“Teenagers (Scare the Living Shit out of Me)”

They’ll probably never play that one on the radio, it’s a hiliarious song on My Chemical Romance’s new CD, “The Black Parade”.

I like Gerard Way’s (lead singer) new look. He went from having long jet black hair to a platinum blonde crew cut. Having seen it before the release of Parade, my guess was the new music would be lighter than the usual. It is lighter, not lyrically, but it sounds kind of show-tune like. In a Rocky Horror sort of way. I like the new sound too. I get the feeling one day this will end up a Broadway show. Just a hunch.
Here’s the video: Teenagers.


Photo by Martin Schoeller for Blender


51 thoughts on ““Teenagers (Scare the Living Shit out of Me)”

  1. I’m not really scared of teenagers, I’m scared for them, really. I never would want to be that age again. A good part of the song is about gun violence in schools, pressure to conform, cliques, drugs…so it’s humorous in a dark way.

    It’s got such a catchy tune, it’s stuck in my head right now.

  2. It has a catchy tone, indeed. It’s also a good reminder of why I’m so hesitant to put myself in the child-making process. Like cfohunny said, a birth control method. It scares the c*** out of me.

  3. Ah, don’t let that scare you off, Sophia. Teenagers scare the hell out of each other, mostly. Gerard Way, the singer (age 29) did say he got the idea for the song while he was sitting on the subway near some teens. He said they made him feel old.

  4. Somehow I’ve got the hunch she means it. Thanks for the warning signals, cfohunny. I’m already packed and running.

  5. Oh that blond guy is downright pretty. He’s one of about 3 singers I used to come up with my rock star character. What he did with his hair recently is actually something I’d already written in my screenplay. Dammit.

  6. No way I love being 15 it rawks, that song sums me up, drugs, smoking gettin pissed, its all good thats the point of being a teenager. to either nearly f**k ur life up or completely f**k it up. Yer i think ppl r scared of me i don’t mean to be scary, but i think me n my m8 just come across that way… but neva mind…
    Luke X

  7. Rebel, drugs will fuck up your life as well as those around you. They made my brother and his family miserable for more than 20 years. Finally killed him just a couple of months ago. Everyone who knew and loved him, fucked.

    So get out now while it’s easier. This song does *not* condone the use of drugs. Just the opposite, if you listen to the lyrics, specifically, “The drugs never work.”
    Gerard Way is a recovered alcoholic/addict and much of his music has an anti-substance abuse message.

  8. Gerard looks a bit mor older than he did before!!!Even know Gerard has a different hair style,when I listens to thier new Album I still think he has his old hair style.

  9. I think Gerard looks more like a girl with the new hair. Funny because people usually say that when men wear long hair. Not with this guy. He’s got a pretty girl face.

    He knows he can’t pull off that long dark sideswept look much longer at this age.

  10. he does sort of look girlish but like gerard says it don’t matta wat you look like I mean I am total frak at my school but my friends like me for who I am

  11. That’s cool, Goth chic, that your friends like you for who you are.

    Have you seen Gerard with this same short hair but dyed jet black? I like the platinum better, but most of his fans like it dark.

  12. i love bein 14 the point is to gt pissed n try drugs toherwise ull b tempted later in life, some teenagers r scary but i dnt care cos bein a teenager rocks! šŸ™‚

  13. You will always be tempted to try drugs if you are hanging with the wrong crowd.

    If you are high all the time, lauz, you won’t remember all the fun it was being a teenager. Worse, it could carry on into your adult life and make you useless. Or kill you.
    Drugs are not fun, they are something to make you feel like you don’t exist. That is not living.

    If you like MCR, know that they are sober, they do not hang out with bands or people who do drugs. They’ll still be around when you grow up because they are that way.

  14. It’s funny this cover reminds me of a couple of album covers from Girl Punk bands back in the late 70’s early 80’s.

    The art director probably owned those too..

    No wait…it was probably his PARENTS that owned them ( ha!)

  15. Girl Punk bands…Do you happen to know of a band called The Runaways (with Joan Jett)? That was my best friend’s favorite band, She’d order these albums from the back of magazines like Cream and Rolling Stone because nobody, nobody would sell that stuff in stores near us.

