“Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance

There’s a lot going on in “Welcome to the Black Parade” on the metaphorical level. But basically it is meant to detail a certain character’s, known as “the Patient”, journey into the afterlife and the band’s reaction to such. And the title of the song is based on a belief that when a person dies, he or see relives the prominent memory from their lifetime. And in the case of the Patient, such is the memory of his dad taking him to a parade.

But more to the point of this song is that the Patient himself is now part of “the black parade”, which is symbolic of his death. So another way of looking at it is in the midst of dying, his fondest memory in life is intertwined with what he is going through in the present. And the disposition of the band throughout the whole ordeal is that they and the Patient were indeed close.  Thus they are letting him know, despite he already being “dead and gone”, that they will always remember him.

Philosophical Element to “Welcome to the Black Parade”

But once again there is a philosophical element to this song. And that becomes most evident in the second verse onward, when the band begins to present the world as a place full of “misery and hate” where “dreams” are “decimated”. And the overall implication is that the Patient suffered, as in he lived a hard life and died while simultaneously being depressed. Indeed the band perceives themselves as the mouthpiece “for all the broken”.

And this reads as an allusion to individuals who are in a similar predicament to what the Patient went through. And in the midst of all this, My Chemical Romance express something like a refusal to die in a similar manner. In other words, regardless of what challenges the world throws at them, they refuse to be overcome by them. Moreover they come off as if they are challenging the world itself, daring it to test their resolve to withstand.

Biblical Element?

There is also what has been described as a Biblical element to “Welcome to the Black Parade”. This occurs in the first verse when, in thinking back to when he attended the aforementioned parade with his dad, the Patient also recollects his father asking him a bunch of metaphorical questions which read as if he was expecting his son to be a prophet. And the general idea this seems to lead to is something like the Patient’s father foretelling his own as well as his son’s passing.

But all things considered, perhaps the most-fundamental way to look at “Welcome to the Parade”, at least on the surface level, is at it being relayed from the perspective of a group who is mad at fate, if you will.  In other words they are upset that their friend was taken away prematurely. And then even when he was on the mortal plane, the insinuation is that his life sucked.  So you can say that My Chemical Romance are cursing both life and death.  And they are determined not to let either one of these states conquer them.

Lyrics of "Welcome to the Black Parade"

Music Video

In addition to the Patient, the other characters featured in the music video to “Welcome to the Black Parade” are Mother War, Fear and Regret.

Above is the critically-acclaimed music video of the song, which had Samuel Bayer as its director. Indeed despite being released on 27 September 2006, MTV has already named it the “Greatest Music Video of the Century”.  

Release Date of “Welcome to the Black Parade”

“Welcome to the Black Parade” is the lead single from My Chemical Romance’s third album, itself entitled “The Black Parade”. And Reprise Records released it as such on 12 September 2006.

Song’s Success

“Welcome to the Black Parade” scored a number one in Scotland, Venezuela, the UK. It also got to number one on Billboard’s Rock and Metal and Alternative Songs charts. This is in addition to charting in almost 20 other countries.

The track also went triple-Platinum in the United States.

Furthermore, this classic was named amongst the ‘500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Welcome to the Black Parade” was also placed on a number of similar lists, specifically those pertaining to 2006 or the 21st century.

Usage by L.A. Kings

This song was used heavily by the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL) during their successful playoff run in 2012. And it should be noted that the official teams colors of the Kings is primarily black.

Who wrote “Welcome to the Black Parade”?

“Welcome to the Black Parade” was written by My Chemical Romance members B. Bryar, F. Iero, R. Toro, M. Way and his brother, G. Way.

In fact My Chemical Romance began writing this tune since the inception of the band. And an earlier demo, entitled “The Five of Us Are Dying”, which this song was partially derived from was featured on the reissue of “The Black Parade” album.

My Chemical Romance produced this song along with Rob Cavallo, who worked on the entire “The Black Parade” album.

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