Sung by guitarist James Young, "These Are The Times" is a track from Cyclorama
, the first Styx album without Dennis DeYoung. Young explained: "'These Are the Times' is really an intervention song and what the lyrics are have kind of evolved - what they are at this stage and what they were when Tommy and I first wrote it. When we first started working on it was seven years ago, it was more about, Tommy was heavily involved, and still is, with drug interventions, and very supportive of a lot of groups that do work in that field and I've been through a number of those, notably with our dearly departed first drummer John Panozzo. The song was about intervening in someone's life, kind of in a way that Chuck (Panozzo), who is now openly a gay man who has come out and announced that he's HIV-positive and his struggles with this - it's about supporting him. Ultimately, what the lyrics finally evolved into, in a way, was the passing of my younger brother from a lymphoma and when we had to take him off life support. When we were in his room, everyone was around crying and it was very emotional and from the next room comes the sound of Jimi Hendrix' 'Purple Haze
.' This is in the intensive care unit and I said, 'This is my brother speaking to me, speaking to us.' And it lightened the mood. 'I hear voices from beyond the veil,' it sort of inspired that line, Tommy and I collaborated on that. So that song has kind of become about helping those, that there is something to live for, for those that think there isn't."
Jayme - Stockbridge, MI