"Hollow Years" as written by and John Petrucci....
He's just the kind of man
You hear about
Who leaves his family for
An easy out
They never saw the signs
He never said a word
He couldn't take another day

Carry me to the shoreline
Bury me in the sand
Walk me across the water
And maybe you'll understand

Once the stone
You're crawling under
Is lifted off your shoulders
Once the cloud that's raining
Over your head disappears
The noise that you'll hear
Is the crashing down of hollow years

She's not the kind of girl
You hear about
She'll never want another
She'll never be without
She'll give you all the signs
She'll tell you everything
Then turn around and walk away

Carry me to the shoreline
Bury me in the sand
Walk me across the water
And maybe you'll understand

Once the stone
You're crawling under
Is lifted off your shoulders
Once the cloud that's raining
Over your heads disappears
The noise that you'll hear
Is the crashing down of hollow years

Carry me to the shoreline
Bury me in the sand
Walk me across the water
And maybe you'll understand

Once the stone
You're crawling under
Is lifted off your shoulders
Once the cloud that's raining
Over your heads disappears
The noise that you'll hear
Is the crashing down of hollow years


Lyrics submitted by elmoz, edited by Octavarium64

"Hollow Years" as written by John Petrucci

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Hollow Years song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +7
    General Commenti think i finally know the exact same meaning of this song, here it goes...
    I wont pay attention to the verses as the real core is in the chorus, I understand the whole thing is about growing up, getting mature, and being happy: "Carry me to the shoreline, bury me in the sand, walk me across the waters" could be interpreted as how life sucks sometimes and makes us feel so down. "And maybe youll understand" means that after youve been through all that pain MAYBE youll "get it" if youre strong/brave/mature enough, aha? "Once the stone youre crawling under is lifted off your shoulders, once the cloud thats raining over your head disappears, the noise that youll hear is the crashing down of hollow years" Here is where the song gets powerful, it means that once youve left all your baggage and your issues behind and accepted reality, you finally begin to be happy "the stone is lifted off your shoulders" and "the cloud disappears" its like you just started living, and finally the term "hollow years" mean literally all that time in ur life when you still didnt "get it", all those years you felt miserable, but you are happy now, and that the noise that you are hearing is nothing more than the crashing down of those hollow years.
    hope makes sense to you, cheers.
    vhisson March 09, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthis is one of my favorite dream theater songs

    "She'll give you all the signs
    She'll tell you everything
    Then turn around and walk away"

    I think most of us can relate to that in some way
    oliverbakemanon April 06, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI heard from one of my friends that its lyrics is about divorce, when the marriage years of a couple become hollow, thus the title. The stone meant a heavy burden and the cloud probably meant problems and if these things would be taken away, the hollow years will crash down and come to an end.. I too believe that it's what the song probably meant. ^_^
    Eldzon February 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI really hate when people come onto song meaning and say how much they like a song, yet give no constructive contribution. Right let's discuss how great the solo is on a lyrical interpretation site.
    Onto interp - I always thought it was the divorce story. Upinthesky has it down perfectly. He's the kind of man who will leave his family on a whim, not talk about his problems, and not really care. She's the kind of girl who will work hard for it, tell you her problems, and when the fall on deaf ears, she'll walk away.
    The course is like getting out of a bad relationship you thought was good, you begin to see things from an objective persepctive and realize it wasnt' so good. Once the cloud disappears, you will see how hollow the years have really been.
    Legendraculaon July 28, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI haven't gone much into analyzing this song, just heard it a lot while listening to my cds, and yes the Budokan version is so much better with the Petrucci solo. But I believe the first verse is about a father leaving his family of course, and the 2nd is speaking of the daughter of that man, perhaps her mother began to date another, and she gives the signs she ready for a new father, but really she never will be, and just wishes her dad would return.
    Stillborn2000on January 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI would have to agree with the assumption that it is about the break up of a family. Once the cloud thats raining over your head disappears, the noise that youll hear is the crashing down of hollow years. it has to refer to when all pretence is gone and all the pointless struggling ceases you see the waste of those years.
    Upintheskyon March 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's definitely not about suicide. It's about human relationships,about a guy and a girl, finding out after years(hollow years, due to lack of knowledge) that they are so different. The break up(or something else...for example, accepting how things are set up and making a new beginning) brings salvation and peace of mind, probably for both of them. A great song.
    nicktgr15on September 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationForgot about the all important chorus! This interpretation is semi-metaphorical

    "Carry me to the shoreline
    Bury me in the sand
    Walk me across the water
    And maybe you'll understand"

    The concept here is that sometimes we are weak and we fall, we need someone to care for us, to help us out. I love the metaphor of the beach. What he wants you to do, in my opinion, is support him, get him to the shoreline(be there for him), bury him in the sand(take him away from his problems), walk him across the water(take him to your end, there is a vast ocean between the two of you) and maybe you'll understand(because now you have seen BOTH sides).


    "Once the stone
    You're crawling under
    Is lifted off your shoulders
    Once the cloud that's raining
    Over your head disappears
    The noise that you'll hear
    Is the crashing down of Hollow Years"

    This could be any number of people speaking. The concept, I think, is this:

    When you are finally relieved of your pain, when someone finally comes and sets you free from your personal hell, when you are released from the cage of your troubles.. you will realize that it was all meaningless. That pain and suffering is gone and worthless to you now. This is now, that was then.

    This does kind of support the suicide theory, as all the bad goes away at once when you die(theoretically) but, again, I don't feel the verses support the idea of a suicide. Occam's razor makes me think relationship
    guardiandevil305on March 16, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationYou're all wrong. This song is about Jack Bauer's fake death between 24's season 4 and season 5.
    Wait a minute, that is not possible, since this song was written in the 90s, and the TV show was aired 10 years later...
    Anyway Here's the breakdown.


    He's just the kind of man
    You hear about

    -- Jack Bauer changed his name/identity, and became an ordinary worker.

    Who leaves his family for
    An easy out

    -- He left his family (his daughter) and made her think he's dead.

    They never saw the signs
    He never said a word
    He couldn't take another day

    -- Jack disappeared just like that. At the end of season 4. He couldn't take "another day", well, it had been a long day.

    Chorus
    Carry me to the shoreline
    Bury me in the sand
    Walk me across the water
    And maybe you'll understand

    -- Jack is supposed to be dead. So he says "bury me in the sand". "The water" is referring to the ending of season 6 (Jack gazing at the Pacific Ocean). 24 was set in Los Angeles, California -- they had nice beaches and shorelines there.

    Once the stone
    You're crawling under
    Is lifted off your shoulders
    Once the cloud that's raining
    Over your head disappears
    The noise that you'll hear
    Is the crashing down of Hollow Years

    -- This verse refers to the terrorists. "The stone" is their WMD, and "the cloud" is the mushroom cloud of the nuclear bomb. "The crashing down" could refer to the explosion of the bomb (season 2 and 6), or the failure of the attack (season 4).

    She's not the kind of girl
    You hear about
    She'll never want another
    She'll never be without
    She'll give you all the signs
    She'll tell you everything
    Then turn around and walk away

    -- This verse is about Jack's daughter, Kim. She'll never want another man to be her father. Now that her father is (supposedly) dead, she'll try to turn around and walk away from all the sadness in her life.
    pagen_hdon April 18, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think its about dealing with Suicide. Its A great song
    Snothebeston December 07, 2004   Link

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