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The quintessential emo anthem

ANGSTIEST EMO SONG

Photo: courtesy of iTunes

From the iconic first piano note to the fading snare drum outro, “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance is the quintessential emo anthem.

The emo subculture is derived from elements of the goth and punk movements. However, the melodramatic, confessional quality of emo music differentiates the genre from its roots. While goth culture centers around the macabre, and punk centers around rebellion, the emo subculture is unique in that its main focus is passionate emotional expression.

The term “angst” is often used in association with emo music because the subculture resonates mostly with young people, often young social outcasts, struggling with the stress and uncertainty of growing up. Emo music aims to be relatable by acknowledging one’s darkest, most personal feelings.

On the surface, “Welcome to the Black Parade” follows a father as he explains to his son that one day, death will come for them both. On a deeper level, the song deals with the fear of life’s impermanence, the pain of losing a loved one, and the fear of being forgotten. These relatable fears are expressed openly and with enough theatrics to perfectly embody the drama and turmoil of teenage dread.

With lyrics that remark upon the anguish of existence, “Welcome to the Black Parade” is the epitome of the emo subculture. The line, “a world that sends you reeling from decimated dreams,” expresses the classic emo sentiment that the world is a dark, cruel place. Meanwhile, lines like “though you’re broken and defeated,” and “the broken, the beaten and the damned,” speak to the pain of angsty teens everywhere.

“Welcome to the Black Parade” exemplifies all that emo is meant to be: dark, dramatic, and empathetic. For these reasons, My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to The Black Parade” is, and always will be, the anthem of the emo culture.

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