    The photo in here is from a magazine shoot by Martin Schoeller. He’s a German guy who is making a name for himself doing some extreme close ups of celebs. You wouldn’t believe how many people do searches on that photog and end up on this post.

  16. Actually, I WORSHIPPED the Runaways- all the way from the first album to this day.

    I use to go to this little record store next the KMART my Mom shopped at- it was called Gray Matter or something like that and these guys that worked there use to tell me about these new bands I’d like…the Ramones, The Runaways, Sex Pistols- the list goes on.

    Thanks to those record store guys and the bands I started to listen to I spent many a happy years as a working musician ( guitarist ) and I caught a wave that wouldn’t hit the US for another 6 years or so.

    Neat isn’t it?

  17. My friend worshipped them too, she had every one of their albums. She was in a band too. I couldn’t play anything or sing. I just had to listen.

    One time she’d just gotten a Runaways album in the mail and before she put that thing on I recognized “Wild Thing” as a remake. I told her i was psychic and sang some of the song for her. She freaked out when she played the song and the lyrics matched. I had her going for about two days. One of the best jokes I ever played on anyone.

  18. I remember my son and his friends talking about this band that
    ” Run DMC ” discovered…and used in their video.

    The name of the band was called ” Aerosmith. ”

    PS…that was a cool joke you played- I mean, it wasn’t a flash in the pan thing it had a life of its own.
    That makes it a work of art šŸ˜‰

  19. :::Snicker::: Aerosmith. It amazes me, those guys are still coming out with new stuff.

    She was so gullible, my friend. But damn, she taught me the ropes about music. And we were just 12 year old kids. She was this uber music geek and learned all this stuff on her own. She could’ve easily become a music critic. She’s a child psychologist now.

  20. I’m a teenager and I don’t drink and don’t do drugs.
    I don’t mind kids my age (16) who drink but doing drugs is stupid, it’s not a part of teenage life or whatever.

    On the other hand… I do love this song!
    And I have to say I think I prefer Gerard with dark hair. But i like it either way!

  21. my G/F just turned me on to this song. i love this song im 27yo now but i would have loved it when i was a teen as well. i didnt try drugs till i was 21 tho. ima soilder now so no 4 me, and all my old drug friends r on probation and in rehab. but no use trying to tell the younger ones cuz i wouldnt have listened at there age either(hopefully im wrong).

    anywayz i dont kno exactly what it is but i freaking love this song

  22. Hey Jackson, one of the reasons you may like this song is because it is particularly about a teenager going to war. It is not obvious, but the lyrics, “clean up your looks” allude to shaving your head when you join the military, “keep an eye on you, son” and “make a citizen out of you” again, this is about how the military changes you.

    The reason I know this is because I bought a special edition of The Black Parade. It came with a book that explained all the lyrics.

  23. Cinemagypsy,

    I have to say that I am greatly enjoying your comments on this site!! I also am a huge My Chem Fan, and I love this song. My husband tries to tell me that I am too old to like this band that is all about the kids….but I say….NO WAY!! I remember what it was like to not feel like I would fit in, and no matter how great your life may seem…….being a teenager is some difficult stuff to go through. Now I am a mother to a (almost) 9 year old boy, and it will sound so crazy……but I hope he is an artist of some kind, that he can think outside the box……be different….be strange…..make an impression. I always took the safe road, made my parents proud, married my HS sweetheart….then I went off the deep end….I did the drugs and the alcohol….came close to killing myself because I was just lost and I felt alone…..then the fog of stupidity was lifted…because I just quite all the SH*T!! I was fooling myself because I made the problems and blamed everyone else!! Now I think….look at the time I have wasted….literally! I hope some kids really listen to their music…and hear the real message….suicide, drugs and alcohol are not the solutions to the problem……Grab life…get out there…be YOURSELF….not the addiction.

