Is there ever really a right time
You had led me to believe
Someday you'd be there for me

When the stars above aligned
When you weren't so consumed
I kept looking for the clues

So I waited in the shadows of my heart
And still the time was never right

Until one day I stopped caring
And began to forget why I longed to be so close
And I disappeared into the darkness
And the darkness turned to pain
And never went away
Until all that remained
Was buried deep beneath the surface

A shell of what things could have been

Tired bones beneath a veil
Of guarded secrets all too frail
Sad to think I never knew
You were searching for the words
For the moment to emerge

Yet the moment never came
You couldn't risk my fragile frame

Until one day you stopped caring
And began to forget why you tried to be so close
And you disappeared into the darkness
And the darkness turned to pain
And never went away
Until all that remained
Was buried deep beneath the surface

I would scream just to be heard
As if yelling at the stars
I was bleeding just to feel

You would never say a word
Kept me reaching in the dark
Always something to conceal

Until one day I stopped caring
And began to forget why I longed to be so close
And I disappeared into the darkness
And the darkness turned to pain
And never went away
Until all that remained
Was buried deep beneath the surface


Lyrics submitted by The Letter M, edited by Octavarium64

Beneath the Surface Lyrics as written by JOHN PETRUCCI

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Beneath The Surface song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +6
    General Comment

    Excellent song, Excellent album. The song might mean about a lost love, friendship or somebody that was just forgotten because of lack of courage, from both sides. In which it was buried beneath the surface and forgotten on the shadows. Really sad tune but excellent.

    perilioon September 01, 2011   Link
  • +4
    My Interpretation

    The intentinoal meaning of the song (that is, DT's interpretation of the lyrics) is completely lost to me because this song describes so perfectly a HUGE chunk of my life and the relationship between me and someone else which caused more than a few personal crises and dilemmi (its the correct word, look it up!) I don't know what anyone else has gone through but this song captured 13 years of complete and total agony (and the conclusion thereof) so well that the first time i listened to it, I had to pull the car over and take a breather before the song even ended.

    guardiandevil305on March 04, 2013   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I cried too. I agree that it is definitely a general relationship type song that we can all relate too. For me, it brings back the feelings of pain and hurt when I really cared about a friend who simply didn't return that same care and understanding, and one day, I made the conscious decision to stop caring. Then i heard this song... yeah. This was the first song I listened to twice on the album. Very excellent album indeed.

    Journeyman7on September 16, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I am not afraid to admit this but i cried to this song the first time i heard it. I can relate it to the bad relationship with my mom and how i feel about my dad. I still love this song to death.

    MetalFan2013on October 12, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    I think that this song is about a person who he had loved, but this song is gender neutral, so I will make it (for the sake of this explanation) a man talking about a woman, although it could easily be reversed.

    "You had led me to believe Someday you'd be there for me"

    He had loved her, but this love was unrequited, and although it does not seem to be specified, I think that she could even have been only taking advantage of him. She had told him at one point that she would always be a support for him, no matter what the situation, but when that time came, she had abandoned him, stripping him of any form of trust towards anyone.

    "When you weren't so consumed I kept looking for the clues"

    When he did manage to make contact with her, he was ignored, or blown off. Told that she was too busy for him. But he did not take this as ignorance, only coincidence, and kept on trying and trying to be able to talk to her, to no avail.

    "So I waited in the shadows of my heart And still the time was never right"

    He kept on waiting, and the shadows of his heart is the deepest darkest parts of what he feels, and he cannot talk to anyone but this girl about it, but the time was never right, because he either got ignored or nervous, I think in this situation, he wanted to profess his love for her.

    "Until one day I stopped caring And began to forget why I longed to be so close"

    Eventually, he simply gave up on her. He convinced himself that he never loved her, and blamed himself, saying that for some reason he longed a closeness with someone, probably because he is lonely. But now he is abandoned, and is even more alone than ever before.

    "And I disappeared into the darkness And the darkness turned to pain and never went away Until all that remained was buried deep beneath the surface"

    He eventually confined himself, likely to cry, and be upset without anyone knowing, likely because of pride, and he bottled himself off, essentially exiled himself because of the unbearable pain, which created a cynical and mistrusting attitude towards people, even those who tried to help him. Eventually, his bottled up emotions spilled out and made him snap, and even more pain came because he never properly dealt with the situation. But eventually, the pain took over, and all that he was, all his good things, were essentially buried.

    "A shell of what things could have been Tired bones beneath the veil Of guarded secrets all too frail"

    He is slowly making his way to recovery, he may have even moved on, but the question still lingers for him, 'what would happen if things were different?', and he considers what could have happened if it all worked out. But this leaves him emotionally exhausted, and he eventually is unable to differentiate between the 'what-ifs' and reality, and the truth becomes distorted, so he starts to become even more secretive. The worst thing now is not what happened, but the lies he told about it, whether it be to others or to himself. His biggest secret is that it never happened the way he pretends it did.

    "Sad to think I never knew You were searching for the words For the moment to emerge Yet the moment never came You couldn't risk my fragile frame"

    He eventually learns that her intentions were indeed pure. She also wanted to talk to him about whatever issue this was, whether it was what was happening in his life, or their love, or even both. But she knew he was sensitive and wanted to treat the situation delicately, so she kept putting it off, searching for the 'perfect moment', but she waited too long, and they grew to not only resent, but hate each other.

    "Until one day you stopped caring And began to forget why you tried to be so close And you disappeared into the darkness And the darkness turn to pain and never went away Until all that remained was buried deep beneath the surface"

    She eventually got fed up with their fighting and just let it stop, and she eventually began to question why she even bothered, or tried to be so close to him, when he was so insecure, and then eventually let it be and forgot about him and the whole thing, and moved along, into not a darkness for her, but a closer to physical one for him, in that he never got to see her again or even say sorry, the darkness is where she stayed, and he never saw her again. And this turned to pain, as he missed her, even despite all that she put him through, he still has these 'what-ifs' and misses her, but not who she turned into, the one who was there for him, and the one he loved.

    "I would scream just to be heard As if yelling at the stars I was bleeding just to feel You would never say a word Kept me reaching in the dark Always something to conceal"

    He eventually could not stand bottling up his emotions and being isolated any more. He needs to trust someone, but cannot bring himself to do it. His bleeding is not physical, but his anguish was now all he knew, and he let it happen just because it was better than feeling nothing. He would do everything in his power to make amends and see her again, but she never even said a word back to him, ignored him, stepped further into the shadows, where he couldn't find her. He would reach out for her, into that darkness, as far in as he could go, driving himself further and further into his abyss of instability and angst.

    Until he can finally get over her and move on to other people, and regain trust in others, who he used to be will be buried beneath the surface, that surface is his pain, and while that pain was caused by her, he maintains it.

    Satanspawnon July 05, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Not afraid to admit I cried the first time I heard this. What a beautiful song ;_;

    Cynnicioon September 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Opinion

    The moment that second chorus came in I bawled to hell. Not ashamed one bit.

    RunOfTheMillon September 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Best lyrics since Lines in the Sand.

    Chrissal1xon September 06, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I think it can be about any type of relationship between two people in which both people are afraid to speak out and say they still care when the relationship is dying.

    metallic slayeron September 15, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Wow... Just wow... I always think that Petrucci has a huge knack for lyrics, but he has really outdone himself this time. I finally got the album today, and I listened to it straight one track at a time, looking for the track that would really grab me. It was this one. Hands down. Have been listening to it on repeat ever since. First one that I learned too. Just wow... Such meaningful lyrics. Yup, I teared up too.

    maxd123456789on September 19, 2011   Link

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