What does Welcome to the Black Parade mean?

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My Chemical Romance: Welcome to the Black Parade Meaning

Song Released: 2006


Welcome to the Black Parade Lyrics

When I was a young boy
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...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Oct 25th, 2006 10:03pm report


    Actually, this song, as described by gerard when he recently appeared on fuse, says the man in the song, they called the patient, is dying in a hospital. And his most treasured memory was when his father took him to a parade when he was a young boy. And gerard says he believes that when you die, death comes to you in any form you want it to. So as this man is dying, remembering his father and the parade, death comes to him as a black parade



  2. 2TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jan 6th, 2007 1:24pm report


    "When I was a young boy,
    My father took me into the city
    To see a marching band.
    He said,
    "Son when you grow up, will you be the saviour 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."

    What intrigues me is the fact that on one hand the father is asking him to be a hero:
    be the "saviour", defeat your "demons" -vices and logical contradictions, that's to say, misunderstandings of reality which make us do stupidities- and all the "non believers" (quite intriguing in the way it is said... leaves me with several doubts and even fears).

    And on the other he is saying that he will give him help to understand how to pass away (the ghost thing).

    This part is quite contradictory with common logic schemes. But, if we think that they may be seeing death as something good, then all may make some sense.

    The problem with this hypothesis is that he also mentions "summer". Summer is generally understood as a good thing, and so they would be portraying the black parade as something fantastic, something that continues to the summer.

    Then the ghost is experience and advice. But the problem is, once more, is it that death is fantastic? Or is it that they break our schemes once more and so say that death is what logically follows life (which is "summer", wonderful)? Is it that we are condemned to be eternally happy at the beginning and then stop being so?

    "Sometimes I get the feeling she's watching over me.
    And other times I feel like I should go. Through it all, the rise and fall, the bodies in the streets.
    When you're gone we want you all to know We'll Carry on,
    We'll Carry on
    Though your dead and gone believe me Your memory will carry on
    Carry on
    We'll carry on
    And in my heart I can't contain it
    The anthem won't explain it."

    Who is she? The widow (and so the singer's mother)? His girlfriend?

    The problem is that she sounds more like a supernatural being rather than a common one. Is it that she's the Virgin Mary?

    "I feel like I should go", well, killing himself, that does not need that much of an interpretation.

    The problem is the present contradiction: If life's summer, why does he need that care from that feminine figure, and even better, why is it that there are bodies in the street (and all this not taking his suicidal tendencies into account)?

    Life is hard but at the same time summer? If we now take the video into account, we see that life is painful. "Starved to death in a land of plenty" together with the "bodies in the streets" make us think that calling life "summer" is rather a sarcasm. Life is not summer, we/they all act as if it were, but life is painful. Why? Because of us. We make life painful.

    However, even though we are the ones who make it painful, we cannot change it (and so the suicidal part would make sense).

    That would make "them" the guilty ones rather than "we" (and what distinguishes both groups is this superior knowledge of life).

    The problem is that he also tells dad not to worry, as his "memory" will "carry on". This makes us re-think the "black parade" symbol. It may not be death/afterlife, but rather a metaphorical death/end of existance.

    The problem is, once more, why is ending existance (which is the only way in which suicidal tendencies could be some way justified, as we stop existing, we stop feeling pain) that good?

    Of course, that would justify the "summer" - "black parade" passage. Life is summer, and the logical end of summer is eternal sleep. The problem is that summer has then got a double meaning: life is essentially fantastic while we all (more precisely, "they")make it a painful place experience.

    Logically, this leaves the supernatural feminine figure lacking an explanation.

    "And we will send you reeling from decimated dreams
    Your misery and hate will kill us all
    So paint it black and take it back
    Lets shout it loud and clear
    Do you fight it to the end
    We hear the call to
    To carry on
    We'll carry on
    Though your dead and gone believe me Your memory will carry on
    We'll carry on
    And though you're broken and defeated You're weary widow marches on"

    Well, this part quite proves my "they" are ruining our only opportunity to dream, to be happy.

