“Desert Song” by My Chemical Romance
These popular musicians can be a hard lot to understand at times. Or let’s say that being rich and famous is such that certain issues an individual is vulnerable to may likely be exacerbated as opposed to rectified.
For instance, we commonly hear about music stars, especially the likes of rockers, being plagued by drug abuse. And so it was with Gerard Way – well, with the My Chemical Romance crew actually during their early successes – though he was fortunate enough to sober up circa 2007.
In fact, Gerard recorded this very track (“Desert Song”) while inebriated. He also reportedly penned it while suicidal. So in other words, he was living the fantasy of being a rock star but simultaneously akin to, most simply put, a depressed junkie.
But to reiterate, at the end of the day, Gerard didn’t go out like that. Accordingly, the first verse of this song is indicative of the kind of inner struggle he was going through at the time. Or rather, it implies that even if a person is an addict or whatever our respective personality shortcomings may be, also within us is the ability to change. We can achieve this, if only ample effort and “faith” are utilized in the process.
However, Gerard also made a public statement indicating that what “Desert Song” is more generally about is being in a band and more specifically My Chemical Romance itself.
With all of the above in mind yes, there are still certain parts of this song, such as the chorus, which is so easy to understand. But the bridge seemingly acknowledges what was put forth earlier, that this group understood that they may have been on the road to self-destruction as a result of their fast living and other factors considered.
For instance, with that in mind, it can be postulated that the chorus is perhaps speaking to the concept of musicians being such that they can literally play themselves to death in front of their fans. Or put otherwise, a loyal fandom can be a curse in a way. How? Because they will support their favorite musicians even if said individual is concurrently in the process of killing themselves. Put differently, as long as a popular artist’s music is poppin’, then it’s like their personal well-being comes second.
But again, that’s just a possible way of interpreting all that’s being alluded to here. What can be gleaned at least is that even if Gerard Way or his entire band perceived themselves as being in a “desert” during this particular juncture, they also knew that if they kept striving for a more positive outcome they could best the situation.
When was “Desert Song” released?
This song is from an extensive live/compilation project My Chemical Romance came out with through Reprise Records called “Life on the Murder Scene”.
“Desert Song” itself was officially released on 17 March 2006. By this point, the band had already dropped a couple of studio albums. This track was originally intended to be featured on the second of those efforts, 2004’s “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge”, which proved to be their big breakthrough.
The members of My Chemical Romance are individually acknowledged as the authors of this song. They are:
- Gerard Way
- Mikey Way
- Ray Toro
- Frank Iero
Howard Benson handled the song’s production in its entirety. Howard is a behind-the-scenes’ man who may be best known for his work with the likes of –
- Kelly Clarkson