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A Nightmare to Remember
Black Clouds & Silver Linings
Length 16:10
Working title Hallowe'en
Release date {{{Release}}}
Lyrics John Petrucci
Music Dream Theater
First live performance
Total live plays
Recorded Avatar Studios
Other appearances
Previous song In the Presence of Enemies
Next song A Rite of Passage

A Nightmare to Remember appears as the opening track on Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Like most songs on the album, it was written by John Petrucci. It was based on a real-life event he experienced, a childhood car accident with his father. The song has three distinct sections. The first and last are amongst the heaviest music Dream Theater has released, whereas the midsection is softer and anthemic. It opens and closes with a storm atmos. The opening notes on the piano are possibly a quote from the classical piece Dies Irae. At 16:10, it is one of the longest tracks on the album, second only to The Count of Tuscany and one of the longest tracks Dream Theater has released (sixth longest).

VariationsEdit

  • On October 10th 2009, Mikael Akerfeldt came onstage to sing the "Day after day, and night after night" section at Wembley arena. Youtube footage.
  • Chris Anderson of DTF.org and MP.com created an original remix called "Beautiful Agony," using the special edition stems. It can be found here.

LyricsEdit

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 unfamilliar 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
Haunted by a dream
How could 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 

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