"Misunderstood" as written by and John/portnoy Petrucci....
Waiting
In the calm of desolation
Wanting to break
From this circle of confusion

Sleeping
In the depths of isolation
Trying to wake
From this daydream of illusion

How can I feel abandoned even when the world surrounds me
How can I bite the hand that feeds the strangers all around me
How can I know so many
Never really knowing anyone

If I seem superhuman
I have been
Misunderstood

It challenges the essence of my soul
And leaves me in a state of disconnection
As I navigate the maze of self control

Playing a lion being led to a cage
I turn from a thief to a beggar
From a god to God save me

How can I feel abandoned even when the world surrounds me
How can I bite the hand that feeds the strangers all around me
How can I know so many
Never really knowing anyone

If I seem superhuman
I have been
Misunderstood

Playing a lion being led to a cage
I turn from surreal to seclusion
From love to disdain
From belief to delusion
From a thief to a beggar
From a god to God save me

How can I feel abandoned even when the world surrounds me
How can I bite the hand that feeds the strangers all around me
How can I know so many
Never really knowing anyone

If I seem superhuman
I have been
Misunderstood


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"Misunderstood" as written by John/portnoy Petrucci

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Misunderstood song meanings
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  • +3
    Song MeaningIf you believe this song was written about Jesus then you have misunderstood. This song speaks of the difficulties of living with mental illness, interpersonal and emotional struggles. As someone living with Borderline Personality Disorder this song speaks to me on a level that can't just be coincidence. Feeling abandoned even when my friends and family try to support me, at times completely disconnecting and struggling to regain my sense of identity. Feeling empty and alone, feeling that no one understands you and you don't understand anyone. Isolating yourself because of the intense swings of emotion that follow interpersonal relationships. Going from euphoric to suicidal, from loving someone to hating someone, from feeling completely in control to a complete mess as if someone flicked a switch. Waiting, never really knowing when the next episode will hit, confused because the triggers sometimes don't even make sense. Anger at the world and people around you, with no real reason as to why your angry with them. A constant struggle with self control, pretending that nothing phases you, that you are impervious, while you are tearing yourself apart internally. I would suggest that John Petrucci has been close to someone living with BPD and was inspired to write a song about their affliction.
    pluuon December 03, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commenthasn't it been said somewhere that this song, written by John Petrucchi, is actually a description of himself.
    He's trying to tell DT fans that even though he may seem superhuman, this is a misunderstanding. It actually fits really well if you think about it. Great song too.

    \m/ DREAM THEATER \M/
    doomsoldieron April 01, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentEveryone here is completely off track here. This song is based on the movie "The Last Temptations of Christ" according to JP. Some reason to this is because of the line:

    "I turn from a theif to a beggar, from a god to god save me"

    Because as the story goes, Jesus was crucified in between a thief and a beggar....so he could literally "turn" from a theif to a beggar. I have always looked at the song as being sung as if Jesus were in the first person. I dont' think it is meant to be any significant religious statement on JP's part, just a clever song that was based off a movie.

    The first two paragraphs, "Waiting" and "Sleeping" could be when he was in the garden praying and asking God to remove His burden while his disciples slept.

    The chorus explains how Jesus set out to become the model for a Godly person and provide redemption for humanity, but everyone expected him to be the Messiah that ruled like a king. That's not what happened, and therefore he was "misunderstood".
    shand2001on June 26, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with the spiritual part.
    As u can see Scenes from a memory, Six degrees, train of thoughts and Octavairuim have one streamlined theme. All talking about spirituality from different views.
    How do get to the point that they are connected?
    Six degrees cd 1 starts like scenes of a memeory ends, train of thoughts begins like cd 2 of the six degress and the first piano tone fits exatly the missing last tone in the last song of the train of thoughts.
    I have always loved dream theaters' love for detail in everyway.
    First Scenes From A Memory introduces us to the "soul" spiritual part, kind of a dream thought "Wake up nicholas" at the end of the album tells me somehow that it it is a thought of dreams that the spirit goes on.
    HOwever the next album Six Degrees of inner turbulence talks more about the psychological side of "spirits". Ethic and moral. Whereas train of thoughts deal with how people handle sprituality, "abuse" it or suffer from it.
    What octavarium acutally is about....hell i haven't figured that out yet.
    Mozzyon September 14, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHas anyone else noted the similarities between the background music in this song and the background music in "Finally Free" when Victoria and Julian are being killed by the Miricle? Maybe I'm looking into things too deeply but there is a real connection. Perhaps its just a coincidence...
    IronMan070on February 01, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNope, I don't this is about Superman at all, mainly because the story of the Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence album is about genetic manipulations(re: "The Great Debate"), so this might be just about that.
    Idanon July 18, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentahhh that true. which part ? 1 or 2? its a possibility that part 2 is a continuation of Scenes From A Memory..maybe. i dunno
    Spartaon July 26, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti believe that this song also deals with mental ill ness or jsut not living up to things. how quickly emotions can change or how things seem to appear at first, and in teh chours speaking about how can u be alone when everyone sorunds you, or hurting those that fed you, a refrence to those that may love you, adn how u may think you know people when u dont because everyone is a fake in your world, which is wat leaves u in a state of disconnection, mabye the stae of people or the way peopel are leave whoever it is confused

    but thats just my opnion, could be wrong
    staggarellion August 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like this last interpretation. It seems to be in keeping with theme of spiritual disconnection that runs through the rest of the album. From Blind Faith, even to Disappear, the songs seem to be about, to quote Paul Tillich, "The spiritual situation in our technical society."
    enchiridionon June 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJohn Petrucci said in an online interview that this song was about a religious figurhead, and while shand brings out a good point, I've always thought of it as through the eyes of the late Pope John Paul. The song talks about how a person is sheltered, and sometimes left to his own thoughts. He is also faced with reprimanding fellow priest during the scandal over the past years and 'biting the hand that feeds the strangers around him.'

    he also is the leader of billions, therefore knowing so many, but not knowing many personally.
    enigma1on May 13, 2005   Link

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