Famous Last Words

Album: The Black Parade (2006)
Charted: 8 88
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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."
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Comments: 30

  • Derek from Wales UkAll comments are valid but for me it relates to how many times I’ve been cheated on by gfs basically I gave my everything in the relationship only to be f**ked over by the ppl I loved and now I cannot seem to trust any body so it feels as if I’m emotionally dead
  • Lester from Philippinesassuming the boy is the one who is singing, saying something to her perfectionist girl...

    i think i feel what the author saying in this song..

    "a love that's so demanding"

    - i think the boy feels depressed because he feels one sided love.. its like your special someone demands love from you just like instead of loving her, you feel its an obligation.

    "i am not afraid to walk this all alone"
    - wants to escape, cant provide her needs

    he needs "forgiveness" because of imperfection, although he loves the girl, else hell go home

    he wants to say i love but cannot say that because he feels like he is not perfect for the girl thats so demanding, he dont feel the love from the girl that i think will fuel him to love her more.

    he even cant say i give up,.. so in the state of confusion and depression, wishing to be in a state of asleep or dead.

    so he decided to say:

    "i am not afraid to keep on living"
    "i am not afraid to walk this world alone"
    "forgive me of my inperfections"
    "else ill just go home and live alone"
  • Milica from Belgrade, SerbiaI love this song, it inspires me, even though I've never been suicidal or depressed. I just think it's amazing :)
  • Ezra from San Francisco, Cawell, i signed up a moment ago just to write this but i think that at least someone should know what this song means to me.
    famous last f--king words, the most important song i've ever heard, here's why.

    first off, i was bullied by a girl (i'll call her s) early in the year of grade 7. she took away all my self esteem, which in turn gave me anxiety, which turned to depression. which made me suicidal. i have all these disorders to this day: i think i'm useless, i can't order food, i can feel the crushing weight of my depression many times a day, and i still want to kill myself. but look, i'm writing this, and for better or worse, i am alive.
    i made a friend in grade 7 (we'll call her k), and k was the best friend i had ever had in my whole life. i loved her so much (and yeah probably romantically.... she might have done what she did because she assumed i loved her "that way"). we went to school together and i tried to see her as much as i could during the day (despite only being in her social studies class). the only problem was that i think i liked her more than she liked me. we were friends in all for about 6 or 7 months. long story short, she began to drift away due to her and her mother deciding that i was a "hazard" to dear k's mental health (who by the way had the same diseases as me more or less).
    i would always sit and listen when she was texting me about whatever there was to feel sad about that day. i would sit through and calm her doing during her panic attacks, the moments she grabbed her blades, the moments she dug them into her left wrist. she told me all about it, she did not tell her parents.
    when i first hurt myself, i was talking to her. telling her that i felt like the world was collapsing and indeed it was. i bit into my wrist hard to hurt myself, and i still have the faint scars on my left arm.
    she did not help me in the way i had helped her and i can only realize that by looking back on it now.

    to get to the point, k left me.
    she might as well have killed me.

    and she did, in a sense.
    i feel dead. i still do. i can never forget what she did, as much as my parents yell at me to get over it (for them, for my sister). TO FORGET. as if forgetting your greatest friendship is something you can wake up and do, as if it were wanting to become a better person. most human beings don't have severe depression, they don't understand. don't ever let your parents tell you they understand. they do not. only you know your own personal hell, no one else does.

    onto the topic of famous last words,

    i saw k lying next to me one night when she had a sleepover with me. our eyes met for perhaps a minute or so, and i realized and she realized the enormity of our friendship.
    looking back, there were words going through my head that i would never speak. "i love you." right now, the words i thought i'd never speak were, "i hate you."
    i killed k in my head, in my mind. i was awake and unafraid.
    but the question was:
    "asleep or dead?"

    was i asleep or dead?
    right now, i know i am asleep, dormant.
    i'm not f--king dead, kaiya.
    i'm not dead.
    i'm just asleep, i'm alive. AND I'M HANGING ON.
    and i've found someone who loves me, and i'm going to marry them.

    my message isn't that suicide is bad or good or whatever. f--k that.
    my message is that no matter how many people kill you, cut you open, tear your guts and heart apart.
    KEEP FIGHTING.
    i'm not saying it gets better. i'm not saying it doesn't not get better.
    i'm saying that you have to FIGHT.
    be poetic about your fighting, and your death.
    be asleep, not dead.
    you cannot die.
    you can't lose.
    destroy all your relations with the people who don't care about or appreciate you. kill them, end them in your head.
    you are strong.

    asleep or dead?
  • Rae from Buxton, NcI have been trying to figure out who "K" from Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. This song would get stuck in my head all day, but I would never get tired of it
  • M from Asdfjkl;, Ili love this song! Right now (because i might change it) my motto is "i am not afraid to keep on living, i am not afraid to walk this world alone." Long Live The Black Parade!
  • Vicky from Chesapeake, Vaat first i didnt really enjoy the song, in fact it annoyed me....but after listening to it again , well, IT WAS SO F...ING AWESOME! .....ahhhhh yeah...i love it
  • Caitlyn from Royersford, Pabest song off black parade if not their best song yet!
  • Katrina from Newcastle, AustraliaNo way in hell could there be a better song!! Famous Lat Words helped me get through the depression of my friend getting hit by a car and then a few days later the guy i loved commited suicide. It help sooooo much. I owe a great dept to MCR. Go Famous Last Words!!!!!
  • Angela from Cartersville, Georgiathis is the best song on the cd, and gerard has a point it is a diffecult subject to talk about. i have a hard time tlaking about my problems, but hesring this song makes me forget the problems i have for a moment. tthis song a every other songs by mcr just makes time stop and makes me happy for just a little while longer before someone ruins that moment for me>>> =(
  • Jd from Paoli, InI like the chant part where it goes wheres your heart where your heart wheres your now i know... Idk its just the best part of the song it reminds me of my dad when he just left me for a whole year no notes or phone calls. Great video too
  • Z from Somewhere Over The Rainbow, WaJust wanted to say, this song is actually right. People who commit suicide are typically idiots. I've never known someone who killed themselves, mostly because they a) died from cancer or other illness, b) got in jail, c) was murdered by their friend, or d) are happy, fairly normal people. Suicide is selfish and stupid. End of story.
  • Lolo Brown from Gertrude, Bahamasgreat song. to me its about knowing youre with someone who doesnt love you but you know how to make them stay with you and youre finally done with it because you want soemthing real for once.
  • Ed from Rugby, EnglandFor me, fogetting the concept for a minute..
    Its similar to disenchanted in the way its looking back at the harder, tough times and seeing yourself get through it.

