Dream Theater Wiki
Length 9:53
Working title (Unknown)
Release date 4th October, 1994
Lyrics John Petrucci
Music Dream Theater
First live performance Foundations Forum 1994, on Sept. 9, 1994
Total live plays 310
Recorded One On One Studios and Devonshire Studios
Other appearances Once in a LIVEtime, Metropolis 2000 Live Scenes from New York, Progressive Nation 2008, Awake Demos, Tokyo, Japan 10/28/95
Previous song Erotomania
Next song The Silent Man

Voices is a song by Dream Theater. It is the fifth song on their third album, Awake. Voices is the second part of the three part suite A Mind Beside Itself, and the longest of the three.

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



'Love, just don't stare'
He used to say to me
every Sunday morning
The spider in the window
The angel in the pool
The old man takes the poison
Now the widow makes the rules

'So speak, I'm right here'
She used to say to me
not a word, not a word
Judas on the ceiling
the Devil in my bed
I guess Easter's never coming
So I'll just wait inside my head

Like a scream but sort of silent
living off my nightmares

Voices repeating me
'Feeling threatened?
We reflect your hopes and fears.'
Voices discussing me
'Others steal your thoughts
they're not confined
within your mind.'

Thought disorder
Dream control
Now they read my mind on the radio
But where was the Garden of Eden?

I feel elated
I feel depressed
Sex is death, Death is sex
Says it right here on my Crucifix

Like a scream but sort of silent
living off my nightmares

Voices protecting me
'Good behavior
brings the Savior
to his knees.'
Voices rejecting me
'Others steal your thoughts
they're not confined
to your own mind.'

[Dialogue by rap artist Prix-mo reading from the book "Cultural Revolution".]
"I don't wanna be here, 'cause of my
suffering, 'cause of my illness.
Only love is worth having, only
love is what matters, loving every
people on equal terms. "
"You've got to know who you're
dealin' with because, like a stranger,
a-heh, just might come in through
here with a gun... and then, what
would you do? (Heh.)"
"Everything is immaterial..."
"'n' you know that reality is immaterial."
"This is not reality..."

I'm kneeling on the floor
staring at the wall
like the spider in the window
I wish that I could speak
Is there fantasy in refuge?
God in politicians?
Should I turn on my religion?
These demons in my head tell me to

I'm lying here in bed
Swear my skin is inside out
Just another Sunday morning

Seen my diary on the newsstand
Seems we've lost the truth to quicksand
It's a shame no one is praying
'Cause these voices in my head
keep saying...

'Love, just don't stare.'
'Reveal the Word when you're
supposed to'
Withdrawn and introverted
Infectiously perverted
'Being laughed at and confused
keeps us pleasantly amused
enough to stay.'

Maybe I'm just Cassandra fleeting
Twentieth century icon bleeding
Willing to risk salvation
to escape from isolation

I'm witness to redemption
heard you speak but never listened
Can you rid me of my secrets?
Deliver us from Darkness?

Voices repeating me
'Feeling threatened?
We reflect your hopes and fears.'
Voices discussing me
Don't expect your own Messiah
This neverworld which you desire
is only in your mind.


Petrucci wrote Voices about mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, while using religious themes to make the song more metaphorical and vivid. "...There was a guy who felt that his skin was inside out." Petrucci said. "I read that and was like 'Oh my God! That's unbelievable; I've got to write about that." Voices can be said to follow the theme of "Erotomania" which the first section of the suite was named after, though that section had no lyrics. The song follows this concept as it explores the relationship between sex, religion and insanity. However, this is a smaller part of the song's meaning.


Voices is an excellent example of a progressive crescendo, a song that starts off quietly and low-key, but gets increasingly more complex and intense as it goes on, finally building to a climax, where the song then flows into The Silent Man.

Live Performances[]

Voices is performed live somewhat often, usually preceded by Erotomania, though not exclusively so. Although it is common for the band to play the entire suite, it is not uncommon for the third section to be swapped out for another song such as The Spirit Carries On or Solitary Shell. It is uncommon for the band to play Voices in its entirety, usually opting for an edited version. Fans have speculated that this may be done to spare James LaBrie's voice due to his vocal injury though even after his recovery the band continues to play the edited version.