  24. I saw My Chem at a concert recently in England and there were a lot of heavy metal fans protesting the band, throwing bottles, and waving obnoxious signs. The press in England have heavily misunderstood this band in the early days, saying MCR promotes a cult of suicide.
    None of these people must listen to the music they are reviewing/protesting. MCR are clearly against drugs, alcohol, and self harm. They do write a lot about death, but it is more about grief and how the loss of loved ones has affected them.

  25. im 15,& i’ve been an MCR fan since WAY before their 1st CD,i love them because their lyrics are honest and Gerard pretty much saved my life,i was cutting & doing a bunch of stupid stuff and Gerard said that he felt so dumb for what he used 2 do. and 4 cutting, he said[and these are his exact words]”you shouldn’t want 2 harm yourself,you should love yourself”………………im still emo and my life still sucks,but now i handle it better,thanks to Gerard.

  26. Hi Teenager. I have read that a lot, that MCR saves lives. I have also heard Gerard Way say at concerts that if you feel like hurting yourself or someone else, to get help or talk to someone about it. I’m glad you stopped cutting and started loving yourself.
    It’s good that Way and his band are spreading good messages and reaching out to “the broken, the beaten, and the damned.”

    Oh, and wow, I did hear this song on the radio today. It was heavily censored. Sounded like the song had the hiccups.

  27. Can I just say that while it’s fine to say don’t abuse alcohol or drugs, don’t say don’t try it! That’s stupid, that’s limiting life experience! Plus, in a lot of cases, alcohol’s the worst drug around. 34,000 people die because of it annually, and a fair proportion of that is teenagers. I don’t think teenagers using marijuana is nescessarily a bad thing, and for me it actually helped me realise a lot of things about myself and it helped me focus on my ambitions. Alcohol will just make you stupid, depressed, violent and ill. Marijuana can’t kill you, and unless you use it all day every day, it won’t even harm you. Gerard still smokes it occasionally I heard, but he doesn’t drink or do hard drugs (he was doing prescription drugs) anymore. And good for him, I think.

    And I don’t think they’re one of those bands that outright says “just say no”, they just say don’t use drugs or drink as an escape mechanism. And that’s wise enough. But unlike somebody said, they would not avoid a band who drank or did drugs (otherwise they’d be friends with virtually no bands!) unless it made them unlikeable people, and in fact they were extremely close with The Used a few years back, when Bert (lead singer) was addicted to crystal meth and drank heavily too. And they had a feud, nobody’s certain what about, and actually this feud happened as Bert was starting to clean up his act. So I don’t think drugs are at the base of it.

    Love MCR though. They have a sensible approach to things. They’re not like those pop-stars who get paid a couple grand to speak out against drugs (and then probably sneak off to the bathroom to do a line)

  28. Thanks for your comment, Ska. I think alcohol is worse than marijuana in some ways. It killed my father at the age of 59. It was a horrible and painful death. And all he ever drank was beer.

    If marijuana was legal, I’d have little problem with it. The thing is, one joint is as bad for your body as an entire pack of cigs. I’ve never heard of anyone physically addicted to it as with alcohol. I wish they would legalize it here in the States so they could empty the jail of those dealers, collect some taxes on this cash crop, and fill the jails with the serious crimminals (narc dealers, pedos, murderers, etc.).
    Problem here is while they are spending drug enforcement money on catching the weed dealers, they have less to spend on hard drug dealers.

    I might have been the one to say don’t try drugs. I believe some people are genetically predisposed to drug and alcohol addictions and I believe the problem begins the minute they take their first “hit.”

    I say this because I was a nurse for years and gave tons of narcotics to people in hospital. Some of them want more of it after getting it for the first time. They will watch the clock, and the minute it is time for another dose, they would press that button to call the nurse. They would ask for the maximum dosage and were obsessed with getting it the minute they could have it. These are people of all ages (grandmothers, little children), all backgrounds, and it looked like these drugs just had an entirely different effect on them. It takes less than a week to get addicted to narcotics.

    Also, I have four siblings who suffered drug and/or alcohol abuse. I witnessed it get started. Teenagers just trying to be cool…Two of them died recently from overdoses. I have to tell people not to try them. Maybe save a life or two. Because if you are born with a predispostion to alcohol or drug addiction, that first drink or first “hit” is the one that sets the demons loose.

