Cancer

Eighth track from The Black Parade
Length: 2:22
Producer: Rob Cavallo
Record Label: Reprise Records

Information

Cancer has being noted as one of the band’s favourite songs. Frank lists it as being his all time favourite song outside of the band.

Cancer is arguably a collective favourite. I think it’s the most emotionally impactful song we’ve written. I think we had gotten to a point as song writeers where it’s so terrible honest and in your face and it needs to be, but it garners an immediate response from people, people can’t help but listen to the song, they can’t help but shut up while it’s playing and that’s part of the idea. Cancer affects one in every three people and it’s something that’s affected all of us and it’s something we take seriously and that’s kind of why the title had to be so brutally honest, I think people may argue that the title is heavy handed or that it’s trying to get a reaction out of people, and the only reaction it’s trying to get out of people is to face the honesty of it and I feel that the song is actually very empowering.
Gerard Way

Song Meaning

The song was written about the Patients terminal illness.

So like we said before, some of the songs are hard to hear, some of them are hard to listen to. One of these songs is called ‘Cancer’, now cancer affects one in every three people in this world. If you’ve been touched by it this song’s for you.
Gerard Way – Live Performance – 2006

The record is about this character The Patient, but the more layers you peel away, it’s clear it’s about our lives. Obviously a song like ‘Cancer’ is about cancer – but it’s also about depression. I wanted my voice to sound like a disease. I didn’t want to sound human, and as soon as you hear that effect on the voice it takes it somewhere else, makes it way darker. We played it at Leeds and it was huge. It was waving hands – but I’d never seen that many people quiet.
Gerard Way – Kerrang! Magazine – 2006

Featured On

The Black Parade (Track 8)
The Black Parade Is Dead!

Lyrics

Turn away
If you could get me a drink
Of water ’cause my lips are chapped and faded
Call my Aunt Marie
Help her gather all my things
And bury me in all my favourite colours
My sisters and my brothers still
I will not kiss you

‘Cause the hardest part of this
Is leaving you

Now turn away
‘Cause I’m awful just to see
‘Cause all my hairs abandoned all my body
Oh my agony
Know that I will never marry
Baby I’m just soggy from the chemo
But counting down the days to go
It just ain’t living
And I just hope you know

That if you say
Goodbye today
I’d ask you to be true
‘Cause the hardest part of this is leaving you

‘Cause the hardest part of this
Is leaving you