Not a religious song but a spiritual one... | Reviewer: Mycroft Ward | 3/25/13
I don't agree with the previous comments, this isn't a religious song, it's a spiritual one.
"And from an ivory tower hears her call" - refers to womans voice from a point of unworldly innocence, not heaven.
"Sacred hearts won't take the pain
But mine will never be the same" - refers to having a stronger heart than "sacred hearts", believers in christ.
"Once lost but I was found
When I heard the stained glass shatter all around me" - he's saying he only really finds himself, or is found by god as it were, once he breaks free from religion (stained glass boxing him in).
His Dead Lost Love Gives Him Permission to be Happy Again | Reviewer: tps | 9/8/12
I thought this was an amazing song even before I started listening to the lyrics with the music playing. (Some of the lyrics pages online are wrong or incomplete, so beware.) Dream Theater (or some of its members, are religious, and it comes out in a lot of their music--"The Spirit Carries On" being a prime example.
In this song, the man is tormented by dreams at night, his alarm clock wakes him, he throws open the shutters, the memories--the dreams and the real past he recalls--rush back and overwhelm him. When he sleeps, she is real again, and she dances on his bed (they are younger again, in love, make love, he is happy. Until he wakes up to his alarm--"Set sirens waking up tired eyes.")
It is obvious it is not a girl who spurned him, but a wife or lover who died. Ivory tower = heaven as it has in literature for centuries. She is calling out to him to let her go and to be happy. Be surrounded by the light--accept God (the Light) knowing she is in Heaven and OK and waiting for him. He can't yet accept it. I have known several people who are like this after losing someone close. It destroys them from within.
She tells him again, from the ivory tower, to accept that she is in Heaven, and to accept God and be surrounded by his light. This frustrates him (he is on the verge of accepting it) and he breaks the stained glass (metaphor for a church, perhaps) knowing that if he accepts this, she will will fade away, as she must. He sends the evil spirits "tumbling down the hill"--i.e., he sends them away, but then holds onto one (his lost love). he can't quite let go. "She whispers words to clear my mind," and he finally understands . . . and lets her go.
It is easier to stay with old habits, he has given everything he could, but he knows, finally, that when he goes back to sleep that night, he will be "Surrounded in all the light." Happy, having accepted God and where she is now.
Just a lovely, deep song I never tire of hearing.
I know it's easier to walk away than look it in the eye
But I had given all than (Should be That not Than) I could take
And now I've only habits left to break
Tonight I'll still be lying here
Surrounded in all the light