Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Welcome to the Black Parade. . .

When I was a young boy
My father took me to the city
To see a marching band. . .

I remember my father taking me to see a marching band in the city one year.  I was still quite young.  It was a regional marching band competition and we went to see the marching bands parade up Queen Street.  I remember this vividly because it was before I learned how to play the trumpet and I marvelled at the band members being able to play the music by reading the notation on little music stands that were attached to their instruments with such precision and still be able to maintain their perfect rows (they must've had seriously good peripheral vision to do that!).


He said. "Son when you grow up
would you be the saviour of the broken,
the beaten and the damned?"
He said, "Will you defeat them,
your demons and all the non-believers
the plans that they have made?"
"Because one day I'll leave you,
A phantom to lead in the summer,
To join the Black Parade."

My father has aspirations for me for my future.  Just like any parent.
I think to some extent he wants me to be the saviour of the broken, beaten and damned (starting with those nearest and dearest).  Besides, we all know it's no use trying to save the world when you can't save your own family!  I wouldn't presume either to try and be a saviour in that sense - but more to do with sharing all of the good stuff, the positive things I've learned, the gifts and talents that I know are worth sharing with others so that they can feel happy like I do; of course that's also dependent on whether they want it or have asked for it :-)

Sometimes I get the feeling like she's watching over me
And other times I feel like I should go
And through it all, the rise and fall, the bodies in the streets
And when you're gone we want you all to know

It is at this point in the song that the tempo changes and we feel a sense of urgency build.
Welcome to the Black Parade is an alternative rock song by My Chemical Romance, a band who have been hard to define.  They seem to be one of those bands who defy genres, as their sound is defined by each album.  I like that type of artistry in a performer or band - they make music that speaks to them rather than being pigeonholed into a specific genre that may not necessarily ring true.

We'll carry on, we'll carry on  
And though you're dead and gone, believe me
Your memory will carry on, will carry on
And in my heart, I can't contain it
The anthem won't explain it

The ability to carry on is absolutely critical - when the people who trust you to do well to represent them, whether it be family, people who look to you for inspiration and guidance, people who don't have the confidence to speak for themselves but find the strength in you - this is the legacy that your forefathers hope that you will carry on.  I fervently believe in the notion that each generation must improve on what the last generation has forged ahead, to continue the work that needs to be carried out and uphold the values that bind us all, despite our own unique experiences.  The willingness to hear differences of opinion are important - but most of all, what is the decent thing to do for our fellow human beings so that there is equity in an ever changing world that thrives on competition, greed and power.  How can we contain ourselves?  What can we do within our spheres of influence?

I hope that you are able to stand up and rise against the things or people that continually try to bring you down.  It is very hard to stay motivated and upbeat, but these are things that we need to do for ourselves and not rely on others to deliver for us.  What are your intrinsic motivators?  What are your extrinsic motivators?  We have to be prepared to live our best lives and if that means having to suffer (hopefully not for an extended period of time!) and feel that the "struggle is real" - this helps to give us perspective, appreciate what we have - but also fight for our human rights and be proud of who we are and what we contribute to the human race.

Do or die you'll never make me
Because the world will never take my heart
Though you try you'll never break me
We want it all, we wanna play this part . . .