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The Ghost Lover

Traditional

Johnny he promised to marry her She fears he's with some fair one and gone There's something that ails him but she don't know what it is And she's weary of lying alone

Johnny he came at the appointed hour Knocked on her window so slow This fair maid arose and hurried on her clothes And she bid her true love welcome home

She took him by the hand and she laid him down Felt he was as cold as the clay She said, my dearest dear, if only I had my wish This long night would never turn to day

Where is your soft bed of down, my love? Where are your white Holland sheets? And where is the fair maid who watches over you As you lie every night in your sleep?

The sea is my soft bed of down, my love The sand be my white Holland sheet The long hungry worms they do feed off me As I lie every night in the deep

"When will I see you again, my love? When will you come back again?" "When little fishes fly and the seas they do run dry And the hard rocks do melt in the sun."

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Ghost Love Score

95 comments.

Lyrics submitted by Equilan , edited by TheRealLumos , LoneWolf48

Ghost Love Score Lyrics as written by Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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ghost lover lyrics

I think someone got it right a couple of pages back with "My theory is that this song is about how Tuomas loved Tarja. I think, although I may be totally wrong, that it is called GHOST Love Score because it is a romantic relationship that never happened."

Well, along the right lines, anyway.

Firstly, Ghost Love Score is quite good.

Secondly, in terms of an emotional journey, this is as close to perfect as any song will come (comparable to Beethoven's Fifth, perhaps?). It would have my vote for best song ever written.

As many have stated, it probably refers to a betrayal between lovers. I'm not buying the Christian thing, not for one second, I don't think it's about that at all.

However, I think it refers specifically to Tuomas and Tarja. How much love existed between them, I won't claim to know. It could have been pretty literal, it could have been greatly exaggerated for storytelling purposes within the song, it could have been meant in an entirely platonic way, etc...

But, since we've now heard Dark Passion Play, we not only know how deeply Tuomas was affected by all that transpired with Tarja's departure, but also that he wasn't above writing a few songs about it. Namely, Bye Bye Beautiful seems to be looking back at her, almost fondly at times, despairing that she 'chose the long road' and didn't heed earlier warnings. Master Passion Greed is an all-out attack on Tarja's husband, who the band saw as having a very bad influence on her and turning her against them (could Tuomas have been jealous? Maybe, but I personally don't think that was it). And then there's The Poet And The Pendulum, discussing Tuomas' devastation after firing her, his thoughts of ending it, and finally him dealing with it.

So given all that, we know he was quite keen on her. Again, not necessarily in a sexual way, could quite easily have been a love of her as a friend (being in a band is often likened to being married - such as in Spinal Tap - it is quite possible he loved her out of 'them being in it together').

Bye Bye Beautiful is particularly important to our understanding of this theory, especially the line 'did you ever read what I wrote you?' This seems to strongly imply that there were messages within Tuomas' lyrics about Tarja not straying too far, lest she should fall. Specifically, these warnings would have to have been located before Tarja's departure, and since pressure had been slowly building to that point, it seems that the strongest and most obvious messages would be contained within Once.

And indeed, closer inspection reveals several interesting lyrics that could be relevant; 'These lines the last endeavour to find the missing lifeline' seems to be a final plea for them to get back to the glory days when all the band got on well together. I doubt 'old loves, they die hard, old lies, they die harder' or 'you challenged the Gods and lost' actually refer to her, though I think they're quite interesting. As is the opening of Creek Mary's Blood: 'Soon I will be here no more!'

Another very important sign was the choice of cover song for the Once tour, Pink Floyd’s 1994 track from The Division Bell, High Hopes. The most prominent line of the entire song is Marco’s wonderful call of ‘The grass was greener…’ This relates to a time of happiness now passed and unlikely to return.

Anyway, this got me wondering, are there any messages within the great Ghost Love Score itself? Well, though I’d loved the song for years, I never really studied the lyrics in depth. As soon as I opened up the lyrics page, it hit me, and I couldn’t believe I’d not spotted it before. ‘We used to swim the same moonlight waters. Oceans away from the wakeful day.’