    An interesting doubt: why is dying wrong here ("your misery and hate will kill us all") while it was right before?

    "And on we carry through the fears
    Ooh oh ohhhh
    Disappointed faces of your peers Ooh oh ohhhh
    Take a look at me cause
    I could not care at all Do or die
    You'll never make me
    Cause the world, will never take my heart
    You can try, you'll never break me"

    He will stay strong against "them" ("the world") and their wishes to oppress him as well.

    "Will never take my heart", so heartless is what they want us all to be.

    "Want it all,
    I'm gonna play this part
    Wont explain or say I'm sorry
    I'm not ashamed,
    I'm gonna show my scar
    You're the chair, for all the broken Listen here, because it's only..
    I'm just a man,
    I'm not a hero
    Just a boy, who's meant to sing this song
    Just a man,
    I'm not a hero
    I -- don't -- care"

    On one hand, "you are the chair for all the broken" (you = his father?), and so they can stop running (fighting) against life, so they can feel relief once and for all, and on the other, he is telling his father that he cannot be the hero, the saviour he wanted him to be.

    Meanwhile, even though he said all what he said, he says he's apathetic ("I don't care").

    "Carry on
    We'll carry on
    Though your dead and gone believe me Your memory will carry on
    We'll carry on
    And though you're broken and defeated Your weary widow marches on
    We'll carry on
    We'll carry on
    We'll carry on
    We'll carry
    We'll carry on"

    Well, this confirms what I say. "Though you are dead and gone" makes us think of death as unexistance and of the black parade as a synonim of it.

    His father is therefore logically "broken and defeated" because he did not manage to change things when he could.

    Well, that supernatural figure appears to be the widow -who keeps on with her husband's struggle-, but the way in which she's mentioned here is not the way in which he was before, and so I feel a lack of coherence between the first female figure and the widow.

    About the father being part of the armed forces, I am somewhat for but my intuition puts me fully against it.

    As hard as it may seem after all this huge analysis, this song still makes me feel somewhat great (while I am currently suffering my lack of faith, and so I am trying to grip to sure existance, to this life, I have as much as I can).



  3. 3TOP RATED

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 8th, 2006 11:10pm report


    This is about the patient and his memories about going to his first parade with his father.While he slowly dies of cancer his memories move on. And the form in which he is taken to the next life is his greatest memory:the black parade carries him off to death.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 18th, 2013 8:45pm report


    I don't believe this and it has been proven wrong. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

    It's about emo kids. Everyone looks down upon them, thinks they're really freaks, so they'll "paint it black and take it back". It makes sense for the "do or die, you'll never make me" part.

    Really, that would work for any hated group of people.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  5.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 27th, 2013 4:31pm report


    When I hear this I interpret as God speaking to Jesus as a small boy, preparing him for his future. It's my punk church song.



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 10th, 2012 12:19pm report


    I believe that this song is about the war. More particularly I picture world war 2. The whole "carry on" thing is a saying back when we were fighting Germany and the nazis. I think that the father is Jewish/homosexual/handicapped or something along those lines and is being taken away by the nazis. I also believe the 'parade' they talk about is the nazi parade where they marched through the streets, killing people (the whole "bodies in the streets" thing)



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Dec 10th, 2012 12:59am report


    Oh My Fucking God -_-
    It's not "You're the chair, for all the broken Listen here"
    It's "Give a cheer, for all the broken listen here"
    AND: Not "Do you fight it til the end"
    It's "Defiant til the end"
    If you're going to put up a aong meaning idea, you might want to get the lyrics right? How hard is it to Google something?!
    And you were rated number 2 -_-



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 20th, 2012 9:41am report


    i think that the female character is maybe someone that died and whom meant a lot for the singer (his grand-mother) ? lately seen in Helena ? ... :)



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 7th, 2012 6:01pm report


    Its not a new theme, think of William Golding Pincher Martin.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    May 21st, 2012 5:14am report


    It is basically a song about a dying mans look on life, and his greatest memory, a marching band parade, which his father took him to when he was little. his father has since died, and he is telling him that they will carry on without him. in the end, death comes to him in the form of the parade he saw, and he moves on. Black parade being a metaphor for Death.



