album: "Black Clouds & Silver Linings" (2009)

 
album: "Black Clouds & Silver Linings" (2009)


1. A Nightmare To Remember

[Music by Petrucci, Portnoy, Rudess and Myung, Lyrics by John Petrucci]


A nightmare to remember

I'd never be the same.
What began as laughter
So soon would turn to pain.
The sky was clear and frigid
The air was thick and still
Now I'm not one to soon forget
And I bet I never will

Picture for a moment

The perfect irony
A flawless new beginning
Eclipsed by tragedy.
The uninvited stranger
Started dancing on his own
So we said goodbye
To the glowing bride
And we made our way back home.

Life was so simple then

We were so innocent.
Father and mother
Holding each other.

Without warning

Out of nowhere
Like a bullet
From the night
Crushing Glass
Rubber and steel
Scorching fire
Glowing lights
Screams of terror
Pain and Fear
Sounds of sirens
Smoke in my eyes
Sudden stillness
Blackened silence
No more screaming
No more cries

Stunned and bewildered

Cold and afraid
Torn up and broken
Frightened and dazed

Stunned and bewildered

Cold and afraid
Torn up and broken
Frightened and dazed

Lying on the table

In this unfamiliar place
I'm greeted by a stranger
A man without a face
He said, "Son, do you remember?
Do you even know your name?"
Then he shined a light into my eyes
And said, "take this for the pain."

Hopelessly drifting,

Bathing in beautiful agony.
I am endlessly falling,
Lost in this wonderful misery.
In peaceful sedation, I lay half awake
And all of the panic inside starts to fade.
Hopelessly drifting,
Bathing in beautiful agony.

"Tell me does this hurt you?"

Said the faceless man.
"Can you move all of your fingers?
Can you try your best to stand?"
I asked about the others
Is everyone OK?
He told me not to worry
As he turned and looked away.

Hopelessly drifting,

Bathing in beautiful agony.
I am endlessly falling,
Lost in this wonderful misery.
In peaceful sedation, I lay half awake
And all of the panic inside starts to fade.
Hopelessly drifting,
Bathing in beautiful agony.

Day after day

And night after night
Replaying the events
Did they ever see the red light?

Over and over

Scene by scene
Like a recurring nightmare haunting my dreams.
How can you prepare for what would happen next?
No son should ever have to see his father such a mess
It's a miracle he lived
It's a blessing no one died
By the Grace of God above
Everyone survived

Life was so simple then

We were so innocent.
It will stay with us forever
A nightmare to remember



2. A Rite Of Passage

[Music by Petrucci, Portnoy, Rudess and Myung, Lyrics by John Petrucci]


Since the new world order

Played upon our fears
Spreading accusations
Of radical ideas

The brotherhood of wisdom

Strength and dignity
Its rituals and secrets
Remain a mystery

Beneath an ever watchful eye

The angels of the temple fly

Turn the key

Walk through the gate
The great ascent
To reach a higher state
A rite of passage

The final stage

A sacred home
Unlock the door
And lay the corner stone
A rite of passage

Men of wealth and power

Influence and fame
Philosophers and leaders
Are members of the trade

Bound by oath and honor

Like the rose and cross
An enigmatic union
Of esoteric thought

Beneath an ever watchful eye

The angels of the temple fly

Turn the key

Walk through the gate
The great ascent
To reach a higher state
A rite of passage

The final stage

A sacred home
Unlock the door
And lay the corner stone
A rite of passage

Turn the key

Walk through the gate
The great ascent
To reach a higher state
A rite of passage

The seven stars

The rising sun
A perfect world
Where new life has begun
A rite of passage



3. Wither

[Music & Lyrics by John Petrucci]


Let it out, let it out

Fill the empty space
So insecure
Find the words
And let it out

Staring down, staring down

Nothing comes to mind
Find the place
Turn the water into wine

But I feel I'm getting nowhere

And I'll never see the end

So I wither

And render myself helpless
I give in
And everything is clear
I break down
And let the story guide me

Turn it on

Turn it on
Let the feelings flow
Close your eyes
See the ones you used to know

Open up open up

Don't struggle to relate
Lure it out
Help the memory escape
Still this barrenness consumes me
And I feel like giving up

So I wither

And render myself helpless
I give in
And everything is clear
I break down
And let the story guide me

I wither

And give myself away

Like reflections on the page

The world's what you create

I drown in hesitation

My words come crashing down
And all my best creations
Burn into the ground
The thought of starting over
Leaves me paralyzed

Tear it out again

Another one that got away

I wither

And render myself helpless
I give in
And everything is clear

I wither

And render myself helpless
I give in
And everything is clear
I break down
And let the story guide me
I wither
And give myself away

Like reflections on the page

The world's what you create



4. The Shattered Fortress

[Music by Petrucci, Portnoy, Rudess and Myung, Lyrics by Mike Portnoy]


[X. Restraint]


Freedom calls my name

Serenity keeps me sane
Happiness -- it dulls the pain

Honest to see my place

Open to other ways
Willingness to understand

Justice but do not judge

Courtesy for others' flaws
Kindness -- it's not that hard

Self-restraint of tongue and pen

Inventory -- my daily friend
Analysis let down your guard

Look in the mirror

What do you see?
The shattered fortress
That once bound me

Faithful ascent, through darkest fires

I've found the path to take me higher

You're smart enough for me to trust go live your life now

Just keep these steps in your life and you'll know how
If you're not sure, ask yourself,
"Have I done to them as I would have them do to me?"

