Sung by Kansas
. Words and music by Kerry Livgren
and Steve Walsh
Recorded on the Leftoverture
album released in 1976.
Re-released in The Best of Kansas
in 1984 and disk two of The Kansas Boxed Set
Recoded live on Live At The Whiskey
I'm woven in a fantasy, I can't believe the things I see
The path that I have chosen now has led me to a wall
And with each passing day I feel a little more like something dear was lost
It rises now before me, a dark and silent barrier between,
All I am, and all that I would ever want be
It's just a travesty, towering, marking off the boundaries my spirit would erase
To pass beyond is what I seek, I fear that I may be too weak
And those are few who've seen it through to glimpse the other side,
The promised land is waiting like a maiden that is soon to be a bride
The moment is a masterpiece, the weight of indecision is in the air
It's standing there, the symbol and the sum of all that's me
It's just a travesty, towering, blocking out the light and blinding me
I want to see
Gold and diamonds cast a spell, it's not for me I know it well
The treasures that I seek are waiting on the other side
There's more that I can measure in the treasure of the love that I can find
And though it's always been with me, I must tear down the Wall and let it be
All I am, and all that I was ever meant to be, in harmony
Shining true and smiling back at all who wait to cross
There is no loss
The first verse introduces us to the Wall. It is something that is a consequence of our past actions. Looking at it, we realize the possibilities that could have been and until this wall is overcome and the narrator reaches the other side. Until that time, the choices of the past haunt him.
The second verse brings images of Exodus and Moses leading his people to the promised land. The image of the maiden before the wedding is also one filled with religious symbolism. Beyond the religious symbolism, the second verse is images of promises and uncertainty. "I fear I may be too weak" and "the weight of indecision is in the air" both speak of questions.
On this side of the wall is money, wealth and fame. Although the narrator knows of it its not enough - or not what he seeks. The material pleasures of wealth pale in comparison to the love that he believes is on the other side of the wall.
In our lives, we all find the Wall. Each choice that we make (or don't make) may eventually come back to haunt us with 'what if?'. This 'what if' is in many cases the wall that obstructs us from reaching our full potential. 'What if' forms a silent barrier that others often don't see. No matter what the promise is on the other side - a land of milk and honey or a maiden waiting to be a bride, it is the weakness of indecision that holds us back. To cross this dark and silent wall we have to cast off the ghosts of old. The past has been written, and no matter how hard we try, we cannot change it - nor should we, for it is part of all who we are.