"The Test That Stumped Them All" as written by and John/portnoy Petrucci....
Standing in the darkness
Waiting for the light
The smell of pure adrenaline
Burning in the night

Random blinding flashes
Aiming at the stage
Intro tape begins to roll
Igniting sonic rage

Still they keep me between these hollow walls
Hoping to find in me
The answers to the test that stumped them all

"The boy is just simply crazy
Suffering from delusions
We honestly think that maybe
He might need an institution

He lives in a world of fiction
And really could use some help
We have just the place to fix him
To save him from himself"

Curled up in the darkness
Searching of the light
The smell of sweat and shit
Steaming through the night

Random urine testing
Pills red, pink and blue
Counseling and therapy
Providing not a clue

Still they keep me between these hollow walls
Hoping to find in me
The answers to the test that stumped them all

"We can't seem to find the answers
He seemed such a clear cut case
We cannot just let him leave here
And put all this work to waste

Why don't we try shock treatment
It really might do some help
We have just the tools to fix him
To save him from himself"


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"The Test That Stumped Them All" as written by John Petrucci John Myung

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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The Test That Stumped Them All song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +4
    Song MeaningI think I have it all, it's rather lengthy so bare with me

    I believe the song is about someone who is a schizophrenic. There are so many things that we still don't know about schizophrenia that would explain the title of the song "the test that stumped them all." I'll try to explain each part

    "Standing in the darkness
    Waiting for the light
    The smell of pure adrenaline
    Burning in the night"

    This shows how degree 3 (person 3, there are six people he is the third)
    Thinks that he is a star. Degree 3 thinks highly of himself and that all these tests that doctors are doing is for him because he is a star. When doctors did tests on schizophrenic patients they would often have them in the dark before testing. The bright light signals testing. Adrenaline could be used to keep degree 3 up through all hours of the night.

    "Random blinding flashes
    Aiming at the stage"

    Flashing lights were commonly used in testing, the stage is most likely a table he is strapped to while they are running tests.

    "Intro tape begins to roll
    Igniting sonic rage"

    Doctors would also use tapes of sound and most schizophrenic patients would respond with rage and violence. It's also shown that tapes with instructions, like killing, would be attempted by said patient.

    "Still they keep me between these hollow walls
    Hoping to find in me
    The answers to the test that stumped them all"

    Degree 3 is in an institution (the hallow walls) where doctors are hoping to find answers to Schizophrenia.

    "The boy is just simply crazy
    Suffering from delusions
    We honestly think that maybe
    He might need an institution

    He lives in a world of fiction
    And really could use some help
    We have just the place to fix him
    To save him from himself"

    This goes back to when they were first instituting degree 3. The doctors are not speaking directly to him but he is in the same room overhearing the conversation. The doctors suggested to maybe a parent or guardian that degree 3 should be put into a mental institution for testing. The "delusions" and "world of fiction" suggest schizophrenia. "Saving him from himself" refers to suicide. Some schizophrenic patients will commit suicide if told to. They don't realize what they are doing.

    "Random urine testing
    Pills red, pink and blue"

    Shows that the doctors are trying to fix him with medication. He is not getting better so they do urine tests to see if degree 3 is taking his meds.

    "Counseling and therapy
    Providing not a clue"

    Still can not find answers to schizophrenia or to degree 3

    Chorus.

    "We can't seem to find the answers
    He seemed such a clear cut case
    We cannot just let him leave here
    And put all this work to waste"

    The doctors still can not cure degree 3 but do not want to let him go. The doctors want answers

    "Why don't we try shock treatment
    It really might do some help
    We have just the tools to fix him
    To save him from himself"

    Shock treatment was and still is used on schizophrenic patients. It seems here that this is the last resort but by the sound of everything degree 3 will most likely not be cured.

    And finally "deception of fame" from the grand finale means that degree 3 believes he is a star. The light tests are his spotlight. The mental institution his stage. Remember he lives in a world of fiction and fantasy. He can be whoever he chooses and he chose a life of fame in his world.
    Randyrhoads1994on January 30, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is definitely one of the more difficult degrees of inner turbulence to place. It seems to me the song is describing schizophrenia (please don't confuse schizophrenia with dissociative identity disorder, or "multiple personalities"). My clues are lines like 'suffering from delusions' and 'he lives in a world of fiction.' Anyone else have any ideas?
    Fluxon April 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the first two verses describe a gig. Maybe this guy thinks he is a rockstar or something...

    "Standing in the darkness
    Waiting for the light"
    The guy is waiting in backstage for the gig to begin.

    "Random blinding flashes
    Aiming at the stage"
    People taking photographs

    "Intro tape begins to roll
    Igniting sonic rage"
    Intro tape starts, audience begins to cheer and band starts.
    EhSteveon October 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI and leaning towards agreeing with Flux; you are right that it is difficult to really tell. It must be schizophrenia judging by the paranoia present in the song. Also, shock treatments used to (and still are, but rarely) treat schizophrenia. The guy in the song thinks he knows some answer to a question that no one else knows (a "classic" symptom). He also thinks everyone is watching him and that the world revolves around him. I love the instrumentation; it invokes the feeling of paranoia and extreme stress affiliated with it!
    komplexnouson November 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think that there really isn't anything wrong with the person in the song. when you listen to how the voices of the doctors are sung they seem to be portrayed as idiots. They seem to think somethings wrong with him but they can't find out thus the lines:
    "We can't seem to find the answers
    He seemed such a clear cut case
    We cannot just let him leave here
    And put all this work to waste"

    I still don't know about the first lines tho

    "Standing in the darkness
    Waiting for the light
    The smell of pure adrenaline
    Burning in the night

    Random blinding flashes
    Aiming at the stage
    Intro tape begins to roll
    Igniting sonic rage"

    It does seem to be describing a concert i don't really kno how that ties into it



    riotmentality.cjb.net
    Riot Mentalityon January 02, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, the concert idea is very interesting, but simply doesn't fit in with the concept of the album.
    Thunderbolton January 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's all told through the patient's eyes: In his view, he's a God. He knows all and everyone with half a mind loves him. However the idiot doctors think he's crazy.

    The reality of all this can't be seen from the lyrics.
    schleppyon July 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs I see it, this song is not about illness at all. Instead, it's about how the general public can't understand prog rock bands. Although there is nothing really wrong with prog rock musicians, the public tries to discover "what's wrong with them" (tests) and try to "fix" them by any means, in the way a doctor would.
    f15x28on January 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit is about a wannabe rockstar, in losing time/grand finale (deception of fame), you can tell that this was a guy that tried to be a rockstar and he believe he was one. But never really was someone big. I mean maybe he was just in a local band but he believed otherwise. As a rockstar maybe he trashed the place and was someone dangerous. That would be maybe the reason that he was in a mental institution, with shock treatment.
    toky_worldon January 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttoky world:
    kind a like pink floyd's the wall when pink crashes his place nah?
    I really think this song could be something like that...
    the whole rockstar who went insane idea, like syd barret...
    who know, great song
    always&neveron March 06, 2006   Link

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