‘Welcome to The Black Parade,’ My Chemical Romance

The cover of the My Chemical Romance single, "Welcome to the Black Parade."

The cover of the My Chemical Romance single, “Welcome to the Black Parade.”

I think of it as New Jersey’s answer to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “Welcome to the Black Parade,” from My Chemical Romance‘s 2006 album The Black Parade, is an over-the-top rock epic that you can listen to, over and over, and yet never fully understand. But at its core, it’s about a boy and his father:

“When I was a young boy/My father took me into the city/To see a marching band,” Belleville native Gerard Way sings. “He said, ‘Son when you grow up/Would you be the savior of the broken/The beaten and the damned?’ ”

So the son takes on this larger-than-life task — “The world will never take my heart!”, he vows — and the video, below, adds darkness and mystery with its post-apocalyptic scenes.

Or is this all taking place in the afterlife? That’s definitely a possibility, especially in light of some of the other songs on the album. Whatever is happening, though, it’s a wild ride.

The first single from The Black Parade, “Welcome to the Black Parade” rose to No. 9 on Billboard magazine’s singles chart, and was the only Top 10 hit of the band’s career. My Chemical Romance broke up in 2013, and band members are now pursuing a variety of solo projects.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.

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