Learning To Live

Album: Images And Words (1992)


  • This is one of the few songs for which Dream Theater bassist John Myung wrote the lyrics. It is about a man struggling with AIDS and the entire scene in the '90s.
  • James LaBrie came onboard as lead singer for the Images And Words album. At the time, he had what he described to Songfacts as "ridiculous range," which allowed him to hit some crazy notes in this song. He had to dial it back after suffering a severe vocal injury in 1994 while the band was promoting the album. Doctors told him to take six months off, but that would have been devastating for the band, so he pushed through it, with consequences. "I have hit F notes here and there, but I have to really watch it," he said. "That was probably the darkest moment in my life, for sure."
  • Running 11:30, this is the closing track on Images And Words. Many of the band's longer songs are their concert favorites, which is true of "Learning To Live."

Comments: 4

  • John from Santa Clara, CaHi Francisco, this article says you are right! https://www.guitargabble.com/articles/dream-theaters-images-and-words-songs-meaning/
  • Francisco from Juarez, MexicoDoes anyone know if the lyrics are in any way inspired by Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" ??? These sentences are written in page 211: "He had no time for pain, no energy for anger. Within a few weeks, it was over; the blinding stabs of hatred ceased and did not return.
    He was back in confident self-control on the evening when he telephoned...." Is it just a bizarre coincidence? I don't think so...
  • Nova from Room, Saudi ArabiaI love this song . one of my favourites of all . I love the Lyrics , so touching .
  • John from Santa Clara, CaThis is my favorite song ever. I love the lyrics. I love the instruments. I love the wordless yell followed by an awesome short guitar solo. The ending rocks, too.
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