  11.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    May 1st, 2012 5:43am report


    Right so Gerard said that he believes death comes in the fondest memory so the album is done as a story and in this story it follows the life of the patient and in the story the fondest memory is death. So death comes in the fondest memory. The memory here is the black parade. The black parade is the paitents heaven. So what intrigues me is that in famous last words its the patient still alive. Famous last words is the last song on the album. Still with me? Right so if hes still alive in famous last words then he mustn't be dead in the black parade make any sence? So i believe he isn't dead here yet. He is just sort of having a vision of heaven (a vision of when he does die. A near death expeirience)in famous last words i believe the title explains it all the entire song is his last thoughts and last words. Then he dies and goes to the black parade (goes to the place in the near death experience. Its either this or the songs are done in no particular order but thats just what i think. I believe to be able to interpertate one song on the album you have to take the others(before and after)Into account. I could be totaly wrong though.



  12.  

    kidrauhl
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    Jan 17th, 2012 1:23pm report


    This song is about dying in the form of your best memory and here it was a boy going to a parade with his father.



  13.  

    Redz
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    Dec 24th, 2011 12:36pm report


    He can't find another monumental parade since he n his late father memory remind (in hospital)...except for the black parade...that was a cancer...

    I think his father know he got cancer...and give all the best to entertain his son, n tried to tell how to fight a cancer (as a superhero way, n the marching band as example, u can see at "to join the black parade"...pain = black

    step by step he know what happen to his own life...n understand what his father said...
    and he got feeling, "she's watching over me" (death angel)...but he tried to say..."I don't care"...he just want to fight with "we'll carry on"(he n the cancer who defeated, prepared to the afterlife)...
    "I am not a hero, dad" (as the answer of all his father advice)...
    "Because the world, Will never take my heart" (he tried to answer, what he's feeling about "she" the death angel who followed his life)

    he enjoyed the cancer as a black parade



  14.  

    jomac81
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    Dec 15th, 2011 12:21pm report


    The black parade is a very religious song. It's about God talking to Jesus just listen to the lyrics!!



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 13th, 2011 11:13pm report


    i think that in the beginning, it is from the pov of a dying patient, but in the rest of the song it is from the pov of someone else, telling him that even when he is dead, his memory will carry on, and that everythng will be ok. look at the other interp. for details



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 9th, 2011 10:39pm report


    As Gerard Way stated, this entire album is about a man (called "the Patient") dying of cancer, then passing away. This follows Way's belief that when you die, death will come in the form of your happiest memory, childhood or adulthood. 

    This song in my opinion, is about the Patient who dies and realizes that death came to him in the form of a Black Parade. This is because when the Patient was a young boy, his father took him to the city to watch a parade. 

    While watching this parade, the boy's father asks him, "Son when you grow up, will you be the savior of the broken, the beaten and the damned?

    He continues by saying, "Will you, defeat them? Your demons, and all the nonbelievers, the plans that they have made?"

    What the father's asking is if his son will be up to a battle of will, and if his son will become a good man (being the savior of the broken, etc). 

    His father then says, "Because one day, I'll leave you. A phantom, to lead you in the summer, to join the Black Parade."

    The father states he won't always be their in the flesh for his son, but in spirit (Phantoms), and that he'll help lead the boy through the summer (possible meaning of the best and worst times of life), and "To join the Black Parade" could mean the father thinks that's when they'll see each other again. A parade of the dead. 

    So the Patient does die of cancer, later on. In the music video, it shows him leaving the hospital bed walking out into a barren waste land, with dark circles around his eyes (symbolizing that he is no longer alive) and is greeted by the Black Parade. 

    Also in the video, it shows the band playing the song on a float, leading a large crowd of dead people who choose to follow them. In the story, the band members themselves are characters (or a bit more of "secondary characters," for they don't play a large part in the story). 