Anyone remember the cover of an album from 1998 called Oceanborn?

Sure, it’s partly metaphorical, saying they used to want the same thing with the band, be on the same page in mindsets and all that, but the imagery is strikingly similar, swimming in a moonlit ocean, a deep blue in colour (‘blue’ being a word that crops up several times during this song).

The chorus seems to be begging her to turn back on the path heading away from him, warning her that if she leaves he will never fully recover. As with everything Tuomas has done with Nightwish, it’s all about her - ‘my fall will be for you.’

Ok, so why am I so sure it’s about those two? The answer lies in the quiet bridge in the middle, with the line ‘still I write my songs, about that dream of mine.’ Sounds awfully like Tuomas to me. We know he sees himself as the poet, the dead boy, the ocean soul, who else would he be talking about? It sounds very much like the same tone of phrase with which he describes his own songwriting concerns – ‘every thought, the music I write, everything a wish for the night,’ ‘every single verse can only be composed of the greatest of pain,’ and ‘one last perfect verse is still the same old song.’

Bearing that in mind, I think it’s about Tuomas. And that leads me straight on to think it’s about Tuomas thinking about Tarja.

The final bridge, about redeeming into childhood, seems to be twofold, firstly about his mind finding shelter in childhood memories in times of hardship (as previously mentioned in Away – ‘away, away, to a home away from care, every dream’s just a journey away,’ and later in The Poet And The Pendulum and the song named within – ‘my home was there and then, those meadows of Heaven, adventure-filled days, one with every smiling face’). Secondly, it might refer to a clean slate, to starting afresh and ridding them of all the ‘baggage’ the two of them carry (as in the Buffy episode ‘Tabula Rasa,’ if anyone else remembers that).

And then comes the final acceptance, she’s gone, not coming back, and however high I may yet climb, to quote the song, now I’ll bleed forever. And this ending, particularly on the End Of An Era DVD which doesn’t fade out, is probably Nightwish at their loudest ever – driving guitars, steadily rolling double bass drums, fairly continuous open hi hats (again, on End Of An Era, this evolves into the closest I’ve ever seen to Jukka playing a drum solo), massive orchestral textures and fanfares, and a massive chanting choir, hurling those memorable four lines out at full blast.

And in spite of that, soaring above it all comes Tarja, with one line: ‘My fall will be for you,’ because, as ever, in Tuomas’ world, it’s still all about her.

I'd love to discuss this topic further with people - if you'd like to, drop me an email at [email protected]

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Well I agree with you in some parts,but I don't know if it's about Tarja.He himself said that they had a special relationship ,but between his lyrics and her voice,with no emotinal touchments.And that part in Creek Mary's Blood:Soon I will be here no more.<br /> It is not about Tarja for god sake,it's about the Indian culture,abut the greatest sin of white ppl,killing the Indians:'Once we were here,where we have been since the world began,since time itself gave us this LAND.Listen to Tuomas interviews before talking stupidities about that song here...-.-'

@Lapsellinen Well, there are a few lines which can be used for double effect like the first line of Dark Chest of Wonders "Once I had a dream and this is it" which they start almost all concerts (excluding the ones with Anette) with. Because (IIRC) playing live to the fans is exactly Tuomas, Jukka and Emppu's dream.<br /> <br /> While the line "Soon I will be here no more" is obviously about Indian culture it may have been used for double effect in End of an Era too.

@pyreweb The only problem is that this song was written long before they had the drama with Tarja, so it could not have been them.

Somehow when I analyse this, it makes me think of Tarja, a lot of songs on Once actually do. I started to think so because some of the lines in the chorus of Bye Bye Beautiful: "Did you ever hear what I told you, did you ever read what I wrote you, did you ever listen to what we played". That made me think that some of the songs were messages for Tarja and when you listen to some of the songs on Once, you start to see it.

That's my interpretation however, not necessarily yours Anyway here's my analysis of the song.

"We used to swim the same moonlight waters Oceans away from the wakeful day" They once had the same dreams and opinions of the music, and he thought that would never change.

