|A Nightmare to Remember|
|Black Clouds & Silver Linings|
|First live performance||Tesla Arena, Prague, Czech Republic, on Jun. 30, 2009|
|Total live plays||201|
|Other appearances||Distant Memories|
|Previous song||Systematic Chaos (album)|
|Next song||A Rite of Passage|
A Nightmare to Remember appears as the opening track on Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Like most songs on the album, it was written by John Petrucci. It was based on a real-life event he experienced, a childhood car accident with his father. The song has three distinct sections. The first and last are amongst the heaviest music Dream Theater has released, whereas the midsection is softer and anthemic. It opens and closes with a storm atmos. The opening notes on the piano are possibly a quote from the classical piece Dies Irae. At 16:10, it is one of the longest tracks on the album, second only to The Count of Tuscany.
John Petrucci recorded this song using a 6-string guitar tuned 2 whole steps down (C-F-B♭-E♭-G-C).
- On October 10th 2009, Mikael Akerfeldt came onstage to sing the "Day after day, and night after night" section at Wembley arena. Youtube footage.
A nightmare to remember, I'd never be the same What began as laughter so soon would turn to pain The sky was clear and frigid, the air was thick and still Now I'm not one to soon forget, and I bet I never will Picture for a moment, the perfect irony A flawless new beginning eclipsed by tragedy The uninvited stranger started dancing on his own So we said goodbye to the glowing bride And we made our way back home Life was so simple then We were so innocent Father and mother Holding each other Without warning Out of nowhere Like a bullet From the night Crushing glass Rubber and steel Scorching fire Glowing lights Screams of terror Pain and fear Sounds of sirens Smoke in my eyes Sudden stillness Blackened silence No more screaming No more cries Stunned and bewildered Cold and afraid Torn up and broken Frightened and dazed Stunned and bewildered Cold and afraid Torn up and broken Frightened and dazed Lying on the table In this unfamilliar place I'm greeted by a stranger A man without a face He said, "Son, do you remember? Do you even know your name?" Then he shined a light into my eyes And said, "Take this for the pain." Hopelessly drifting Bathing in beautiful agony I am endlessly falling Lost in this wonderful misery In peaceful sedation I lay half awake And all of the panic inside starts to fade Hopelessly drifting Bathing in beautiful agony "Tell me, does this hurt you?" Said the faceless man "Can you move all of your fingers? Can you try your best to stand?" I asked about the others, "Is everyone ok?" He told me not to worry As he turned and looked away Hopelessly drifting Bathing in beautiful agony I am endlessly falling Lost in this wonderful misery In peaceful sedation I lay half awake And all of the panic inside starts to fade Hopelessly drifting Bathing in beautiful agony Day after day And night after night Replaying the events Did they ever see the red light? Over and over Scene by scene Like a recurring nightmare Haunted by a dream How could you prepare For what would happen next? No son should ever have to see His father such a mess It's a miracle he lived It's a blessing no one died By the grace of God above Everyone survived Life was so simple then We were so innocent It will stay with us forever A nightmare to remember