|Metropolis—Part I: "The Miracle and the Sleeper"|
|Images and Words|
|Working title||Crumbling Metropolis|
|Release date||July 7, 1992|
|First live performance||Sundance, Bay Shore, NY (October 14, 1989)|
|Total live plays||683|
|Recorded||Bear Tracks Studios|
|Next song||Under a Glass Moon|
Metropolis, Pt 1: "The Miracle and the Sleeper" (often shortened to Metropolis, Pt 1 or simply Metropolis) is a song by Dream Theater. It is the fifth song from their second album, Images and Words. Metropolis is one of the band's most beloved and popular songs, despite never being a single. The concepts from Metropolis eventually led to the release of Scenes from a Memory.
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Mike Portnoy - Drums
- John Petrucci - Guitar, lyrics
- John Myung - Bass
- Kevin Moore - Keyboards
- James LaBrie - Vocal
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
The smile of dawn Arrived early May She carried a gift from her home The night shed a tear To tell her of fear And of sorrow and pain She'll never outgrow Death is the first dance, eternal There's no more freedom The both of you will Be confined To this mind I was told there's a miracle for each day that I try I was told there's a new love that's born for each one that has died I was told there'd be no one to call on when I feel alone and afraid I was told if you dream of the next world You'll find yourself Swimming in a lake of fire As a child, I thought I could live without pain Without sorrow As a man, I've found it's all caught up with me I'm asleep yet I'm so afraid Somewhere, like a scene from a memory (Scene from a memory) There's a picture worth a thousand words (A thousand words) Eluding stares, the faces before me (Faces before me) It hides away And will never be heard of again Deceit is the second without end The city's cold blood teaches us to survive Just keep my heart in your eyes And we'll stay alive The third arrives... [Instrumental Break] Before the leaves have fallen Before we lock the doors There must be the third and last dance This one will last forever Metropolis watches and thoughtfully smiles She's taken you to your home It can only take place When the struggle between Our children has ended Now the Miracle and the Sleeper know That the third is love Love is the Dance of Eternity
Analysis[edit | edit source]
The lyrics to Metropolis have been the source of much debate and analysis with Dream Theater fans, with the band themselves being evasive regarding its exact meaning. A popular theory is that it is about the founding of Rome (Metropolis) by two brothers (Romulus and Remus); however, it is an unofficial explanation. The release of Scenes from a Memory, surprisingly enough, complicated matters, with the album continuing some themes (both lyrical and musical) from the song, but having a much more literal story that did not seem to definitively explain the original.
Tone[edit | edit source]
Metropolis is a very progressive and varied song and is one of the heavier songs on Images and Words. The song is most known for its extended instrumental section, which was some of the most difficult and complex music the band had written and performed at that time. As with many progressive songs, the song has multiple sections and changes.
Notes[edit | edit source]
The "Pt 1" in the title was originally added by Petrucci as a joke, as no sequel was ever intended. However as fans demands began to increase, and the popularity of the song eventually led to a second song being written. That second song was originally conceived as a 20 minute epic originally intended to be on Falling Into Infinity; however, it was cut from the album at an early state, before the song was completed. Lyrics for Metropolis Pt 2 were never written and the only recording of the whole song is a rough rehearsal. However, various sections of the song were worked into Scenes from a Memory, most notably the entirety of Overture 1928, and most of One Last Time.
Metropolis was also known as "Crumbling Metropolis" early on.
The song was originally written when Charlie Dominici was in the band, and was played live at every show in 1989, although this version had a different intro and a slightly shorter outro.
Live Performances[edit | edit source]
Much like Pull Me Under, Metropolis is one of the most popular live songs, and is played often and with many variations. The band often chooses to extend the solo section by several minutes, so the song can go from being nine minutes long to nearly fifteen. The song's keyboard parts have also been significantly altered by Jordan Rudess since his inclusion in the band. The last part of the song may see the band vamping as LaBrie addresses the audience, as the song is usually played at the end of a show.
As of 2017, for the Images, Words and Beyond World Tour, the band have made major changes to the way this song is played live. Firstly, and most apparent, they have started playing the song a half step down, so they are in E-flat Standard tuning, rather than E Standard, which is what the song was recorded in. Secondly, before John Myung's tapping solo, Mike Mangini plays a drum solo. Thirdly, after the drum solo, after John Myung's tapping solo, at the part where the keyboard and guitar play in unison, it has more of a stop-start kind of feel, and Myung joins the unison, instead of before where he would just be playing one note over and over on his bass.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Images and Words - Original recorded version
- Live at the Marquee - Live version
- Once in a LIVEtime - Live medley
- Live Scenes from New York - Live version
- Score - Live version with orchestra
- Lifting Shadows (album) - Original recorded version
- The ATCO Demos - Early demo version
- Images and Words 15th Anniversary Performance - Live version
- Images and Words Demos - Instrumental demo and early demo version
- Los Angeles, California 4/18/98 - Live medley
- When Dream and Day Reunite - Live version featuring Charlie Dominici and Derek Sherinian
- Old Bridge, New Jersey 12/14/96 - Live version
- New York City 3/4/93 - Live version
- Live at Luna Park - Live Version featuring Mike Mangini