"The Shattered Fortress" as written by John Petrucci, Michael Portnoy, John Myung and Jordan Rudess....
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

(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

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


Lyrics submitted by hallowedbe666, edited by Octavarium64

"The Shattered Fortress" as written by John Petrucci John Myung

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Shattered Fortress song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentCorrection in the opening stanza:
    Freedom - Calls my name
    Serenity - Keeps me sane
    Happiness - It dulls the pain
    Honor - ????
    Open - To Other ways
    Willingness - To understand
    Justice - I do not judge
    Courtesy - From honest hearts ??
    Kindness - It's not that hard
    Self Restraint - The Self-impaired
    Inventory - My daily bread
    Analysis - And then you're gone
    guardiandevil305on June 06, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnybody else think Portnoy got a little lazy on the musical side of this song. I know how this is the last of a 5 song suite where it covers each of the 12 steps of AA.

    Dont get me wrong I thought it was pretty badass of a song, they all were, but it just seems kinda cheep to simply copy and paste parts from different songs onto this song.

    Fateful ascent
    Through darkest fires
    I've found the path
    To take me higher
    -from The Glass Prison

    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 ways
    I am ready
    Help me be all I can be
    I am ready
    Help guide me and keep me free
    -from Root of All Evil

    Very end of song was part from the song Octavarium, then it stopped and it had the drum beats from the intro of The Root of All Evil

    Not to mention its littered with other little tidbits from other songs... but hey, it did sound pretty cool.



    jpenleyon January 14, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt sounds more like "Fateful ascent" rather than "Faithful ascent"...

    Also, in the opening stanza:
    Freedom - Calls my name
    Serenity - Keeps me sane
    Happiness - It dulls the pain
    Honest - To see my fate
    Open - Don't want to wait
    Willingness - To understand
    Justice - Why do you judge?
    Courtesy - ???
    Kindness - It's not that hard
    Self Restraint - ???
    Inventory - My daily bread
    Analysis - Until you're gone

    ...that's from what I could gather. A lot of these words (sung/spoken by MP) are from previous songs, most notably TGP and TDS, are likely in the AA book(s) a lot.

    -Marc.
    The Letter Mon May 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlso, in the same voice MP uses in "Repentance" to site the Twelve Promises, he sites the Eleventh Step Prayer (a.k.a. the St. Francis Prayer). Here is a transcription of his version spoken during Step XI:

    "Help me make 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;
    that where there is despair, I may bring hope;
    that where there are shadows, I may bring light;
    that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
    that I may seek to comfort rather than to be comforted;
    that I may seek to understand rather than to be understood;
    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."

    -Marc.
    The Letter Mon May 19, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNew version up.
    Idanon May 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionWhat a wicked song. I love: "Look in the mirror. WHATS THAT YOU SEE??!! The shattered fortress. That once BURNED ME!" About 2 weeks till full album release, wish i could spare the cash for the box set.
    agm_ultimatexon June 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Look in the mirror
    What's that you see?
    The Shattered Fortress
    Fly now, be free!"

    I love the way James LaBrie sings the word, "free." I orgasm every time.
    Irockman1on June 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrection to the opening stanzas:
    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 pain
    Inventory my daily friend
    Analysis let down your guard

    After the first chorus in X. Restraint, the second verse should be:
    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?"

    Then the end of X. Restraint should be:
    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

    The end of XI. Receive is printed as:
    I am ready
    Help me be all I can be
    I am ready
    Help guide me and keep me free

    Then the last step, XII. Responsible, is print just once as:
    I am responsible
    When anyone, anywhere
    Reaches out for help
    I want my hand to be there

    -Marc.
    The Letter Mon June 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis Suite, or mostly this song, is, hands down, the most epic thing on this planet, next to the earth itself
    and Mike Portnoy is a god among men :D
    angelusredgroveon June 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis Suite, or mostly this song, is, hands down, the most epic thing on this planet, next to the earth itself
    and Mike Portnoy is a god among men :D
    angelusredgroveon June 23, 2009   Link

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