I am a music enthusiast, and a Dream Theater one at that. There are few other experiences that impact me as emotionally as experiencing music. I choose the word “experiencing” intentionally; most people just listen to it.
I love the poetry that can exist with lyrics (not that all lyrics are poetic). I love the way music can make me feel. Today, I decided to try and share 5 songs from a favorite group of mine that mean the world to me. This turned out to be an impossible task, so this isn’t a list in any particular order. It’s also not comprehensive.
I hope that all two of my readers listen to one of these songs and feels something incredible.
#1 – A Change of Seasons
I could write a separate blog on Dream Theater songs alone. This is a long one. True to it’s name, I probably listen to this one every time I’m about to embark on a new change in my life, or when something unexpected happens. This one brings me to tears in 3 parts nearly every listen.
#2 – Learning to Live
“There was no time for pain,
No energy for anger.
The sightlessness of hatred slips away.”
These lyrics which start of this incredible journey are lifted and lightly paraphrased directly from Atlas Shrugged as she looks to create the John Galt Line. This is a song whose structure and lyrical flow follow us through the cycle our lives take. We start simple, life gets more complex, we go through a boom cycle, and we have to start over.
#3 – Six O’Clock
When facing the difficult realization that I was indeed gay, it was this one that helped me to to recognize that I wasn’t stuck and ultimately helped me gather the logical courage I needed tell my girlfriend of 3 years something rather unpleasant to her ears (understandably so).
It makes sense, too, that I ought to resonate with these lyrics. The author, Kevin Moore, was contemplating his decision to leave this band when he wrote it, due to major musical differences. It’s about ending something when it’s the right decision, it will make you happy, but you may hurt people.
This song’s title makes its meaning evident; it’s about seeking out truth and breaking all of our illusions. It’s about unlearning and relearning. Besides being a musical masterwork, it’s intensely profound; a chilling emotional selection.
This isn’t really fair, as it is probably better described as a “rock opera” of sorts, but each songs leads to the next seamlessly, so here’s a 42 minute piece that’ll make you cry. This song, regarding mental illness, takes us on a journey.
I had to write something today, and all I could think about was music.