|Scene Eight: The Spirit Carries On|
|Scenes from a Memory|
|First live performance||Celebrity Theatre, Phoenix, AZ, USA, on January 31, 2000|
|Total live plays||412|
|Other appearances||Metropolis 2000, Live Scenes from New York|
|Previous song||Scene Seven: II. One Last Time|
|Next song||Scene Nine: Finally Free|
- James LaBrie - Vocals
- Mike Portnoy - Drums
- John Petrucci - Guitar, lyrics
- John Myung - Bass
- Jordan Rudess - Keyboards
The Spirit Carries On continues the plot of Scenes from a Memory. Nicholas is under hypnosis once again, and reiterates his belief that his soul will transcend and he need not fear death. He now believes that Edward was involved in the murder, and plans to expose the truth behind it, but Victoria appears to Nicholas and tells Nicholas he should move on. At this point, Nicholas feels at peace, as he feels he has appeased Victoria and his own obsession. The ultimate message is that, as the hypnotherapist says, "death is not the end, but only a transition". The song has been noted as having a Christian outlook on death.
The Spirit Carries On is a melodic song with progressive elements. It begins slowly, with only piano and vocals, but gradually builds up in complexity into an emotionally-charged guitar solo. The final verse also features a gospel choir.
Live Performances Edit
The Spirit Carries On is played live with some regularity, and often involves fans singing parts of it. Notably, during its performance on the concert DVD Metropolis 2000: Scenes from New York, the section of the song in which Victoria speaks to Nicholas was sung by guest vocalist Theresa Thomason. A gospel choir was also featured.
[Nicholas:] Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go when we die? What lies beyond? And what lay before? Is anything certain in life? They say, "Life is too short" "The here and the now" And "You're only given one shot" But could there be more? Have I lived before? Or could this be all that we've got? If I die tomorrow I'd be all right because I believe That after we're gone The spirit carries on I used to be frightened of dying I used to think death was the end But that was before I'm not scared anymore I know that my soul will transcend I may never find all the answers I may never understand why I may never prove What I know to be true But I know that I still have to try If I die tomorrow I'd be all right because I believe That after we're gone The spirit carries on [Victoria:] Move on, be brave Don't weep at my grave Because I am no longer here But please never let your memory of me disappear [Nicholas:] Safe in the light that surrounds me Free of the fear and the pain My questioning mind has helped me to find The meaning in my life again Victoria's real, I finally feel At peace with the girl in my dreams And now that I'm here It's perfectly clear I found out what all of this means If I die tomorrow I'd be all right because I believe That after we're gone The spirit carries on