The Black Parade

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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 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."


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 its polished, pop-punk influenced sound, the album gained the attention of a larger audience than the band's earlier releases.

Track list:

1. The End.
2. Dead!
3. This is How I Disappear
4. The Sharpest Lives
5. Welcome to the Black Parade
6. I Don't Love You
7. House of Wolves
8. Cancer
9. Mama
10. Sleep
11. Teenagers
12. Disenchanted
13. Famous Last Words


Tropes used in The Black Parade include:
  • Concept Album
  • Crapsack World
  • Creator Breakdown: The book that came with the special edition, which includes narratives from all five band members, basically establishes that this was going on. Gerard's narrative is the most detailed (and yet, even he's fairly vague on details, adding that they thankfully decided not to film any of the writing process), and interviews during the period following the album's release reveal that it got so bad at one point that Mikey Way actually had to leave the house. Whether this was just from the stress of trying to come up with a great follow-up to Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge or the result of working and living at the notoriously-haunted Paramour Mansion at the time is anyone's guess.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Several songs imply that the Patient was a soldier, and is still haunted by it.
  • Dem Bones
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The WTTBP music video set looked very eerily like Ground Zero.
  • The End: Song one.
  • Enforced Method Acting: The part where Bob Bryar's pants catch on fire at the end of the 'Famous Last Words' music video was not deliberate.
  • 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.
  • 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?