Dream Theater Wiki
When Dream and Day Unite
Length 5:26
Working title (Unknown)
Release date March 16th, 1989
Lyrics Charlie Dominici
Music Dream Theater
First live performance L'Amour, Brooklyn, NY, USA, on Sept. 25, 1986
Total live plays 97
Recorded Kajem/Victory Studios
Other appearances Score, Taste the Memories, When Dream and Day Unite Demos, When Dream and Day Reunite
Previous song Light Fuse and Get Away
Next song The Ones Who Help to Set the Sun

Afterlife is a song by Dream Theater. It is the sixth song on their first album, When Dream and Day Unite. "Afterlife" may also refer to a song by James LaBrie which can cause confusion with fans. The song is one of Dream Theater's oldest songs.

Single release[]


The promo single cover for Afterlife from 1989

"Afterlife" was released as a promo CD single to radio. The track, like "Status Seeker" before it, was remixed by producer Terry Brown. These early CD singles are considered valuable collector's items by the fan community.



I touched with one
Who made me run
Away from my own soul...
In this world with its many illusions
We are moving like mice through a maze

And now I find
What's left behind
Has served to make me whole
Full of doubt, deception, and delusion
Seeking purpose to all earthly days

I search within
Beneath a skin
That bears both pleasure and pain
In a world full of constant confusion
I will not be a par to the craze

[Chorus]: In the Afterlife
Will dark be bright?
Will cold be warm?
Will the day have no night?
In the Afterlife?
Will the blind have sight?
In the Afterlife

Behind closed eyes
Some comfort lies
In knowing the truth never spoken
Through this world with us hidden conclusion
We'll keep moving like mice through a maze

(Repeat Chorus twice)


The lyrics are quite straightforward as Dominici wrote the song about life after death. In an interview for a documentary feature, Dominici claimed that he was told songs about the afterlife should not contain questions, but rather answers, but he felt a song about questions was more appropriate.


Afterlife is a heavy, anthemic song much like A Fortune in Lies. The song is quite popular when played live.


Afterlife is actually one of Dream Theater's oldest songs. Originally written instrumentally, it later received lyrics written by Chris Collins. The original version with lyrics was performed live on several occasions though never officially recorded. Afterlife appears on the only two bootlegs recorded with Chris Collins, being "Instrumental III/No Sleep Since Brooklyn" and "Gates of Babylon '86". Despite this, the poor quality of the recordings is such that it is nigh-impossible to hear exactly what Collins is saying, and even the other members of Dream Theater cannot remember what Collins' original lyrics were. After Collins left the band, the song reverted to being an instrumental until it was re-written by Dominici.

Live Performances[]

Afterlife is the second most played song from the album, second only to Ytse Jam. Its relative popularity is probably due to it being an anthemic, fun song. The song represented the album When Dream and Day Unite at Dream Theater's 20th anniversary performance, which was released as Score. Live performances are straightforward, with no major deviations from the album version.