Dream Theater Wiki
Metropolis—Part I: "The Miracle and the Sleeper"
Images and Words
Length 9:30
Working title Crumbling Metropolis
Release date July 7, 1992
Lyrics John Petrucci
Music Dream Theater
First live performance Sundance, Bay Shore, NY, on Oct. 14, 1989
Total live plays 641
Recorded Bear Tracks Studios
Other appearances Live at the Marquee, Live Scenes from New York, When Dream and Day Reunite, Score, Live at Luna Park
Previous song Surrounded
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.



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


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.


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.


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 Overture 1928, Strange Déjà Vu, The Dance of Eternity, and 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[]

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.