A Change Of Seasons

Album: A Change Of Seasons (1995)
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Songfacts®:

  • This 23-minute epic is in the vein of progressive rock classics like "Supper's Ready" by Genesis and "2112" by Rush. It's broken up into seven movements:

    I. The Crimson Sunrise
    II. Innocence
    III. Carpe Diem
    IV. The Darkest of Winters
    V. Another World
    VI. The Inevitable Summer
    VII. The Crimson Sunset

    The lyrics were written by Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, and find him coming to terms with the death of his mother, who was killed in a November 1984 plane crash:

    I'll always remember
    The chill of November
    The news of the fall


    "I was in school the day my mom died," he explained on his website. "The teacher was giving a lesson on how you should appreciate life, and gave us a whole thing about Carpe Diem and then I went home and gave my mom a big kiss and a hug goodbye, and then she ended up getting killed that night."
  • Dream Theater recorded "A Change Of Seasons" for their second album, Images And Words, released in 1992, but in age of vinyl, cassette and CD, a 23-minute song would take up half the album. They wanted to make Images And Words a double album to include the song, but their label, Atco, nixed the idea.

    In 1995, they recorded the song again with the same producer, David Prater, and released it on an EP called A Change Of Seasons, which was filled out with a collection of live cover songs.
  • This section of the lyrics comes from the poem To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick (1591-1674):

    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
    Old Time is still a-flying
    And this same flower that smiles to-day
    To-morrow will be dying
    >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lucius - Gaston, IN
  • This was the first Dream Theater recording with Derek Sherinian, who replaced Kevin Moore on keyboards in 1994.
  • The "Carpe Diem" section includes samples from the 1989 movie Dead Poets Society, and from the 1983 film Table For Five. According to Mike Portnoy, he thought the Dead Poets Society lines worked well in the song, but was more inspired by another Robin Williams movie, The World According to Garp (1982), which he describes as "dealing with the cycles of life."
  • Among the interesting bits of percussion is a vibraslap, an instrument that produces a chattering sound when it's struck. It was invented in 1967 to approximate the sound of a jawbone, an instrument made from the dried jawbone of animals like horses and donkeys. The vibration from striking the top would make the teeth rattle in the loose sockets. The modern version uses a wooden ball connected to a box of metal teeth.

    The first hit to prominently feature the vibraslap was "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers.

Comments: 4

  • Hugo from Osorno, ChileThis song's actual lyrics differ from the album version, In some moment, MP wanted to change them, because of important things that happened to him like losing his mother. This song is about his life and how he faces the world and life itself.
  • Domenic from Antioch, IlTruly an innovative masterpiece. It's about how people can get isolated in their minds having no emotion having nothing but a mask. How a man can forget about the future and wallow in nothing, and finally letting loose.

    The seasons represent time lines. Fall representing childhood isolation and innocence, Winter Is maturing to see the world for what it is, cold. Spring represents growth and wisdom. Summer is bliss and wisdom. And passing it on to the next Fall.
  • Lucius from Gaston, InTruly a great, and beautiful song.
  • Szabi from Novi Sad, Serbiathis is one epic masterpiece, 23 minutes of true enjoyment!
see more comments

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