    And c’mon, dude, there are other ways to find out who you are. With drugs? It could backfire on you and man, you’d hate what you found out about yourself.

    About MCR, I was at a concert in April and then in June. Gerard Way said MCR are a drug-free band and that they do not hang out with bands who do drugs. I’m sure they don’t have a large crowd to hang out with, but recovered alcoholics/drug addicts can’t hang out with users, it is part of the program to stay sober.

  29. I think the song is about the middle-aged control-freaks (the governing factor in society, throughout history) who go overboard and don’t see teenagers as human beings. I hated those pricks when I was a teenager, and I hated watching the people my age grow into those pricks as they got older.

    It’s primarily about the pressure to conform, caused or condoned by the aforementioned middle-agers, and the pressure to turn into exactly that same kind of middle-ager themselves when they’re grown.

    “Rip off your heads, your aspirations to shreds”–that’s the pressure to become a drone like them; pressure backed up by the power of law enforcement’s guns treating the teens like sub-humans until they do conform.

    “another cog in the murder machine”–this has two meanings. It has an anti-war undertone, but it also refers to the teenager becoming a drone who treats the next group of teenagers like subhumans and in turn presses them to conform.

    “the drugs never work”–this is not just a reference to street drugs, it’s also a reference to the prescription drugs that get used on kids from childhood on up to make them conform in class. The image is the teenager driven to street drugs from despair when the drugs to make them conform “never work.”

    The smirk and the “methods of keeping you clean” go to the idea of “we have ways of making you talk” meaning torture. The idea is that the teenager will be tortured–perhaps by being put in juvie or “sent away” to something like a boot camp or military school–whatever force it takes to “keep them clean” is allowed because the teens are viewed as subhuman. Sure, if the teen conforms sooner they don’t get those big kinds of force, but the idea is that of the control freak adults smugly knowing that they can do *anything* it takes to keep the teen from taking an unapproved drug–the idea is that the adults always have the power to break the teen eventually by increasing the harshness of their “methods”, no matter what, and smugly know this.

    The references to cliques are another aspect of middle-agers’ tools to make teens conform and turn into drones. The kids in the clique are already drones. They conform to the middle-agers’ image of the ideal kid, or at least pretend to. These drone kids are allowed by the adults to, again, torture the average teens who aren’t yet drones to force them more and more into conformity. The average teen can never achieve the ideal, but he’s forced more and more into the drone persona by trying to “fit in.” The clique serves its purpose of furthering the process of turning the teen into just another a cog in the machine.

    “What you’ve got under your shirt” obviously refers to the teen who, when tortured too much, cracks and strikes back, killing his tormentors or whoever gets in his way.

    I hear the lines in the refrain as “so tuck in your clothes or strike a violent pose, maybe they’ll leave you alone.” That refers to the teenager’s choice of becoming a drone by “tucking in his clothes” (conforming) or over-reacting in the other direction to be scary and viewed by the adults as a “hopeless case”–picking either option is a desperate attempt so that maybe the middle-age control freaks (adult society at large) will leave him alone and focus on someone else.

    “But not me” can have two meanings. One is that the control-freaks won’t leave the singer and group alone, demonizing them as a “bad influence.” The other is that the singer is refusing to leave the teen alone to make that choice between drone or “bad kid” without consciously realizing he’s doing it–the singer is trying to make the teenager really think about his options and realize the choice the middle-agers are trying to force on him. The singer implies a middle way of the teen realizing that he can’t win at the control-freaks’ game and refusing to play, but makes it clear this middle way is tortuously hard.

    “They could care less as long as someone’ll bleed”–this has a double meaning. “They” is both the adults not caring what they do to the sub-human teenagers so long as it makes them conform, and the adults’ fears that the teenagers will rebel and kill people. The undertone there is that the adults on some level know what they’re doing and are afraid angry, rebellious teenagers will kill them at random–they fear the teens will “care less as long as someone will bleed”. This can refer to street crime, DUI, school shootings, drug and gang attacks, and all the other things that are predominantly done by teens that adults fear.

