Dream Theater Wiki
The Mirror
Length 6:45
Working title Puppies on Acid
Release date October 4, 1994
Lyrics Mike Portnoy
Music Dream Theater
First live performance Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, RI, USA, on Oct. 20, 1994
Total live plays 328
Recorded One On One Studios and Devonshire Studios
Other appearances Live Scenes from New York, Graspop Festival 2002, Awake Demos, Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95, Old Bridge, New Jersey 12/14/96, Breaking the Fourth Wall
Previous song The Silent Man
Next song Lie

The Mirror is a song by Dream Theater. It is the seventh song on their third album, Awake. The Mirror has retroactively been labelled as a prelude to The Twelve-Step Suite as it deals with the same themes and is referenced several times during that suite.

John Petrucci recorded this song using a 7-string guitar in standard tuning (B-E-A-D-G-B-E).



Why won't you leave me alone?
Lurking Every Corner, everywhere I go

Self Control-
Don't turn your back on me now
When I need you the most

Constant pressure tests my will
My will or my won't
My Self Control escapes from me still...

How could you be so cruel
and expect my faith in return?

Is not as hard as it seems
When you close the door

I spent so long trusting in you
I trust you forgot
Just when I thought I believed in you...

[Sample is Meryl Streep from the film "Falling In Love".]
"What're you doing?
What're you doing?"

It's time for me to deal
Becoming all too real
living in fear-
Why did you lie and pretend?
This has to come to an end
I'll never trust you again
It's time you made your amends
Look in the mirror my friend

[Sample is Jeremy Irons from the film "Damage".]
"That I haven't behaved as I should"
[Sample is Mary Beth Hurt from the film "Light Sleeper".]
"Everything you need is around you. The only danger is inside you."
[Sample is Jeremy Irons from the film "Damage".]
"I thought you could control life, but it's not like that. There are things you can't control."

Let's stare the problem right in the eye
It's plagued me from coast to coast
Racing the clock to please everyone
All but the one who matters the most

Reflections of reality
are slowly coming into view
How in the hell could you possibly forgive me?
After all the hell I put you through

It's time for me to deal
Becoming all too real
living in fear-
Why'd I betray my friend?
Lying until the end
Living life so pretend
It's time to make my amends
I'll never hurt you again


Though it was not known at the time it was released, The Mirror was written by Portnoy about his struggles with Alcoholism, something he wouldn't address directly until 2000. Later on, The Twelve-Step Suite would further delve into the subject, and songs such as This Dying Soul, Repentance and The Shattered Fortress would directly reference The Mirror. This has caused many fans to retroactively label the song as a precursor to the suite.


The Mirror flows into the next song on the album Lie and the pair share many musical and lyrical themes, despite Lie being written by Moore. There are also some musical quotes and references to another Moore song, Space-Dye Vest. The connection to Lie goes back to the original demo version, as the two songs were originally one song. Later they were split up and given the names "Puppies on Acid" and "Kittens on Crack". The band still refers to the intro of The Mirror as "Puppies on Acid" and this first part was played live under that name during the tour to support Images and Words. Beginning with the 1994 Waking Up the World Tour in support of Awake, the band also created a short jam based on the ending riff of the song, titling it "A Crack in the Mirror." By 1998, they were performing this backed by "Puppies on Acid" but without the song proper, often leading out of "Puppies on Acid" into another song like "Voices" or "Just Let Me Breathe."

Live Performances[]

The Mirror is one of the most frequently performed songs from Awake. Though the song is occasionally followed by "Lie," this is not always the case. As the song has no proper ending on the album, live versions that are not followed by "Lie" skip to its ending reprising the main riff, leading many setlists to refer to it as "The Mirror/The Mirror (reprise)." This arrangement is used on Live Scenes From New York.