Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci
wrote the lyric. Along with drummer Mike Portnoy, he wrote most of the lyrics for the band, although lead singer James LaBrie wrote the words to the Octavarium
track "Sacrificed Sons," which deals with 9/11.
"I Walk Beside You" is one of the more accessible Dream Theater songs, running just 4:29 (very short by their standards) with a standard pop song structure and a straightforward lyric about interpersonal relations. After their previous album, the metal-heavy Train of Thought
, they wanted to put some songs on Octavarium
that could get airplay. This one sounds as close to U2 as Dream Theater would ever come.