    The members are brothers, who went to go fight in the war (predicted to be World War || by most fans), sending back letters to their mother. Of course when the brothers die in battle, their mother goes into depression, and later on dies (she refused to eat or sleep at one point). Their mother is known also as "the Widow," or "Mother War." In the video, she is seen with a gas mask covering her face. Later in the video, you see her standing by a sign saying "Starved to Death in the Land of Penalty" (when in depression, she regretted not returning the letters with her sons, and saying things like they weren't her sons anymore (see "Mama"), and she starved to see them again). 

    "Sometimes I get the feeling she's watching over me
    And other times I feel like I should go
    And through it all, the rise and fall, the bodies in the streets
    And when you're gone we want you all to know

    We'll carry on, we'll carry on
    And though you're dead and gone, believe me
    Your memory will carry on, we'll carry on
    And in my heart I can't contain it, the anthem won't explain it"

    The "she," is Mother War. Mother War and the Patient had met each other at the hospital, and they fell in love while they stayed. Although Mother War died much sooner in the story. 

    "And other times I feel like I should go" is him thinking about killing himself, just to skip all the pain of the cancer and to join her in death. 

    The rest of the verse and the corse are the band members speaking towards the Patient, saying that when he's gone they want him to know that he'll carry on in the Black Parade, and his memory will carry on in the minds of the living people on Earth, and that he should believe them even though he's "dead and gone."

    With the "and in my heart I can't contain it" line, I'm not sure what that means. But it's probable that they're saying that their hearts can't withhold all the emotion that a song won't be able to change it. 

    "And while that sends you reeling from decimated dreams
    Your misery and hate will kill us all
    So paint it black and take it back and let's shout out loud and clear
    Defiant to the end we hear the call

    To carry on, we'll carry on
    And though you're dead and gone, believe me
    Your memory will carry on, we'll carry on
    And though you're broken and defeated, your weary widow marches"

    The dreams mentioned were the nightmares the Patient had when he was still alive with the cancer (see "Sleep"), and the dreams were about all the bad things he had done (Your misery and hate will kill us all). 

    The Black Parade however, says "Hell with your sins. We'll paint them black (wipe them away) and take them off your shoulders. All that matters is that we stay defiant to the end. You'll hear the call to carry on."

    Once again, the five members try to convince him his memory will not be forgotten back on Earth. 

    They then bring up their mother (without classifying that it is truly their mother until "Mama") by singing, "Your weary widow marches on." meaning that Mother War will go on without him if the Patient chooses not to follow (broken and defeated).

    "On and on we carry through the fears 
    Oh, ah, ah
    Disappointed faces of your peers 
    Oh, ah, ah
    Take a look at me
    'Cause I could not care at all"

    This is the verse that claims that the Black Parade tears through everyones fears, getting ride of them. 
    "Disappointed faces of you're peers" states that in all of the Followers of the Black Parade had done some sinful deeds in their life, and were looked down upon by their "peers." But the Followers and the band members themselves shout out to those peers, "Take a look at me, cause I could not care at all." Meaning they didn't care what they did, as long as if it was for a purpose. 

    "Do or die, you'll never make me
    Because the world will never take my heart
    Go and try, you'll never break me
    You want it all, you want to play this part

    I won't explain or say I'm sorry
    I'm unashamed, I'm gonna show my scar
    Give a cheer for all the broken
    Listen here because it's who we are"

    The first verse says that no matter what the world threw at these people, whether it was hate, loathing, etc, they just ignored it (You'll never break me). They won't explain why they did everything they did, or apologize, because they're unashamed about doing it (whatever "it" was). 

    When they give a cheer for all the broken, it's themselves who they're cheering for. They were all broken in life (Because it's who we are). 

    "I'm just a man, I'm not a hero
    Just a boy who had to sing this song
    I'm just a man, I'm not a hero
    I don't care"

    The Patient has a quick flash back on what his father said to him at the parade when he was still a boy, and realizes these were the people his father expected him to save. He cries out that he's just a man, not a hero. A boy who had to sing a song, and that he didn't care what happened, because they're all dead anyways. 

    "We'll carry on, we'll carry on
    And though you're dead and gone, believe me
    Your memory will carry on, we'll carry on
    And though you're broken and defeated, your weary widow marches on.

