"Lines in the Sand" as written by and Michael/myung Portnoy....
Sometimes
For a moment of bliss
In the passion
We're craving
There's a message we miss

Sometimes when
The spirit's left alone
We must believe in something
To find if we've grown

Tragic reflex
Shattered calm
Static progress
Senses gone
Numb awareness
Final psalm

Swept away with the tide
(Swept away with the tide)
Through the holes in my hands
(Through the holes in my hands)
Crown of thorns at my side
(Crown of thorns
At my side ye ye yeah)
Drawing lines in the sand

Sometimes
If you're perfectly still
You can hear the virgin weeping
For the savior of your will

Sometimes
Your castles in the air
And the fantasies you're seeking
Are the crosses you bear

Sacred conflict
Blessed prize
Weeping crosses
Stainless eyes
Desperate addict
Faith disguised

Swept away with the tide
(Swept away with the tide)
Through the holes in my hands
(Through the holes in my hands yeah)
Crown of thorns at my side
(Crown of thorns at my side)
Drawing lines in the sand

We fabricate our demons
Invite them into our homes
Have supper with the aliens
And fight the war alone
We conjure up our skeletons
Enlist the den of thieves
Frightened from our closets
Then sewn upon our sleeves

In the stream of consciousness
There is a river crying
Living comes much easier
Once we admit
We're dying

Sometimes
In the wreckage of our wake
There's a bitterness we harbor
And hate for hatred's sake

Sometimes
We dig an early grave
And crucify our instincts
For the hope we couldn't save

Sometimes
A view from sinless eyes
Centers our perspective
And pacifies our cries

Sometimes
The anguish we survive
And the mysteries we nurture
Are the fabrics of our lives

Swept away with the tide
(Swept away with tide yeeah)
Through the holes in my hands
(Through the holes
Holes in my hands)
Crown of thorns at my side
(Crown of thorns at my side yeah)
Drawing lines in the sand


Lyrics submitted by rainstorm

"Lines in the Sand" as written by John Myung Derek G. Sherinian

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Lines in the Sand song meanings
Add your thoughts

16 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General CommentIMO a song about how overtly religious people actually miss the message..of Peace & Love.
    Within The Mindon December 02, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment"Drawing Lines in the Sand" is an obvious reference to the passage in the bible where Jesus ("crown of thorns at my side") stops an angry mob from stoning a woman by telling them that "He who is sinless may cast the first stone". He proceeded to bend down and began writing in the sand. It doesn't say what he wrote (two common interpretations was that he was listing the sins of those in the mob, or that he was citing the passage in the Torah that proved the woman innocent of her crime), but the theme there, and I believe here, is "Judge not, lest ye shall be judged yourself."

    "Sometimes a view from sinless eyes
    Centers our perspective
    And pacifies our cries"
    Muertos13on August 01, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is about Christians who miss the point of their faith, get preoccupied with salvation and become filled with hate for those who don't conform as a result, which as any christian knows isn't the point of their belief at all. The verses and bridges explain this pretty well.

    The chorus is an image of a holier than thou person. They are bogged down in becoming so religious and living perfectly that they forget jesus' suffering (crown of thorns at the side) and are drawing their own lines in the sand, not the ones jesus drew. The first line "Swept away with the tides" is a lament as to how widespread this is, especially in america with small fundamentalist churches all over the shop.
    Chrissalixon May 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentim thinking this song is about a man with no religion...and the chorus is like..jesus being on the cross "Through the holes in my hands, Crown of Thorns at my side"
    Spartaon September 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is just a great song, i think it's about religion/lack of it
    the concious of person who turned unreligious due to some misfortune in his life.

