Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci wrote this song when his father was fighting cancer. "It was a song expressing that feeling - he was way too young when he got sick, he died too young," Petrucci said in a Songfacts interview. "That was just expressing, 'don't go yet. There's more life ahead of you, hopefully.' It's a son wanting his dad to stick around longer."
Dream Theater have a few songs in their catalog that deal with the passing of parents. Petrucci wrote another song about his dad with "Take Away My Pain," from their 1997 album Falling Into Infinity; drummer Mike Portnoy wrote about his mother's death on the song "A Change Of Seasons" (1995), and about his father's passing on "Honor Thy Father" (2003).
The band wrote this song after parting ways with their first record label, Mechanic Records, and signing a deal with Atco in 1991. Their only Mechanic release, When Dream And Day Unite in 1989, was a failure, in part because the label didn't have the resources to promote it or to send the band on tour. With Atco, they had some conflict but got a lot more support; the Images And Words album, issued in 1992, blew past expectation, selling about 600,000 copies in America to make Dream Theater a rare progressive metal band with a Gold album.
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