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"Helena" is the third single and first track from My Chemical Romance's second studio album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. The lyrics describe lead singer Gerard Way's feelings for his late grandmother, Elena Lee Rush (friends called her 'Helen', and because of this, Way always thought of her as "Helena"). The single has become a moderately-selling hit, both in the U.S.marker and internationally. Way said in an interview with Channel [V] the band got influences for Helena from the song "Aces High" by Iron Maiden and tracks by The Ventures. This song is also My Chemical Romance's fifth overall single. Gerard Way not only described it as representing the band's image and sound, it is usually used to end shows. The single was certified Gold Record in United States.

Music video

The music video was shot on-location in the Immanuel Presbyterian church on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker, directed by Marc Webb, and choreographed by Michael Rooney. The video has a simple plot, with Gerard Way as a very emotional mourner at a funeral where the band is performing. There are also mourners who dance and mourn the death of Helena. Near the end, the dead body of Helena (played by actress and dancer Tracy Phillips) rises and dances down the nave representing crossing over into the afterlife. After she falls back into the casket, the pallbearers (also played by My Chemical Romance and a fan named Cameron) carry the casket to the hearse (in the pouring rain), surrounded by a phalanx of dancing men and women with umbrellas.

Though the song in general is about the band members Gerard Way and Mikey Way's late grandmother, it was stated in an interview that the video told a different story. The music video shows the funeral of a girl, who, according to Gerard Way, died tragically. The sixth pallbearer and the majority of the mourners are fans who'd received emails from the band asking if they'd like to be in the video.

During the "Making Of..." video, found as a bonus on the Life on the Murder Scene CD/DVD, it was noted that Frank Iero, while joking about being "4'9"", didn't actually carry any weight of the casket, and that it rested on the other band members and their 6th pallbearer to carry the weight. Also noted was that the rain used in the sequence between the church and the hearse wasn't planned for, but the director used it to his advantage, as it set the mood of a funeral.

The video was nominated for five Moonmen at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards: Best Rock Video, Best Choreography, Best New Artist, and the MTV2 and Viewer's Choice Awards (both of which are chosen by viewers).They lost to bands such as Green Day, Fall Out Boy, and The Killers. Though the band did not win any awards, they did do a surprise performance of the song towards the end of the show. They also won an MTV Video Music Awards Latin America "tongue" for the Best New Artist - International. They also won a Best Video award in the 2005 Kerrang! Awards. In November of 2005, the video was nominated for two MTVU Woodie Awards (voted on by college students) and won the Woodie of the Year. In the Philippinesmarker, Helena has reached a cult-like status because of the popularity of Alternative music.

The video was also voted #1 by viewers of MTV Latinamerica in the 2005 "100 Most Wanted Videos".

Track listing

Version 1 (promotional CD)

Version 2 (CD and 7" vinyl)

Version 3 (CD)

Version 4 (digital download)

Charts

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 78
German Singles Chart 67
Irish Singles Chart 46
New Zealandmarker RIANZ Singles Chart 27
UK Singles Chart 20
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 33
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 32


References




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