"The Looking Glass" as written by John Petrucci, John Myung, Kevin James Labrie, Michael Mangini and Jordan Rudess....
I would not expect you felt alone in standing north
Better to rise above the clouds Then be a stranger in the crowd
All that you protected doesn’t matter anymore
Rather be stripped of all your pride
Than watch your dreams be cast aside

You are caught up in your gravity
Glorifying stardom
Singing your own praise

You live without shame
You’re digging up a gold mine
Standing on the sidelines
Watching through the looking glass

You are not content with being nameless and unknown
Trying to rise above the fray
Eager to give it all away

Some will not admit that 15 minutes have expired
Too much attention much too soon
Don’t see you walking on the moon

You are caught up in your gravity
Bathing in the spotlight
Imitating fame

You live without shame
You’re digging up a gold mine
Standing on the sidelines
Watching through the looking glass

You are caught up in your gravity
Glorifying madness
Singing your own praise

You live without shame
You’re digging up a gold mine
Standing on the sidelines
Watching through the looking glass

You live without shame
You’re digging up a gold mine
Standing on the sidelines
Watching through the looking glas


Lyrics submitted by nsshero, edited by Ashram, Octavarium64, SirTalon65

"The Looking Glass" as written by John Petrucci John Myung

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Looking Glass song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +2
    My InterpretationI don't know what Dream Theater's intentions were in these lyrics, but my interpretation as is follows:

    This song is a comment on the current culture of celebrity for celebrity's sake, glorifying the trivial pursuits of nobodies with skilled publicists, and the winners (and eventual losers) of reality TV shows. This song is about Justin Bieber, Susan Boyle and One Direction.

    The first verse talks about how these people have their priorities all wrong - how they think it's better for rise to fame, even just for 15 mintues, and then live out the rest of your life as a nameless stranger. Also it talks about how they are exploited by others - "all that you protected doesn't matter anymore, rather be stripped of all your pride then watch your dreams be cast aside" - in other words, Simon Cowell doesn't care about you and your ambitions, you will be bought and sold as a commodity, forced into degrading situations and obligations, all until your fame runs out, then you'll be put out for garbage.

    The pre-verse discusses the misguided priorities of these people against - caught up in the gravity of their fame, oblivious to what the future inevitably holds for them.

    The chorus, again, talks about how they lose their dignity in their pursuit of fame, and they're digging up a goldmine (usually for somebody else's benefit), but really you're standing on the sidelines because you're just a puppet doing somebody else's bidding - you're not actually involved in your life decisions anymore, they're made by others. You're just watching it unfold through the looking glass.

    The final two verses just cover the same sort of themes. These people are not content without fame, and they're eager to give it all away (dignity, privacy, normality, freedom, etc), just to get a few shots in a magazine. But the problem is that 15 minutes is not enough for a human to adjust to fame - and "too much attention much too soon" leads to the inevitable downfall of these people - they end up taking hard drugs and developing alcohol dependency to help deal with the struggles of fame, they don't have time to learn how to shield their private lives from the press, and when their luck runs out, everybody that they thought was supporting them suddenly disappears, leaving them penniless, without a career, and still left with the paparazzi wanting to document their spiral towards the gutter.

    In the end, we don't see them "walking on the moon", realising the ambitions that they may once have had. Instead, we see them 40 pounds overweight or underweight, coked up and ill from drugs, having a romp with another drugged up celeb on Celebrity Big Brother, or eating kangaroo bollocks on I'm a Celebrity...

    By contrast, musicians like Dream Theater acquired their fame slowly, with years and years of hard work, and during that time they resisted all the temptations to sell out their creative liberty to greedy corporations and exploitative producers. For that reason, they have lasted far, far longer than anybody who breaks through in the current celebrity culture. They are respected by their fans for their principles and the grafting they performed to get where they are, and for that reason, despite being a multi-gold and multi-platinum act, raking in millions of dollars for their work, the fans don't hound them, the press doesn't stand outside their family homes trying to snap their daughter's underpants, and they can enjoy a normal life at home and in their home town.

    Dream Theater are only a year away from entering their 4th decade, and their popularity is still growing, and the size of their live gigs is growing too. Let's see if Justin Bieber makes it to even 1 decade.
    AtTheApogeeon February 16, 2014   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaningthis talks about how young people are obsessed with being famous, who act like celebries throughout the internet, with Facebook, Twitter, blogs and stuff. Really modern topic on an 80's sounding song, really great contrast.
    intheblackholeon September 19, 2013   Link
  • -1
    General CommentWell I know it's about how people try and act like bigshots because they think they're cool on the internet, but personally it makes me think of Portnoy. Sitting on the sidelines, starting a bunch of garbage side projects, not content with being nameless.

    Not saying I have anything against Portnoy, that's just the first thought that comes to mind for me.
    troy5117on September 23, 2013   Link

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