    Do or die, you'll never make me
    Because the world will never take my heart
    Go and try, you'll never break me
    You want it all
    (We'll carry on) 
    You want to play this part

    Do or die, you'll never make me
    Because the world will never take my heart
    Go and try, you'll never break me
    You want it all
    (We'll carry on) 
    You want to play this part"

    At the end of the music video, you see the band placing a medal around the neck of the Patient, which might be a symbol showing his that he has died and joined them. He is kissed on both cheeks by Fear and Regret (both followers with black bars over their eyes, also Gerard Way's "Revenge" era makeup). The parade then leaves the Patient to wonder in the distance of the waste land. 



  17.  

    anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 20th, 2011 8:10pm report


    I think this song is about a man looking to his favorite memory (a parade with his father) to give him strength in his death. He thinks how many won't believe him, but even after death he will march on. His memory will never die



  18.  

    gmsoccer10
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    Jul 25th, 2011 7:58am report


    This song is part of a concept album and first has to be viewed in that context: the 'patient' is dying/has died and is recalling his favorite memory of being taken as a young boy to a parade by his father.

    In a deeper sense, the song can be seen to mean one generation taking up the often difficult burden of believing in a better world than the current one.

    The father and son divide can be seen as one generation teaching the next.

    Taking his son into the city can be seen as the father teaching his son about life if one will assume the city to represent the real world.

    The charges the father gives to his son in the beginning are for the son to rise above the hatred of society and help everyone hurt by it. Basically, improve the human condition. In, "the broken, the beaten, and the damned," the 'damned' are damned by people/society, not a higher morality.

    The father then tells his son that
    "...one day
    I'll leave you
    A phantom
    To lead you in the summer
    To join the Black Parade"

    the phantom being left is the memory of the father - the father will die. The summer represents the youth/prime of the son's life (as in the spring is childhood, then summer, then autumn is late-middle age, then winter is old age). THE BLACK PARADE REPRESENTS LIFE. The 'parade' part describes the variety and beauty (music = beauty = arts) of life while the 'black' bit shows how life is harsh. So the dad is saying, "one day I will die, and everything I've taught you will help you when you grow up and join the rough real world."

    "Sometimes I get the feeling
    She's watching over me
    And other times I feel like I should go"
    this part refers to the patient/son's mother (she) watching over her son as he grows and begins to feel like it is time for him to live on his own ("go").

    The rest of the song revolves around the idea that even though death claimed the father ("when you're gone...") and the world judges and hates 'them' and what they stand for ("A world that sends you reeling
    From decimated dreams
    Your misery and hate will kill us all"), the ideal the father stood for lives on in those he loved and inspired.

    "On and on we carry through the fears
    Disappointed faces of your peers
    Take a look at me
    'Cause I could not care at all"
    this shows how the son doesn't let those judging him bring him down and how he now stands as a carrier of the flame.

    The lines,
    "I'm just a man
    I'm not a hero
    Just a boy
    Who had to sing this song
    I'm just a man
    I'm not a hero
    I don't care"
    can confuse, but they're simply the patient/son being humble as he feels living for a better world is not enough to make him something special. He (and here, we could even say he applies to Way), just felt compelled to sing about fighting against the bitterness of life by staying true to the loves of humanity.

    'Carrying on' refers to the daily grind of not conforming to society and trying to spread a vision of a better world.

    "To carry on
    We'll carry on
    And though you're dead and gone, believe me
    Your memory will carry on
    We'll carry on
    And though you're broken and defeated
    Your weary widow marches on"
    here Way describes the central theme of the song: "your memory (what the father/leader stood for: a better world) will carry on (won't be destroyed or forgotten), we'll carry on (those who now stand for the same thing will keep fighting for it), and though you're broken and defeated (even though the father/leader died/lost), your weary widow marches on (the one(s) who the father/leader loved will keep the fire, the vision alive even though she/they are now sad and tired at how hard the world can be and at the death of the father/leader)."

    It's about fighting against the world's judgments and pain to keep alive a hope for a better tomorrow. Even death can't destroy this dream.



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