"My fall will be for you My love will be in you If you be the one to cut me I'll bleed forever" He cares a lot for her, sees her as a kindred spirit, which would make it so much more hurtful if she would betray him.

"Scent of the sea before the waking of the world Brings me to thee, into the blue memory" The memories of the days when she was still like him when it came to music, before she changed, brings him some kind of sadness even though it is nice to think about it.

"A siren from the deep came to me Sang my name my longing" She came into his life at the right time, and he saw how she could help him with sharing his poems and songs with the world, what he longed for the most. She is described as a siren, because of her amazing voice, but also because something was luring under the surface that he did not see at that moment.

"Still I write my songs about that dream of mine Worth everything I may ever be" He still sees the music and lyrics as the most crucial thing, as the thing that is important to both of them. And that it will always be so.

"The Child will be born again That siren carried him to me" She seemed like his muse, she gave him inspiration (the child being his innocence and the imagination for his songs).

"First of them true loves Singing on the shoulders of an angel Without care for love n` loss" He thought that he had found a kindred spirit and he never thought it would be over so he flew high and felt happy.

"Bring me home or leave me be My love in the dark heart of the night" He starts to feel that something is wrong and it leads to depression, he only finds comfort in something familiar.

"I have lost the path before me The one behind will lead me" He has lost his course and only by remembering the values they had at the beginning he will find the right course again.

"Take me Cure me Kill me Bring me home Every way Every day Just another loop in the hangman`s noose" He wants it all to stop, because he feels like he and the band is near the end no matter what they do.

"Take me, cure me, kill me, bring me home Every way, every day I keep on watching us sleep" Same as above. He feels that he can't wake the band again, that it's doomed.

"Relive the old sin of Adam and Eve Of you and me Forgive the adoring beast" He feels like he was tempted into doing what he wished the most, because he found someone so much alike himself. And now he begs for forgiveness because he let himself be tempted in such a way that almost let him into decay. He sees himself as the Beast that fell in love with the Beauty because she saw something in him that not a lot others had. And now he sees that she betrayed him and he wants the world to forgive him for that.

"Redeem me into childhood Show me myself without the shell" He wants his innocence and his dreaming back, he wants to feel like he can trust the world again, the trust she took away when she changed, because he was certain she was never going to, but he was wrong and he started to feel that something was wrong with his judgmental skills and therefore he could never trust anyone.

"Like the advent of May I`ll be there when you say Time to never hold our love" He will be there when she confesses that her intentions were not as she first expressed them to be and that the mutual love for music is no longer there so there's no reason to think about it anymore.

"My fall will be for you My love will be in you You were the one to cut me So I`ll bleed forever" After all what he gave for it to work out she kept going down another path that was so different from his own and because of that he feels like they have nothing in common anymore, which truly hurts him.

Well that's my analysis and interpretation. You're allowed to disagree and I would love to hear your opinion.

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@NekoMcEvil I liked your interpretation. except for one "verse" <br /> "Like the advent of May<br /> I`ll be there when you say<br /> Time to never hold our love"<br /> <br /> I think that here he states that if she'll change her mind, everything will go back as it was. That he will always be there waiting for her to come back because "Time to never hold our love" there is no expiration date on what they had and it wont lose value.

@NekoMcEvil after reading several pages of comments, yours is the best version to my opinion. It fits the best in my mind. :)

This song is so beautiful that if it were in a movie, it would win an Oscar. I was blown away with its magic and even though I've heard the song millions of times, the magic never fades.-Hayley

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This song brings me close to tears everytime I hear it. It means a lot to me. The sense of loss that one cannot recover from... another song in a totally different style that reminds me of the feeling I get listening to this is "Outlaw Torn" by Metallica, but this is more epic than even the S&M version of Metallica's song.

impossible to stop loving someone, ghost love

We used to swim the same moonlight waters Oceans away from the wakeful day -I take this whole song about a "lost love". It seems to me that Tuomas is trying to say when he wrote this that he was very in love with someone. The "oceans away from the wakeful day" means they were far off from reality and when the love ended he “awoke“ and was very hurt. I think this song begins at the beginning or middle of the relationship.

