Rewind Review: Revisiting My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade"

Written by Julieta Vega

"The Black Parade" is one of My Chemical Romance’s most notable records to date. With unforgettable tracks like "Welcome To The Black Parade", "Teenagers", and "Famous Last Words", all released almost 15 years ago. Now, all of these years later (and just in time for "spooky season"), we decided to take a look back at the album that has allowed these emo greats to continue to make an impact.

The story of "The Black Parade" is an unforgettable one. The album focuses on the narrative of The Patient, who is dying of cancer.

He discusses his experiences with death, the afterlife, and reflects on what he was able to accomplish while he was alive. Tracks that directly describe The Patient’s narrative include "The End", "Dead", "Cancer", and "Famous Last Words."

"The End" describes one last cry out for help from our protagonist as his death approaches. The last chorus of the track states, “(Save me!) / Get me the hell out of here! / (Save me!) / Too young to die!”

The Patient seems to call out to someone, presumably a doctor, to save him as he isn’t ready for death. "Dead", however, brings in new characters in The Patient’s life.

Mother War and The Doctor are now helping The Patient come to terms with his death and prepare him for his final weeks. "Cancer" describes our main character’s illness and the agony he is experiencing.

The Patient wants to be told the truth of his condition and wants everyone in his life to understand this is the end for him. "Famous Last Words" is the final chapter of The Patient’s life...or is it?

Some fans have speculated that "Famous Last Words" is where The Patient dies and enters the afterlife, while others have been wondering if the character has actually passed away at all. The lyrics “I am not afraid to keep on living / I am not afraid to walk this world alone” could be interpreted as The Patient surviving cancer and living his life.

My Chemical Romance perfected their storytelling skills in "The Black Parade" with their use of lyricism and darker themes. Like their previous work, all the of lyrics contained references to death, anger, and agony.

The Patient's story is told perfectly clearly through Gerard Way's loud, gravelly vocals. It's also worth noting that My Chemical Romance has never shied away from telling stories in their albums; their sophomore album "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge" tells the story of a man whose wife passed making a deal with the devil to be with her once again.

The band's final album, "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys" welcomes fans to the world of the Killjoys, a group fighting against a corporation set in a post-apocalyptic world. "The Black Parade" is no different from these albums.

My Chemical Romance perfected storytelling in "Revenge" and went a step further with "The Black Parade." With fantastic visuals presented at the concerts and jaw-dropping music videos, My Chemical Romance made The Black Parade into a theatrical performance.

As of 2020, "The Black Parade" is still widely considered one of the best albums of this century. In addition to the album being named one of the best, the powerful lyrics, imagery, and themes knocked it up to classic status.

Without a doubt, Gerard Way’s talent for creating distinctive storylines helped the record achieve greatness throughout multiple genres. The project's most notable track, "Welcome To The Black Parade", still plays on alterative radio stations today, its unforgettable G note having that unique ability to take you back in time 14 years.

My Chemical Romance has continued to make waves once again after reuniting in 2019. Now, the group has plans to tour in 2021 and headline multiple festivals.

Are you still as head-over-heels for "The Black Parade" as you were when it hit shelves over a decade ago? We'd love to hear all of your tweenage emo memories and stories, which you can share by tweeting us @lgndsoftmrw!