The meaning of the song «Song of Myself» by Nightwish

The meaning of the song «Song of Myself» by Nightwish songs

Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen and vocalist Tarja Turunen, who was replaced in 2007 by former Alyson Avenue singer Anette Olzon. In 2002, original bassist Sami Vänskä was replaced by Marko Hietala, who also took over the role of vocalist, having previously performed Holopainen or guest singers.

Over ten million NIGHTWISH CDs have been sold worldwide. She received sixty gold and platinum awards and became the most successful in Finland.
Finnish band NIGHTWISH has created an environment where the pure angelic beauty of vocals are combined with raw metal guitars, and intricate keyboard arrangements are combined with driving rhythms, creating a fast-paced stylistic mix.

The song “Song of Myself” is the twelfth track from the album Imaginaerum (2011).

History of the song

This thirteen and a half minute epic track is divided into four parts and was inspired by Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen’s favorite poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892) and his famous free verse poem of the same name. The song includes a six-minute reading of a Transcendentalist poem. Tuomas explained to Metal Hammer magazine, “I wanted to pay tribute to him and write the lyrics the way he might have written. It’s a real, open, thorough, personal catharsis, especially the oral part.”

Nightwish – Song of Myself

It is extremely difficult to do justice to the description of “Song of Myself”. It starts as an intense, driving metal piece that pumps the listener and makes their heart beat faster, then keeps them on their toes, moving into a dramatic ballad interspersed with heavy guitar and percussion rhymes, and then a hit hit after about seven minutes. A sudden switch, falling into an absolutely heartbreaking segment of orchestral music and dialogue that will make a grown man sob at the beauty and sadness of it all. This is a song that makes you look back at your life and think: “Did I do the right thing?”

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The song depicts its own philosophy of life, asking questions about how people live their lives. They are noted to worship things pointlessly while missing out on much of the beauty that life has to offer. Tuomas is trying to change the world through music, but he’s not sure he can do it and he’s amazing at it. In Song of Myself, “I” is all the great heart lying still, the essence of the song that makes the song come alive.

From the very beginning, “Song of Myself” sort of sets up part 4, “Love”, describing this tragic gap between poetry and nature, nature and song, hence “that same old Dead man’s song” and “all this great heart lies still” – all this poetic nature that the writer could not use. That is why opuses N 1, 2, 3 are “empty” or why “sometimes the sky turns black like a piano”. This is a trifle in which there is nothing to hide and nothing to open, like a rusty key without a door.

The meaning of the lyrics

The song uses quite a lot of anecdotes, aphorisms and other literary devices. This speaks volumes, and it is not so easy to reduce her to a longing for justice in a dark world.

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Some of the lines are very stimulating: “How can you say, ‘Just be yourself.’

The fourth act “Love” is an attack on the senses lasting almost seven minutes. There is a place in it for an old man who, crying, admires a model doll on his balcony. The following describes a young boy who collects alms with a trembling hand and no one pays attention to him. This causes him unbearable pain. Love is shown in the way a mother visits her condemned son behind bars, she has never loved him so much before.

The singer describes his meeting in an elevator with a fat lonely girl. He understands that in the evening she will have dinner alone. This makes her even more beautiful to him. In a lonely alley, he meets a beaten dog, and regrets that he does not have another leg. In this verse, the singer admits that he has never been so close to the truth.

The last couplet is the most important. The notes “G” and “E minor” are parallel musical scales, the same pitches, like two sides of the same coin. Happiness and sadness are coexisting parts of human life. Tumoas described these verses as a celebration of life, with all its beautiful and dark sides at the same time.

The theme of the cross is used in the song and it sounds ambiguous. He asks why people wear a torture device around their neck but are, in fact, completely involved in psychological torture and find symbols to support his sense of “insufficiency”. The Christian cross should be a divine recognition of human suffering and cooperation with it; something that gives meaning to people (like Tuomas) who are suffering. He criticizes people for biblical blackness, but replaces it with piano blackness. The singer judges humanity, but later asks who is he to judge? Emphasizing at the same time that there is nothing nobler than to die for your faith.

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He goes on to say that the world is dead without history and all-consuming love. At the same time, he recalls his father and says that only the thought of his family gives him love and peace.

A wonderful epic written in beautiful and mature prose. Anette Olzon’s vocals emphasize the spirituality of this song, conveying the philosophical meaning of the words at the end.


Soul and body are always exhausted. The lyrics of the song say that people always regret something they can’t control, so they always get hurt, no matter how much they fantasize. They all also yearn for something eternal and beautiful, hoping to seize on it at the last moment. The essence of the song is that they are powerless to do anything. Living life, people always learn something new in order to become more mature looking back. As they cling to life, they realize that deep down they are just shadows and dust. “Song of Myself” is very emotional, powerful and thought-provoking. She is truly inspiring and reflects the true spirit of Nightwish as well as the whole world.

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