- My fall will be for you - My fall will be for you My love will be in you If you be the one to cut me I`ll bleed forever -Obviously he was very in love with this person, and if the relationship ended he was always going to be haunted by the love they once had.

Scent of the sea before the waking of the world Brings me to thee Into the blue memory -I think this means that he dreams of this person, "before the waking of the world". The blue memory is the ocean, in which Tuomas seems to refer to in many of his songs. Skipping some repeated lines here...

A siren from the deep came to me Sang my name my longing Still I write my songs about that dream of mine Worth everything I may ever be -This part is a tad confusing to me...I think the "siren" is referring to the memories of this love, especially the word "deep". As in "deep, blue sea", once again a reference to the oceans they "swam" in. This "siren" or memory is bringing back the pain of this love that he seems to constantly yearn for. The last part is kind of just stating that he still longs for this dream of being with this person, and the relationship obviously meant everything to him.

The Child will be born again That siren carried him to me First of them true loves Singing on the shoulders of an angel Without care for love n` loss -"The Child" is used a lot in Nightwish songs. I think what that part is saying is that he is going to be "born again", referring to letting go of the pain and starting over. "The siren", once again, is the memory of his childhood being brought back to him...Back where he was innocent, "singing on the shoulders of an angel", and didn't worry about love and didn't know what it really meant to lose something close to him.

"Bring me home or leave me be My love in the dark heart of the night I have lost the path before me The one behind will lead me" -Once again, confusing… I think the reference to "home" is meaning that he had been with this person so long that he forgot what life was like without them. You know the saying, "There's no place like home". It’s the most comfortable for you to be… Without this love, he feels like he is strayed away from where he is most comfortable and he wants to be left alone unless he can inhabit the love with this person again to feel at “home” and in peace. "My love in the dark heart of the night" means that their love is lost, and he feels like he has lost everything and needs someone to help support him from falling behind. “The one behind will lead me”.

Take me Cure me Kill me Bring me home Every way Every day Just another loop in the hangman’s noose -Obviously expressing the pain he is feeling and longs for this love that he can no longer have with this person. He wants them to be with him so he can have the comfort that he found inside them back.

Take me, cure me, kill me, bring me home Every way, every day I keep on watching us sleep -He keeps dreaming of being with this person.

Relive the old sin of Adam and Eve Of you and me Forgive the adoring beast -Basically meaning that he wants to get rid of the guilt and hurt that has been caused. Obviously referring to the story of Adam and Eve and how they fell into temptation and were forbidden from the Garden of Eden but were forgiven for their sins…

Redeem me into childhood Show me myself without the shell Like the advent of May I`ll be there when you say Time to never hold our love -He wants to go back to childhood when he did not have much worries and was pure. The "shell" is basically referring to how as people get older they tend to build a wall or shell around themselves, shutting people out...And when you are young you tend to be more open and careless. And basically I think on that ending part it’s saying he will always care for that person, “I’ll be there when you say”, but is forced to move on and let go.

- My fall will be for you - My fall will be for you My love will be in you You were the one to cut me So I`ll bleed forever -This seems to be the ending part of the relationship, because at the beginning of the song the phrase stated: “If you be the one to cut me, I’ll bleed forever,“ I stated at the beginning that it seems like this is the beginning or middle part of the relationship. And now says: “You WERE the one to cut me, so I’ll bleed forever.” Referring to the relationship being over.

Beautiful song. I hope I helped people out a little; it’s hard to interpret Nightwish songs. Tuomas is truly an amazing and deep writer.

i vote for the first love theory, and the bit "you were the one to cut me so i'll bleed forever" is like saying you were the one who introduced me to love, and so now i will continue to love, even if you aren't my partner at least thats what i think i get a nostalgic, pensive tone from this song, fits in i suppose, no one really ever forgets their first love, even if they get over that person

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Imena - Agree. =)

This song is epic, especially nearing the end when it comes back round to the chorus again and repeats to fade. Certainly my favourite on the ONCE album.

Such an amazing song.

I love this song, it's so beautiful and epic, and the chorus is so haunting

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