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Helena (So Long & Goodnight)

My Chemical Romance

About “Helena (So Long & Goodnight)”

“Helena (So Long & Goodnight)” was written as a tribute to Gerard and Mikey Way’s late grandmother (who was called Helen by her friends). Her actual name was Elena.

Gerard calls this song an “angry open letter to [himself].” He expresses the hatred he felt for himself after her death:

It’s about why I wasn’t around for this woman who was so special to me, why I wasn’t there for the last year of her life."

It’s worth noting that the greatest hits album, May Death Never Stop You, the track is simply titled as ‘Helena’.

  • What have the artists said about the song?

    Gerard Way spoke about this song in an interview with Kerrang! magazine in February 2005:

    I have had a lot of self hate. The most recent example was the song ‘Helena’. It’s a really angry open letter to myself. It’s about why I wasn’t around for this woman who was so special to me, why I wasn’t there for the last year of her life. Self hate is always a big part of the lyrics. I’ve felt like that all my life. I don’t know why but I’ve always hated myself. Hopefully that self hate is growing into something else now, hopefully it’s grown into caring about myself and wanting to stay alive.

    He goes on to connect his problems with alcohol with the loss of his grandmother:

    “That was the worst moment of my life. I also think losing my grandmother and the drinking were probably connected. When I quit I could see myself clearly and I wasn’t sure how much I liked it. I wasn’t confident about anything, I was just depressed. Also, when you get sober, everyone is very honest about everything you’ve done. That can be hard.

  • What happens in the music video?

    In the music video for “Helena,” the band finds themselves at a funeral for a young woman. They perform and dance with some funeral-goers, and eventually everyone closes their eyes for a prayer. At this time, the woman seems to come back to life and dance around the pews, but it represents her soul crossing over to the afterlife. Next, the band carries the coffin into a hearse, and the trunk door closes, with Gerard peeking in.

  • Where was this music video filmed?

    The music video for “Helena” was filmed at the Immanuel Presbyterian Church on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California.

    “Helena” music video

    Immanuel Presbyterian Church

  • Does this song have anything to do with the Demolition Lovers?

    I believe not. DL was about a girlfriend (they broke up). Meanwhile Helena was about Gerard and Mikey’s relative.

  • who is that lady in the music video

    Tracy Phillips was the dancer who portrayed Helena in the music video.

"Helena (So Long & Goodnight)" Track Info

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