Dream Theater Wiki
The Silent Man
Length 03:48
Working title (Unknown)
Release date October 4, 1994
Lyrics John Petrucci
Music John Petrucci
First live performance Mulcahy's, Wantagh, NY, USA, on Oct. 14, 1994
Total live plays 194
Recorded One On One Studios and Devonshire Studios
Other appearances The Silent Man, Metropolis 2000, Live Scenes from New York, Greatest Hit (...and 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs), Awake Demos, Live at Luna Park
Previous song Voices
Next song The Mirror

The Silent Man is a song by Dream Theater. It is the sixth song on their third album, Awake. It is also the third part of the three part suite, A Mind Beside Itself. The Silent Man is the second single, EP and video release from the album.

Silent man

Single cover for The Silent Man

John Petrucci recorded this song using a 6-string guitar in standard tuning (E-A-D-G-B-E).



A question well served,
'Is silence like a fever?'
'A voice never heard?'
'Or a message with no receiver?'

Pray they won't ask
Behind the stained glass
There's always one more mask

Has man been a victim
of his woman, of his father?
if he elects not to bother,
will he suffocate their faith?

Desperate to fall
Behind the Great Wall
That separates us all

When there is reason
Tonight I'm Awake
when there's no answer
Arrive the Silent Man

If there is balance
tonight He's Awake
If they have to suffer
There lies the Silent Man

Sin without deceivers
A God with no believers
I could sail by
on the Winds of Silence
And maybe they won't notice
But this time I think
It'd be better if I swim

When there is reason
Tonight I'm Awake
When there's no answer
Arrive the Silent Man

If there is balance
Tonight he's Awake
But if they have to suffer
There lies the Silent Man
There lies the Silent Man


LaBrie described the lyrics as dealing with "communication breakdown, for instance between a father and a son. We feel that we have to play certain roles when around one of our parents, and we never really get to know the real person. I'm lucky that I behave with my own father like I would a friend. We can joke around and go for a beer." The song follows the same religious tones as its predecessor, Voices.


The Silent Man is an accoustic ballad, with very little in the way of percussion. The song is a somber epilogue after the climax at the end of Voices.


It could be argued that the title of the album, Awake came from the line "Tonight I'm Awake" though the word also appears in Innocence Faded. The music video, directed by Portnoy, includes much of the imagery from the Awake album's artwork.

Live Performances[]

The song is performed often, sometimes as a part of the suite, but many times on its own. The band will more often than not play a "full band arrangement" with electric guitar, drums, bass and piano. Oftentimes when performed with Jordan Rudess, he will often enter a duel with John Petrucci towards the end of the song.