In an interview with The New York Times, lead singer Gerard Way said, "At first I thought the patient died, but the more I think about it, the more I think he's not dead. Maybe this is all in his head. Maybe he can fight. Now I think he has a choice to live."
The "Patient" is the main character of the album.
Gerard Way also said in an interview with Kerrang! magazine that the line, "I am not afraid to walk this world alone" played some part in the break up with his then girlfriend, known as "Katmandu."
The last lines of the song imply that the patient's lover is in fact the person who has died. "I see you lying next to me with words I thought I'd never speak" suggests that the Patient's lover is lying next to him in a coffin, as he speaks about her during the funeral service. The line "Awake and unafraid, asleep or dead" is further evidence that the Patient is alive and has entered into some new state of self-perception, that he has cleared himself of regrets. However there is no mention of the Patient's state; whether he has recovered from his illness or not. Though the song is named "Famous Last Words", that term is generally used when someone has died, and they have said their Famous Last Words.
Amanda - San Diego, CA, for all above
On the "Black Parade" single the band talks about each song. Ray says that it "sums up the whole CD, it relays the message: live everyday like it's their last, live life to the fullest and really enjoy it... the song has the most inspiring lyrics, the chorus makes me want to wake up in the morning and have a great day... it's very powerful." Gerard says, "It's one of the most emotionally powerful songs on the record, it's extremely difficult subject to talk about, it's hard to explain, it's one of those songs that you just have to hit play and hope they understand... it's really just about saying I can do this alone, sometimes I just have to be strong and I can make it, I wanna live."
Kourtney - Gretna, LA
The video was directed by Samuel Bayer, who also did "Welcome To The Black Parade
." The fire was real: My Chemical Romance drummer Bob Bryar suffered third-degree burns on his arms and legs during the filming.
Working on this song, originally titled "The Saddest Music In The World," pulled the band out of crisis mode. They were all on edge staying at the allegedly haunted Paramour Estate in Los Angeles and experiencing doubts about their ability to make an album as good as their previous one (Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge). Then, the worst happened. Their bassist, Mikey Way, was spiraling into a dangerous depression and was forced to leave and get help.
"I was drinking at the time," Mikey told Tom Bryant, author of Not the Life It Seems: The True Lives of My Chemical Romance. "I had reached an age where a lot of emotions and hormones affect you. It was really tough for me. I was at odds with myself. The band had engulfed all of us and I found it overwhelming. There were some things I had never addressed about that and they were festering away too. The combination of all of that was beginning to eat away at me. Recording Black Parade was the moment it all came to a head. I just had to go fix myself."
Two weeks after Mikey's departure, his brother Gerard and guitarist Ray Toro started work on what became "Famous Last Words," which gave them a spark of hope. "Right away I felt like I was singing about the thing I was most afraid of," Gerard recalled. "It felt like what it meant to be in this band, it felt like it was about Mikey, and it felt like it was about our lives, thinking of yourself as despicable or hated."
Mikey's problems were exacerbated by the creepiness of the mansion, which was home to silent film star Antonio Moreno and his wife, Daisy Canfield Danziger, who was killed in an auto accident in 1933 and possibly stuck around to haunt the grounds. Mikey ended up in the most haunted room in the house, "The Blue Room."
"To add to it, there was a single blue light bulb hanging form the ceiling that didn’t provide light, but an eerie glow," Mikey explained. "Dogs barking at thin air, doors slamming in front of people and bathtubs filling with water when no one was home."
In the midst of recording this, Gerard realized he needed to break up with his longtime girlfriend. "I realized the lines in there were the truth and that I wasn't telling the truth anymore," he said. "The record was so much about the truth that I knew I had to end the relationship."