|The Glass Prison|
|Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence|
|Release date||January 29th 2002|
|First live performance|
|Total live plays|
|Other appearances||Gigantour CD|
|Previous song||Finally Free|
|Next song||Blind Faith|
The Glass Prison is the opening track on Dream Theater's 6th album Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, and marks the beginning of The Twelve-Step Suite. Like the rest of the suite, and The Mirror (which deals with similar themes and is considered an unofficial prequel), it is dedicated to Bill W, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
This song also continues the meta album cycle, beginning with the same white noise that Scenes from a Memory ended with. Originally, the song ended with a long drum solo, but it was edited out after the vocals were added, as it felt inappropriate.
Personnel[edit | edit source]
- Mike Portnoy - Drums, percussion, co-lead vocals
- John Petrucci - Guitar, backing vocals
- Jordan Rudess - Keyboard
- John Myung - Bass
- James LaBrie - Vocals
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
I. REFLECTION Cunning, baffling, powerful Been beaten to a pulp Vigorous, irresistible Sick and tired and laid low Dominating, invincible Black-out, loss of control Overwhelming, unquenchable I'm powerless, have to let go I can't escape it It leaves me frail and worn Can no longer take it Senses tattered and torn Hopeless surrender Obsession's got me beat Losing the will to live Admitting complete defeat Fatal descent Spinning around I've gone too far To turn back round Desperate attempt Stop the progression At any length Lift this obsession Crawling to my glass prison A place where no one knows My secret lonely world begins So much safer here A place where I can go To forget about my daily sins Life here in my glass prison A place I once called home Fall in nocturnal bliss again Chasing a long lost friend I no longer can control Just waiting for this hopelessness to end II. RESTORATION Run Fast from the wreckage of the past A shattered glass prison wall behind me Fight Past walking through the ash A distant oasis before me Cry Desperate, crawling on my knees Begging God to please stop the insanity Help me I'm trying to believe Stop wallowing in my self pity "We've been waiting for you my friend The writing's been on the wall All it takes is a little faith You know you're the same as us all" Help me I can't break out this prison all alone Save me I'm drowning and I'm hopeless on my own Heal me I can't restore my sanity alone Enter the door Desperate Fighting no more Help me restore To my sanity At this temple of hope I need to learn Teach me how Sorrow to burn Help me return To humanity I'll be fearless and thorough To enter this temple of hope Believe Transcend the pain Living the life Humility Opened my eyes This new odyssey Of rigorous honesty Serenity That I never knew Soundness of mind Help me to find Courage to change All the things that I can "We'll help you perform this miracle But you must set your past free You dug the hole, but you can't bury your soul Open your mind and you'll see" Help me I can't break out this prison all alone Save me I'm drowning and I'm hopeless on my own Heal me I can't restore my sanity alone III. REVELATION Way off in the distance I saw a door I tried to open I tried forcing with all of my will but still The door wouldn't open Unable to trust in my faith I turned and walked away I looked around, felt a chill in the air Took my will and turned it over The glass prison which once held me is gone A long lost fortress Armed only with liberty And the key of my willingness Fell down on my knees and prayed "Thy will be done" I turned around, saw a light shining through The door was wide open
Analysis[edit | edit source]
The Glass Prison outlines the first three steps of the 12 steps to recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. Mike Portnoy explained, "It's about battling addiction and recovery and those were some things that I have dealt with in my personal life over the past few years. All three of the movements are written directly about the first three steps in twelve step recovery of Alcoholics Anonymous. So the first step in the first section of the song is admitting being powerless, the second step is needing the help of others, came to believe a power greater than ourselves to restore sanity. The third section is being willing to turn your life over to a higher power and handing over your will. So the three sections are directly out of the first three steps in AA."
Many of the lyrics in the Glass Prison are taken directly from the AA book, for example, "Remember we deal with alcohol - cunning, baffling, powerful." There are also a few references to lyrics in The Mirror: "Chasing a long lost friend", which could refer to the line, "look in the mirror my friend", meaning his friend is the alcoholism.