TuscanyTunes



Apr 08

The Count of Tuscany - Dream Theater

What’s this all story about? What happened to John Petrucci (Dream Theater’s guitarist and songwriter) during his stay in Tuscany?
This is how he explained the story during an interview:

PG - Can you tell us something about the Count of Tuscany?

Petrucci - Yeah, that’s another example of a story that I shared, you know, something that happened to me that I would tell my friends and family but I never really wrote about it. Yeah, it’s sort of hard to follow the story but it’s basically a few years ago when Dream Theater were playing in Florence or something and there was my friend who is my guitar tech, he’s also wine importer, so he wanted to visit a winery in Tuscany, so he asked me if I wanted to come along. So, yeah, the guy who owned the winery is a count, he wasn´t the count of Tuscany, he is a count of something, anyway he brought us to this winery, it was a very old castle in the hills of Italy, it was very bizarre, you know just really weird stories the guy told, you know, like a mummified saint and a chapel, very strange and weird, I thought it would be great to tell that story, probably make a movie of it!
(source: http://www.portalgotico.com/2009/06/entrevista-john-petrucci-dos-dream.html)

Someone interpretated the song as an homage to Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”.
Some others think this song as a connection with Hannibal Lecter Character:

Maybe you’ll recall
A cannibal curator
A character inspired
By my brother’s life.

The Count of Tuscany is taking him to the man that the character HANNIBAL LECTER was based off of. Yea, you know, the elegant psycopath from “The Silence of the Lambs”? (In the second film “Hannibal” he becomes the new curator of the Capponi Library under the name “Dr. Fell”) so probably the reason JP was frightened was because he thought he was going to be killed and eaten. 

Other interpretations connects the “Count” with brother of the tuscan serial-killer Pietro Pacciani :

“Pacciani lived in Italy and is believed to have inspired the Hannibal character, but he died in 1998. It could be his brother was showing Petrucci a photograph, except as far as I know, Pacciani was neither bearded nor a historian.

There are, however, conspiracy theories floating around on the internet that try to connect him with a satanic cult and a certain pedophile priest, which might help explain this paragraph:

Would you like to see
Our secret holy place
I come here late at night
To pray to him by candlelight
Then peering through the glass
I saw with disbelief
Still dressed in royal clothes
The saint behind the altar

Perhaps this was taking place in Petrucci’s imagination, and the “count” explained to him that they were “fables and tales all handed down through time”. It’s a stretch, I admit, but it’s the best I could come up with”
(source: http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/3530822107858777118/1/ASC/#comment)

I would just like to ensure all the fans of Tuscany and (of Dream Theatre) that visiting a winery is not dangerous at all and nobody so far has gotten killed here in Tuscany so feel free to listen to this song, but please don’t get influenced…Tuscany is amazing and so are its wineries!

_____________________________

Several years ago
In a foreign town
Far away from home
I met the Count of Tuscany

A young eccentric man
Bred from royal blood
Took me for a ride
Across the open country side

Get into my car
Let’s go for a drive
Along the way
I’ll be your guide
Just step inside

Maybe you recall
A cannibal curator
A character inspired by my brother’s life

Winding through the hills
The city far behind
On and on we drove
Down narrow streets and dusty roads

At last we came upon
A picturesque estate
On sprawling emerald fields
An ancient world of times gone by

Let me introduce
My brother
A bearded gentleman
Historian
Sucking on his pipe
Distinguished accent
Making me uptight
No accident

I want to stay alive
Everything about this place
Just doesn’t feel right
I
I don’t want to die
Suddenly I’m frightened for my life

I want to say goodbye
This could be the last time
You see me alive
I
I may not survive
Knew it
From the moment we arrived

Would you like to see
Our secret holy place?
I come here late at night
To pray to him by candlelight
Then peering through the glass
I saw with disbelief
Still dressed in royal clothes
The saint behind the altar

History recalls
During times of war
Legend has been traced
Back inside these castle walls

Where soldiers came to hide
In barrels filled with wine
Never to escape
These tombs of oak
Are where they died

Down the cellar stairs
I disappear
Like the angel’s share
The end is near

Come and have a taste
A rare vintage
All the finest wines
Improved with age

I want to stay alive
Everything about this place
Just doesn’t feel right
I
I don’t want to die
Suddenly I’m frightened for my life

I want to say goodbye
This could be the last time
You see me alive
I
I may not survive
Knew it
From the moment we arrived

Could this be the end?
Is this the way I die?
Sitting here alone
No one by my side

I don’t understand
I don’t feel that I deserve this
What did I do wrong?
I just don’t understand

Give me one more chance
Let me please explain
It’s all been circumstance
I’ll tell you once again

You took me for a ride
Promising a vast adventure
Next thing that I know
I’m frightened for my life

Now wait a minute man
That’s not how it is
You must be confused
That isn’t who I am

Please don’t be afraid
I would never try to hurt you
This is how we live
Strange although it seems
Please try to forgive

The chapel and the saint
The soldiers and the wine
The fables and the tales
All handed down through time

Of course you’re free to go
Go and tell the world my story
Tell about my brother
Tell them about me

Notes

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