10 Best My Chemical Romance Songs
After spending 12 years together, My Chemical Romance have called it a career, but not without leaving fans with a decade’s worth of inspired, passionate and frequently uplifting music. The band may have began their career being lumped into the popular emo movement of the time, but they evolved over the years to include elements of punk, hard rock and pop that helped them branch out and create their own unique sound. So, as we bid adieu to the New Jersey-bred rockers, we give “three cheers” to MCR’s career by counting down the 10 Best My Chemical Romance Songs:
‘Vampire Money’ came out in 2010, but you wouldn’t know it by its sound. My Chemical Romance’s ‘Danger Days’ album cut feels like a mix of 1977 Sex Pistols and Ramones all rolled up into one. The boys muster a full-on sneer with this cut, which was their dig at bands that were selling out to be on a ‘Twilight’ soundtrack when they resisted the lucrative lure.
‘Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us’
‘Honey This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us’ was one of the first tracks to show the promise of what My Chemical Romance had to come. This raucous effort features Mikey Way pounding away on the bass, with Ray Toro and Frank Iero unleashing the fury with their guitar work. Singer Gerard Way penned this track about his past substance abuse.
By the time My Chemical Romance hit the ‘Danger Days’ album, they had the uplifting rock anthem thing down. Nowhere is this more apparent than on ‘Sing,’ an easy pick for the 10 Best My Chemical Romance Songs. This euphoric rocker is a call to arms, urging listeners to seize the day. The inspirational message was later adopted on Twitter as a show of support for those affected by Japan’s 2011’s earthquake and tsunami and the band re-envisioned the song as a benefit single.
‘Teenagers’ is a track that saw the group breaking out of their comfort zone. This good-time rocker is presented with panache and had a bluesy swing to it, but the light and bouncy sound is contrasted with a more serious message. Gerard Way says it was inspired by being on a subway with a bunch of teens and feeling like more of a target than a peer. He took things further from that idea and addressed the growing concerns of gun violence with today’s youth.
‘The Ghost of You’
My Chemical Romance took their foot off the pedal with ‘The Ghost of You,’ but that doesn’t make the track any less powerful. This somber piece finds Gerard Way addressing the fear of loss. While it’s one of the moodier cuts on their ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ album, the band makes a solid transition from internal reflection to angst-ridden expression and back again.
‘Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)’
If you need a pick-me-up, My Chemical Romance’s ‘Na Na Na’ is the song to do it for you. This high energy cut was the song that turned the corner for the band after they decided to scrap an entire album (later released as the ‘Conventional Weapons’ compilation). This song begs you to sing along while Iero, Toro and the Way brothers blister their way through this punk anthem.
‘Helena’ earns its spot in the 10 Best My Chemical Romance Songs as one of the most moving piece the band ever penned. Themes of loss turn up several times on the ‘Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge’ album, and Gerard Way penned this track as a tribute to his late grandmother. The track also follows the ‘Three Cheers’ album concept, which chronicles the story of a man who died in a car crash mourning the love of his life who he thought also perished in the accident.
‘Famous Last Words’
Though ‘Famous Last Words’ starts off a little grim, by the time the track hits its peak, it’s one of the band’s most inspiring cuts. The opening guitar interplay between Toro and Iero sets the angsty mood perfectly before Way belts the chorus, “I am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone” — a triumphant statement coming on the heels of heartbreak.
‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’
‘I’m Not Okay (I Promise)’ is the song that broke My Chemical Romance to a mass audience and remains one of their most popular tracks. This ode to infidelity may feel triumphant in its presentation, but it’s a song about heartbreak nonetheless. Way sings about breaking things off with a girl who’s cheating on her boyfriend after coming to the conclusion she’ll never leave. As the exasperated rocker declares, “I’m not okay / You wear me out.”
‘Welcome to the Black Parade’
The epic ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ is deserving of the top spot on our 10 Best My Chemical Romance Songs list. Kicking off with Bob Bryar’s taps-style drumming and expanding into euphoric heights, the track bares similarities to a musical style that Queen made popular. In explaining the band’s concept for the record, Gerard Way stated that death comes in the form of your most powerful memory. For us, My Chem’s “death” comes with the memory of their music, and much like the song says, “We’ll carry on.”