  30. By the way, I love the song. Good lyrics *are* good poetry. These are high art. I write for a living, so I guess I know a little about the written word. The layers of meaning in this are fantastic.

  31. By the way, the reason “kids in the clique” again relates to adult pressure to become a conforming little drone is because adults actively allow those cliques. I’m 40. I’ve homeschooled. Not teens, but I’ve seen families who do. The kids in that system don’t form destructive, vicious cliques. The reason is the adults won’t stand for it. The middle-aged control-freaks subtly support the existence and cruelty of these cliques. It seemed that way when I was a teen, and now that I’m one of those middle-aged adults, I have the experience to know that it seemed that way because it *is* that way.

    Authority figures do favor jocks and cheerleaders, and the kids who are “in” with the jocks and cheerleaders. They favor the kids who are dressed the best and are the best-looking. Those kids aren’t well-behaved, they just have learned the adult drone lesson that you’re only a sleazeball if you get caught–or if you rock the boat.

    So the kids in the clique have “how to be a drone” down pat. Their cruelty to the other teens is something the adults have plausible deniability for. The kids in the clique can do things to the other kids to enforce conformity that adults couldn’t openly get away with, like beating the crap out of them or shoving them into trash cans and lockers, etc. The adults turn a blind eye, and if the teen victim complains, he’s the one who gets punished. The only way he is allowed to stop the harassment is in the socially approved way of return violence, upheld by future conformity–while not getting caught.

    If adults wanted to, we could stop the cliques–or we could stop them from being cruel by refusing to turn a blind eye and punishing cruel acts when they do them. We would see the cruel acts, if we wanted to. Adults choose not to see those acts, because the results suit their purposes.

    Those of us who see the process of turning kids into drones and oppose it–we’re just too outnumbered. The middle-aged drones have their methods for neutralizing us, too. We do everything we can, it’s just not enough.

    But the cliques *are* deliberate on the part of the control freaks. They’re not only allowed, they’re encouraged–the cliques do some of the control freaks’ dirty work for them. They’re just one more of the “methods” the middle-aged control freaks smirk about.

  32. Wow, Julie, thanks for your thoughts on this song.

    Since writing this post, this song has become the anthem for teenage angst.

    I wish I had the energy and intelligence to home school my children. I see peer pressure as such a great force, something that can tear up everything I’ve tried to teach my children. It’s a constant battle.

    It’s great that you are teaching your children to be unique rather than to conform. They do have to put up with alot of hell by being different, but it is worth it in the long run. It is good for them to have a parent that backs them.

    Thanks again for your input.

  33. I love this song… it exemplifies exactly how I feel about teenagers. I sat a a table at “snack” (yeah, weird, huh?) at my school today… and listened to these guys ask this other guy what drugs he wanted for his birthday. They talked about sex, too… it was quite frightening. Although it is entirely possible that they were trying to find out if I was a narc, since I’m a new kid. I’ll never fit in anywhere.. this is like my 6th school ever. I’m just too good. I stopped watching Barney when I was 11 (once they started putting learning disabled kids on the show and messing it up). I’ve been brought up with a different set of values… I fit in better with adults than I do with kids my age…
    So, all of you teenagers, you scare the living shit out of me.

    And I’m 14.

  34. I really really like this song. It sends a strong message. It stands up for all teens out there. I’m a teenager myself and I really think this song can help other teens get through hard stuff in high school.

  35. Their CDs are always o that effect. they become otallynew personalities-it’s always like a whole new show. You can even see that the album has a theme, sickness, life, death. The whole parade to the nver never lands [if that makes an sense]
    I loved this song when I first heard it too, when i saw the video, i was a bit skeptical but not suprised, it is after all MCR. =]

  36. I’ve heard it a couple of times on the radio and they silence out “shit” so it sounds awkward.
    That must be why I get so many searches such as “Teenager scare the living crap out of me” or “Teenagers scare the living fuck out of me” and other funny searches because people don’t know what the word is that they are bleeping out.

  37. aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh i love the band my chemical romance their my favorite i love you omg i love them i love all their songs i wish i could join them in a song actually im gothic i love rock music and most of all i love to listen to their music it

    LOVE U

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