"Only a Matter of Time" as written by Charlie Dominici, John Myung, John P. Petrucci, Kevin F. Moore and Michael S. Portnoy....
A suited man smiled said:
"It's just a matter of time
You can have the world at your feet
By tomorrow
Just sign on this line."
Hold tight, limelight!
Approaching the paramount
With the sun in our eyes
Fearing family ties, legalize,
Compromise

In a dimly lit room with a stool as his
Stage
A dream-stricken prince of a pauper's
Descent
Haunts the eavesdropping silence
That presses his window
As he sweats a performance
To an audience that ticks on the wall

To the practical observer
It's just a matter of time
"You can deviate from the com-
Monplace
Only to fall back in line."
I understand mine's a risky plan
And your system can't miss
But is security after all a cause
Or symptom of happiness?

Brave, yet afraid, his eyes on horizon
In a steady-set gaze
A mariner soon from an open cocoon
Takes a moment to summon his courage
To stifle his grave apprehension and
Trembling, approaches the surf
A father's benediction as his hopeful
Son departs
To brave the sea of rage and conquer
At all costs

Lingers in his memory
And visions still surviving in a logic-
Proof shell
That should have been held sacred, safe
And hidden well
Are compromised in usury
With every rising sun that yields no
Sight of land
The hesitation cultivates within the
Tired man
And rumors spread of mutiny
And though the time will come when
Dream and day unite
Tonight the only consolation causing
Him to fight
In fearless faith in destiny

Even when plans fall to pieces
I can still find the courage
With promise I've found in my faith

Likely or not, it's a dream that we keep
And at odds with our senses we'll climb
But if faith is the answer, we're already
Reached it
And if spirit's a sign
Then it's only a matter of time


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"Only a Matter of Time" as written by John Myung Charlie Dominici

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Only a Matter of Time song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentAlso, this song really shows off Dream Theater's lyrical prowess. The lyrics are absolutely excellent and sound great and yet are still deeply powerful. Only a Matter of Time is, lyrically, probably one of Dream Theater's best.

    And this segment of the song happens to be one of the most poetic segments of music I have ever heard:

    "A father's benediction as his hopeful son departs
    to brave the sea of rage and conquer at all costs
    lingers in his memory
    and visions still surviving in a logic-proof shell
    that should have been held sacred, safe and hidden well
    are compromised in usury
    with every rising sun that yields no sight of land
    the hesitation cultivates within the tired man
    and rumors spread of mutiny
    and though the time will come when dream and day unite
    tonight the only consolation causing him to fight
    is fearless faith in destiny"
    Mikachuon October 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'd just like to point out that this is a Kevin Moore song, through and through. In my opinion, he wrote most of Dream Theater's best songs (lyrically). Once he left the band, they definitely lost something on that end.

    Great song, by the way.
    karmakgbon January 26, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow, no comments on such an excellent song...

    From the lyrics, I think it might be about a sea voyage of a young man, who has put his whole life into this, and his belief that he cannot fail is all that keeps him going. *deep breath*

    Then again, it could be a metaphor for how Dream Theater had to succeed...
    life_as_lucidon February 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is excellent. From it was the best song in LAB, check it out.

    Yes, the song was written in the begginings of DT. To me it means that they were a little afraid but they wanted to succed no matter what (brave yet afraid).
    toky_worldon January 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA whirlwind date with fame and glamour maybe?
    Coleioon September 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song only sounds good with Charlie Dominici. As much as I love James LaBrie, this song was made for Charlie.
    Mikachuon October 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMikachu wrote:
    Only a Matter of Time is, lyrically, probably one of Dream Theater's best.

    I suggest you start reading the other lyrics, because this is definitely NOT the best song, lyrically. I think Voices is lyrically the best song.

    to me, this song is about an artist starting his career. the sea is just a metaphor, it's not about a sea voyage.
    especially the 2nd paragraph shows this:
    "as he sweats a performance
    to an audience that ticks on the walls"

    and i agree with f15x28. this song is not a good vocal song, it's rather forced.
    Quealon December 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTheir growing fame and the rise to power that would come, depicted through the metaphor of a sea voyage.
    Anilandon May 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song - I'd just like to point out a quick bit of wordplay here that makes the song all the more meaningful. When the phrase "Only a Matter of Time" is first used in the song, it refers to other people looking at the musician, feeling assured that it won't be long before he fails in his career and has to go back to the common life. But by the end they turn it around and know that it's only a matter of time before they succeed - which, as it happens, they turned out to be right about.

    In a broader sense, the song is about taking risks in order to find greater happiness in the end, and the phrase here that they chose for the album, "When Dream and Day Unite" seems to refer to the point in life where your dreams are waking - you're living out your dreams day to day.

    Also, I believe a vocal melody here is reused on Take the Time.
    Exodus832on October 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song isn't actually that forced, it sounds a lot less "forced" when sung my LaBrie. the best performance of thi is on Live At Budokan where its an amazing song.

    As for the lyrics, they are about how Dream Theater fought and coped to eventually become successful(which at the time they were not very successful).

    Its about all that they were promised:
    A suited man smiled said:
    "It's just a matter of time
    You can have the world at your feet by tomorrow
    just sign on this line."

    And about their journey. Hence the metaphor of the ship at sea.
    And how they said that theyve come so far that its "only a matter of time" before theyre famous.


    Well thats my take on the song :)
    Vbdudeon June 17, 2010   Link

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