    Its a song about moving on, getting a new start - well I think so anyway."I am not afraid to keep on living." VERY powerful statement, and its kinda saying, after all the stuff that I've gone through, its made me stronger by coming through it. "i am not afraid"

    On a personal level, its for me to look back at where i was this time last year, in terms of depression, and how I've gotten past that to live my life.

    I think this is their most powerful song...well..I think welcome to the black parade and demolition lovers would compete with that too ;)
  • Emzyy from Sydney, AustraliaIn Welcome to the black parade, the patient is dying and has gone to the black parade. In Famous Last Words, Gerard sings "I am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone." Which refers to that he is not afraid to keep on living because the patient has died.
  • Ahmber from Love, HiIn my eyes, the Famous Last Words would not be the last words a person would say, but simply "I love you."
    The part where he sings "'Cause I see you lying next to me/With words I thought I'd never speak/Awake, and unafraid/Asleep, or dead" could mean that after having 'relations' with a person, he shocks himself and says that he loves them.
    But that's just my view. :]
  • Xav from Lee, MaI love this song.Every time I listen to it I cry like crazy. A friend of mine committed suicide when we were both 14 years old. I have never recovered from it and this song and basically any MCR song helps me get through it. The line "I'm not afraid to keep on living, I'm not afraid to walk this world alone." reminds me and that I don't have to be afraid of living without my friend even if I feel alone without her.
  • Brenna from Calgary, AbMy Chemical Romance is the best band in the world and not just for the looks of the people in the band i like it for the music ...ok ok and the people but i like the music more and the songs actually have a meaning to them especially famous last words cuz it means kinda like u cant be afraid to keep on living and and u have to be brave and so on. but i just love this band i hope they have good luck with their concerts-#1 fan Brenna <3
  • Brianna from Davenport, IaMCR rocks they are the best band ever! I love them! They are so original! There songs are so much better than pop oh i love you songs. They have a meaning. and they make you think about what the song really means!
    -Your 1# fan Brianna
  • Taylor from Kelowna, CanadaMy Chemical Romance is like the best band in the whole entire world! i love Gerard Way! And this song also rox, and whoever hates (hate is a strong word, so i mean dislikes) my chemical romance can die in hell and why are u even at this page if you dont like it? GO MCR!!!!!
  • Cora from Wausau, WiMy chemical romance is the best band ever!!!!!
    one of my fav. songs by them is FAMOUS LAST WORDS!!!!!!!!!!
    i listen to it lyk almost eveyday.
    everyone who thinks mcr sucks...go to hell!
  • Loz from Perth, Australiano offence, & im just guessing here...


    but i dont really believe the stuff about Bob and the Staph disease.. it would have been on the bands website right?

    i also know that during the making of the video Gerard mentions stuff about when it was written, and he says that some of the band was fighting mental issues..

    this was about the same time that Mikey had maniac depression... justa thought.

    that could mean that the song is like an encouragment to keep going to the band itself...
  • Ashley from Ft. Lauderdale, Flwhat i got out of the song was that the patients lover was actually the one who died, and the patient had gotten better, or is beginning to get better, and he finally realizes that he can go on a live without the loved one he lost
  • Nicole from N/a, WiI am trying to watch this song live right now on myspace for projekt revolution. good picture bad connection.
  • Lori from Brooks, Gai read in a magazine that Gerard wrote the song for Mikey because Mikey thought of leaving the band.(now i know, that i can't make you stay. but where's your heart?)
  • Katie from Temecula, Cain the last record gerard was so ready 2 kill himself and just curl up and die but he relized that suicide wasnt the right thing 2 do and hes not afriad 2 keep on living.... yay!!!its a good song
  • Jackie from North Port, FlIf you watch the British version of the video after Bob runs from the drum set you can see him talking to Frank and he is saying "I can't take this F***ing heat anymore". He recieved 2nd degree burns on his leg so they had to drop out of a few shows they were going to do in the few weeks after. Because of the burns he was rushed to the hospital and found out that he had a staph desease and if he waited 2 more days he would be dead. He was caught trying to escape the hospital several time. They cut the part out of the American version of the video because of the cussing.
  • Pedro Paulo from Nova Friburgo, Brazil"Famous Last Words" is also the name of one of my favorites Supertramp albums
  • Graemie from Fraserburgh, Scotlandfrom the vid it looks to me that the patient lives and that the black parade (that symbolises death) are defeated because in the video the band all look worse for wear,they have no more followers,the parade thing is broken and gerard looks like hes at deaths door. so i think the patient lives and defeated death and this is deaths famous last words. thats just one theory
  • Jenna from Weslaco, Txwow, i love gerard way and i love my chemical romance they are the best band ever! THEY ROCK!!!
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