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Images And Words Why is Marillion thanked in the IAW liners?
Dream Theater opened for Marillion at the Ritz in New York on 11/14/89, for Charlie Dominici's last show. DT also opened for Marillion at Sundance in Bay Shore, Long Island on 6/9/90. This was one of DT's biggest shows to that point.

Since then, Steve Rothery and Steve Hogarth joined the band at their Uncovered gig at Ronnie Scott's. Fish was also invited to sing "In The Flesh?" at this gig but had to cancel at the last minute.

They are thanked in the Images and Words liners mainly because of the support DT received from Marillion in their early days.

What's with Fatez Warning in the IAW liners?
This is a joke regarding a misprint in the liners of Fates Warning's Parallels. In the liners, they thank "Dream Theatre", a commonly made spelling mistake which Dream Theater hates.

What is Pull Me Under about?
The current explanation goes that it was inspired by Shakespeare's "Hamlet". Prince Hamlet swore vengeance on King Claudius for murdering his father, the former King, and then marrying his mother, still Queen. Hamlet's famous Soliloquy was the passage in which the conflict in Hamlet's mind is detailed, and the second verse of "Pull Me Under" coincides pretty thoroughly with it. The very end of the song James can be heard singing this line from Hamlet:

Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt"

Furthermore, after seeing the video, in an interview, Portnoy said "Who the hell was that wolfman guy in the video anyway? We had written it based on something else entirely". Portnoy noted that while Moore did not write PMU about Hamlet specifically, he did write PMU about what Hamlet was about. Same themes, ideas, etc.

Why does PMU stop suddenly?
The song intentionally cuts off like that, because part of the song deals with how sudden death can be. The sudden ending of the song is just like an unexpected death of a person.

Another explanation is that it was inspired by The Beatles' Abbey Road side A ending, and MP explains that the melodies are building up and it just "pulls the carpet out from under you".

What is Another Day about?
John wrote the song about his father's struggle with cancer. John Sr. passed away in 1996, and "Take Away My Pain" was written about his death.

Who plays the sax on Another Day?
The owner of BearTracks Studios, where DT recorded Images and Words, was Jay Beckenstein of the band Spyro Gyra. He was asked to do a guest appearance on "Another Day" during the Images and Words recording sessions, as is explained on Live in Tokyo.

What is Take the Time about?
"We decided to write a song about everything we'd been going through for the past three years - looking for a new singer, a new label & new management - just all the changes we made & all the frustrations we went through... but, have it coming from each of our four different perspectives. So, we broke it up, and said 'Okay, you take the 1st verse, you take the 2nd verse,' went away, wrote lyrics about our feelings about all the stuff we were going through, and then put it together. Then [we] wrote the chorus together. That was the 1st time we had ever done that, and it's the only song on the album where the lyrics were actually written by everybody."

- Mike Portnoy

What is the Italian in Take the Time?
It's Italian for "now that I'm blind, I can see much clearer". It was taken from the film Cinema Paradiso as the following:

"Adesso che ho perso la vista, ci vedo meglio e di piu"

In Ytsejam Digest 1734, Matteo Gagliolo wrote that even though these are the words seen in the video, the actual quote is "ora che ho perso la vista ci vedo di piu", which he says translates to "now that I have lost my sight, I can see clearer".

It's not a coincidence that LaBrie sings "I can see much clearer now I'm blind" right before the sample.

What is Surrounded about?
Exactly what the song is about is not known, but spiritual enlightenment seems to be the major theme. During the Images and Words tour, the band dedicated the song to Arthur Ashe, the pioneering African-American tennis player, who life was tragically cut short by AIDS.

What is Metropolis part 1 based on?
It is based on the story of a telepathically-linked Romulus and Remus from Virgil's Aeneid. It has no relation to the 1927 movie Metropolis.

Petrucci wrote it as a sort of fantasy epic, inspired by the likes of Yes and Rush. The story itself is original (the twins are named Miracle and Sleeper and do not appear in literature) but the story type was Homeric.

It is linked to part 2 (Scenes From a Memory) in that Edward and Julian Baynes are metaphors for Romulus and Remus, and Victoria is a metaphor Rome (or the 'Metropolis'). This is supported by several lyrical lines in Scenes From a Memory.

What is Wait For Sleep about?
Kevin Moore has said the girl in WFS was a friend of his who had a spiritual void and a hard time filling it, reaching for something to believe in. It dealt with her fears about belief and her grief over a loved one's death.

What is Learning to Live about?
JM has only briefly commented about LTL in interviews, but confirmation has been given by MP in other sources that this premise is basically correct.

Learning to Live was inspired by the AIDS epidemic. Particularly, the "from a common fear... reach for life" passage, but the rest fits snugly with the AIDS theme.

Where did the burning heart come from?
According to Portnoy, it was originally Kevin Moore's idea and is essentially a copy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The barbed wire represented obstacles and difficulties, the heart endurance and strength, and the fire their energy and passion.