Won't Feel a Thing: In "Disenchanted":
It was a lie when they smiled and said you won't feel a thing