|Pull Me Under|
|Images And Words|
|Working title||Oliver's Twist|
|Release date||August 29, 1992|
|First live performance||Hammerhedz, Elmont, NY, USA, on June 2, 1992|
|Total live plays||646|
|Recorded||Bear Tracks Studios|
|Other appearances||Live at the Marquee, Once in a LIVEtime, Live at Budokan, Greatest Hit (...And 21 Other Songs)|
|Previous song||Only a Matter of Time|
|Next song||Another Day|
"Pull Me Under" is a song by Dream Theater. It is the first song and the first single from their second album, Images and Words.
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Mike Portnoy - Drums
- John Petrucci - Guitar
- John Myung - Bass
- Kevin Moore - Keyboards
- James LaBrie - Vocals
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
Lost in the sky Clouds roll by, and I roll with them Arrows fly Seas increase, and then fall again This world is spinning around me This world is spinning without me Every day sends future to past Every breath leaves me one less to my last Watch the sparrow falling Gives new meaning to it all If not today, nor yet tomorrow, then some other day I'll take seven lives for one And then my only father's son As sure as I did ever love him I am not afraid This world is spinning around me The whole world keeps spinning around me All life is future to past Every breath leaves me one less to my last Pull me under Pull me under Pull me under, I'm not afraid All that I feel is honor and spite All I can do is to set it right Dust fills my eyes Clouds roll by and I roll with them Centuries cry Orders fly and I fall again This world is spinning inside me The whole world is spinning inside of me Every day sends future to past Every step brings me closer to my last Pull me under Pull me under Pull me under, I'm not afraid Living my life too much in the sun Only until your will is done Pull me under Pull me under Pull me under, I'm not afraid All that I feel is honor and spite All I can do is to set it right Pull me under Pull me under Pull me under, I'm not afraid Living my life too much in the sun Only until your will is done Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt
Analysis[edit | edit source]
According to the band, the song has Shakespearean themes, particularly in relation to Hamlet. It is not specifically about Hamlet, but shares themes with it and is inspired by it. The final line "Oh that this too, too solid flesh would melt" is taken from Hamlet.
And yes, it is meant to end like that.
Tone[edit | edit source]
Pull Me Under is an unusual song for Dream Theater. The tone at first appears to be slow and atmospheric; however, there are plenty of heavy riffs in the song. It is considered very progressive. The song is notable for its abrupt end, which is supposed to symbolize death, which can happen suddenly. Many fans have thought the song was cut off unintentionally due to the abrupt ending. When playing the song live, the band tends to give it a more definitive ending.
Notes[edit | edit source]
Pull Me Under is by far the band's most well-known song. Originally titled "Oliver's Twist" in instrumental form, the song was added to the album late, replacing Don't Look Past Me. The song catching on in the mainstream surprised the band, as they had written Another Day in hopes of it being a hit single, due to its softer, more melodic nature. According to Portnoy, Pull Me Under's success is proof that "the fans like balls and chunk".
Pull Me Under peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 200, skyrocketing the popularity of the album. A video was shot from it using stock footage of the band performing along with conceptual footage. The conceptual footage has nothing to do with the song and was created without any input from the band. The character in the video is referred to as both a vampire and a werewolf by members of the band, who admit they don't understand what the video is about or what its relation to Pull Me Under is.
The song's success led to Images and Words going Gold in 1995, and it has become the band's anthem, though they admit they are sick of playing it. The compilation album Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs)'s name refers to Pull Me Under as the band's only major mainstream hit. The song was included as an unlockable song in the game Guitar Hero: World Tour as the song the player plays during the credits, and then as a part of an unlocked set taking place in "Valhalla". It does not include the abrupt ending with the "would melt" lyric in this game.
The demo version, known as "Oliver's Twist" , had an extended instrumental that was excised for not fitting in with the rest of the song. It was later reused as a part of Erotomania.
The version of the song found on "Greatest Hit" is a remix, which also contains the extra beat at the end from live versions.
Live Performances[edit | edit source]
Pull Me Under, as Dream Theater's most popular song, is also their most popular live song, being played in one form or another on nearly every tour since its release. The song is very popular with fans; however the band, particularly Portnoy, have said on more than one occasion that they are extremely bored with it.
Performances of Pull Me Under can range from mundane versions identical to the album version to wildly differing versions. Pull Me Under is popular in medleys, and occasionally the first half of Pull Me Under is played with the second half of Metropolis, which fans refer to as "Pullmeopolis". The band will also use the song to launch into other songs such as Master of Puppets.
Due to the abrupt ending of the song being difficult to pull off live, an extra beat is added to give it a more definitive ending.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Images and Words - Original recorded version
- Pull Me Under - radio promo featuring radio, MTV, and LP versions
- Through her Eyes - Live medley
- Live at the Marquee - Live version
- Once in a LIVEtime - Live medley
- Live at Budokan - Live version
- Graspop Festival 2002 - Live version with "Master of Puppets"
- Images and Words 15th Anniversary Performance - Live version
- Images and Words Demos - Pre-production demo version and instrumental demo version
- Los Angeles, California 5/18/98 - Live version
- Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95 - Live version
- Old Bridge, New Jersey 12/14/96 - Live version
- New York City 3/4/93 - Live version