Look in the mirror

What's that you see?
The shattered fortress
Fly now be free

Faithful ascent, through darkest fires

I've found the path to take me higher

I once thought it better to be right

But now I have finally seen the light
Sometimes you've got to be wrong
And learn from mistakes
I live with serenity now
Not self-righteous hate

[XI. Receive]


(Help me be a channel of Thy peace

That where there is hatred, I may bring love;
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness;
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony;
That where there is error, I may bring truth;
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith)

Now that you can see all you have done

(That where there is despair, I may bring hope;
That where there are shadows, I may bring light)

It's time to take that step into the kingdom

(That where there is sadness, I may bring joy)

All your sins will help to make you strong

(That I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
That I may seek to understand than to be understood)

And help you break right through the prison wall

(That I may seek to love, rather than to be loved,
for it is by self-forgetting that one finds,
it is by forgiving that one is forgiven)

Keep all of me,

The desires that once burned me deep inside
Help me live today
And help to give me grace
To carry out your way

I am ready, help me be all I can be

I am ready, help guide me and keep me free

[XII. Responsible]


I am responsible when anyone, anywhere

Reaches out for help, I want my hand to be there
I am responsible when anyone, anywhere
Reaches out for help, I want my hand to be there

[Dedicated to Bill W. and all of his friends]




5. The Best Of Times

[Music by Petrucci, Portnoy, Rudess and Myung, Lyrics by Mike Portnoy]


Remember days of yesterday

How it flew so fast
The two score and a year we had,
I thought it would always last
Those summer days and west coast dreams
I wished would never end
A young boy and his father,
Idol and best friend

I'll always remember

Those were the best of times
A lifetime together
I'll never forget

The morning shows on the radio

The case of the missing dog
Lying on the pillows at the old 812
Watching Harold and Maude
The record shops, the stickball fields
My home away from home
And when we weren't together
The hours on the phone

I'll always remember

Those were the best of times
I'll cherish them forever
The best of times

But then came the call

Our lives changed forever more
"You can pray for a change
But prepare for the end..."

The fleeting winds of time

Flying through each day
All the things I should've done
But time just slipped away
Remember seize the day
Life goes by in the blink of an eye
With so much left to say

These were the best of times

I'll miss these days
Your spirit lit my life each day

Thank you for the inspiration

Thank you for the smiles
All the unconditional love
That carried me for miles
It carried me for miles
But most of all thank you for my life

These were the best of times

I'll miss these days
Your spirit lit my life each day
My heart is bleeding bad
But I'll be OK
Your spirit guides my life each day

[In Loving Memory of Howard Portnoy 1940-2009]




6. The Count Of Tuscany

[Music by Petrucci, Portnoy, Rudess and Myung, Lyrics by John Petrucci]


Several years ago

In a foreign town
Far away from home
I met the Count of Tuscany

A young eccentric man

Bred from royal blood
Took me for a ride
Across the open countryside

Get into my car

Let's go for a drive
Along the way
I'll be your guide
Just step inside

Maybe you recall

A cannibal curator
A character inspired by my brother's life

Winding through the hills

The city far behind
On and on we drove
Down narrow streets and dusty roads

At last we came upon

A picturesque estate
On sprawling emerald fields
An ancient world of times gone by

Let me introduce

My brother
A bearded gentleman
Historian
Sucking on his pipe
Distinguished accent
Making me uptight
No accident

I want to stay alive

Everything about this place
Just doesn't feel right
I
I don't want to die

Suddenly I'm frightened for my life


I want to say goodbye

This could be the last time
You see me alive

I

I may not survive
Knew it from the moment we arrived

Would you like to see

Our secret holy place?
I come here late at night
To pray to him by candle light

Then peering through the glass

I saw with disbelief
Still dressed in royal clothes
The saint behind the altar

History recalls

During times of war
Legend has been traced
Back inside these castle walls

Where soldiers came to hide

In barrels filled with wine
Never to escape
These tombs of oak are where they died

Down the cellar stairs

I disappear
Like the English heir
The end is near

Come and have a taste

A rare vintage
All the finest wines
Improve with age

I want to stay alive

Everything about this place
Just doesn't feel right
I
I don't want to die
Suddenly I'm frightened for my life

I want to say goodbye

This could be the last time
You see me alive

I

I may not survive
Knew it from the moment we arrived

Could this be the end?

Is this the way I die?
Sitting here alone
No one by my side

I don't understand

I don't feel that I deserve this
What did I do wrong?
I just don't understand

Give me one more chance

Let me please explain
It's all been circumstance
I'll tell you once again

You took me for a ride

Promising a vast adventure
Next thing that I know
I'm frightened for my life

Now wait a minute man

That's not how it is
You must be confused
That isn't who I am

Please don't be afraid

I would never try to hurt you
This is how we live
Strange although it seems
Please try to forgive

The chapel and the saint

The soldiers and the wine
The fables and the tales
All handed down through time

Of course you're free to go

Go and tell the world my story
Tell about my brother
Tell them about me
The Count of Tuscany...

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