    i'm surprised only one person commented on this song.
    eshtaryuson September 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDamn straight how are there so few calls about this song. One of the best DT songs written in my opinion.
    One of the first i heard that really made me realise how effective they were at making the listener feel what they wanted you to feel.
    Upintheskyon March 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is quite personal to me, as I feel I've experienced a lot of it...
    First, a couple of the guys are from a Catholic background, so "you can hear the virgin weeping for the savior of your will" is a reference to the Virgin Mary, ever interceding to the Savior on the behalf of mankind. She weeps because the message Jesus taught has been so disregarded by so many of us.
    "Tragic reflex, shattered calm/ Static progress, senses gone/ Numb awareness, final psalm..." When one is deeply cut or struck, the unfortunate reflex is to recoil. When that blow comes from a member of the church, or the organization as a whole, one's whole sense of stability and peace is shattered. Any "progress" that had been made in one's life is suddenly revealed as nothing more than useless static, providing no power or substance. After the initial reaction, a numbness sets in, partly from shock and partly from pain. A "swan song" is sung, in which a victim declares he's never going back. This can be supported by the title, "Drawing Lines In the Sand." They're demarkations of decision, though they're not necessarily permanent or indelible.
    "Living becomes so much easier once we admit we're dying" stresses a moment in time in people's lives where they understand the need of practical living rather than idyllic existence, much of which can be quite illusionary. Just my take, however. I'd love to get inside the heads of DT, particularly John Petrucci, when he penned this. I know this (1997) was a very dark time in his life, as well as forMike Portnoy, who had recently lost his mother when "A Change of Seasons" was written.
    twasthenon January 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI've always also seen it as everything you do seems insignificant and its like all you do is not significant to make any change or progress.
    rubber314chickenon December 11, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this song has to do with the fact that people can be blinded by their own cause, whatever that may be; politics, ideals, religion, personal gain... And in that blind rage, people tend to forget what they really stand for, becoming in essence what they hate without realizing it, just to get out on top. "The outcome justifies the means", if you will. In particular in the part

    "We fabricate our demons
    Invite them into our homes
    Have supper with the aliens
    And fight the war alone
    We conjure up our skeletons
    Enlist the den of theives
    Frightened from our closets
    Then sewn upon our sleeves"

    We make up threats to our cause, fight amongst each other and we are willing to give up all we stand for just to se our (made up) enemies defeated. The title about "drawing lines in the sand", as twasthen put it, could symbolize these meaningless and easilly altered boundries that separate man from himself based on nothing but blind dogmatic faith - wheter in politics, religion, nationalism and so on - and the hypocrisy that comes with it. Man always comes up with reasons to hate each other. For instance, practically every language has a word for "barbarian". In other words, barbarians view other people as barbarians. This is especially clear in the part

    "Sometimes, in the wreckage of our wake
    There's a bitterness we harbor
    And hate for hatred's sake"

    Every cause ever concieved has the potential to turn out bad, once you forget what you really "fight" for. People start drawing lines in the sand, and those lines are constantly shifting, and people hate each other just because they "always have".

    In essence, I think this song is about making us think about what we really live for - Is it to further a cause we don't even support? "Once we admit we're dying" we can start thinking about what really matters - we aren't going to live forever, so we should think carefully before fighting someone elses fight, just so they can get out on top.
    anonymooseon June 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy favorite Dream Theater song. I interpret this song as being about how people stop LIVING and start making excuses (or blame, complain, whine, etc.) for their own inadequacies or the mediocre lives (even though they know that they can be so much more - they settle for an existence they loathe), hence, DEAD, in all senses of the word, except physically (numb awareness - final psalm).

    "Living comes much easier once we admit we're dying" is the highlight sentence of the song. My interpretation of that line is that while we are healthy and truly able to LIVE our lives, we complain and curse about it. When illness strikes or fatalities occur or death creeps up on us, we realize that "any" life is a good thing and we realize that the "hard" life we WERE living while healthy was much "easier" than we thought.

    Thoreau's "quiet desperation" comes to mind when I listen to this song.

    I think John Petrucci was suffering immensely from the loss of his father when he penned these lyrics. There is soooooo much emotion in this song both lyrically and musically. I still get goosebumps, even after a thousand listens, when I hear the solo in this song. I think that, while he was playing this solo, he had his father in mind and, listening to it in that frame of reference, really brings out the emotional element in it.

    Truly a beautiful creation and, in my opinion, Dream Theater's finest. Remember - Don't get swept away with the tide!!
    DTFANIAMon August 18, 2009   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain