Don't
Tell me what's in
Tell me how to write
Don't tell me how to win this
Fight.
Isn't your life
It isn't your right
To take the only thing that's
Mine.
Proven over time
It's over your head
Don't try to read between
The Lines
Are clearly defined
Never lose sight of something
You believe in.

Takin' in the view from the outside
Feelin' like the underdog.
Watchin' through the window I'm on the outside
Living like the underdog.

I've been trying
To justify you.
In the end I will
Just defy you.

To those who understand,
I extend my hand.
To the doubtful I demand
Take me as I am.
Not under your command,
I know where I stand.
I won't change to fit your plan.
Take me as I am.

As I am.

Still
Running uphill.
Swimming against the current
I wish I weren't so
Fucked.
Feels like I'm stuck,
Lost in a sea of mediocrity.
Slow down,
You're thinking too much,
Where is your soul
You cannot touch the way
I play,
Or tell me what to say.
You're in the way
Of all that I believe in.

Takin' in the view from the outside
Feelin' like the underdog.
Watchin' through the window I'm on the outside
Living like the underdog.

I've been wasting my breath
On you.
Open mind will descend
Upon You.

To those who understand,
I extend my hand.
To the doubtful I demand
Take me as I am.
Not under your command,
I know where I stand.
I won't change to fit your plan.
Take me as I am.

To those who understand,
I extend my hand.
To the doubtful I demand
Take me as I am.
Not under your command,
I know where I stand.
I won't change to fit your plan.
Take me as I am.

As I am.

Yeah!

As I am.


Lyrics submitted by Idan, edited by Octavarium64

As I Am Lyrics as written by John Petrucci John Myung

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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As I Am song meanings
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61 Comments

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  • +5
    General Comment

    It's ironic how when this album came out, people were saying "Dream Theater should have done this album differently, should be less heavy, less keyboards, better solos, better songwriting, blah blah blah" when this song is exactly about those kind of people :P

    IdiotequeDanceon April 20, 2004   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation

    The way I've always seen this song is as sort of a "fuck you" to the music industry. Cookie cutter industry created bands who are just there to sell records (the sea of mediocrity) get all the attention, while bands who actually care about making good music (like Dream Theater) are told to change and be more radio friendly. The entire first verse is telling the industry to stop asking them to be more commercial. I also take parts of it as telling music critics to stop criticizing progressive music just because they don't understand it.

    TubularLuggageon January 11, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    This song is about fighting life, and running up hill and not giving up. I listen to it everytime I run.

    Cassius Killswitchon February 25, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Perhaps about all the fans who expect another "Images and Words"?

    Thunderbolton April 11, 2004   Link
  • +3
    Song Fact

    The lyrics of this song were written by Petrucci after an incident in a tour with Queensrÿche in 20003, where the latter band's guitar player at the time, Mike Stone, went out to "give tips" to Petrucci about his playing/technique. I don't think that there is any need to clarify how pretentious and arrogant that was, and who is in place of giving tips to the other, but that prompted Petrucci to write the lyrics. I don't really know about the "this song is about the music industry" thing, but the Petrucci/Stone story is fact.

    alexandrenon April 12, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    ToT is their best album. i'm glad they dropped much of the typical prog cliches and cheesiness and made a good heavy album.

    Disposition_987on January 08, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Woah, how incredibly not-helpful everyone is. Well, at least Thunderbolt TRIED to help.

    This song is about the record companies cutting up songs to make them more radio-friendly.

    "I won't change to fit your plan, take me as I am" "I've been wasting my breath on you" This line is actually pretty good. It implies arguement, but also plays on the idea of "Why bother doing this if they're gonna cut it out"

    "You cannot touch The way I Play Or tell me what to say "

    x0p30d3on February 06, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Oh and something that annoyed me is after the first time they go through

    "To those who understand, I extend my hand To the doubtful I demand, take me as I am Not under your command, I know where I stand I won't change to fit your man, Take me as I am"

    And they sing "As I am" after a bit of guitars...it sounds sooo Metallica-esque it's just scary! :P...

    vampirella666on March 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    If you don't like Dream Theater nor this album, why did you give them 5 stars? :D

    A great "in your face" song for all those who oppose the Kings of Prog. ;)

    <p><b><i>Edited by YtseJam on May 26 2004, at 03:31PM</i></b></p>

    Idanon April 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Basically the whole album was Mike Portnoy's idea. He said that he doesn't want to be like other Prog bands and become soft after the age of 40. So he just tried to be as hard as possible basically. Did DT go over board yea maybe, but i still have SfaM and 6doit.

    RobGarcinon May 31, 2004   Link

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