"Planet Hell" as written by and Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen....
Denying the lying
A million children fighting
For lives in strife
For hope beyond the horizon

A dead world
A dark path
Not even crossroads to choose from
All the blood red
Carpets before me
Behold this fair creation of God!

My only wish to leave behind
All the days of the Earth
This everyday hell of my kingdom come

The 1st rock thrown again
Welcome to hell, little Saint
Mother Gaia in slaughter
Welcome to paradise, Soldier

My 1st cry never ending
All life is to fear for life
You fool, you wanderer
You challenged the gods and lost

Save yourself a penny for the ferryman
Save yourself and let them suffer
In hope
In love
This world ain't ready for The Ark
Save yourself a penny for the ferryman
Save yourself and let them suffer
In hope
In love
Mankind works in mysterious ways

Save yourself a penny for the ferryman.


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"Planet Hell" as written by Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Planet Hell song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI think the gist of this song is a cry against the wars and destruction that humans wreak upon planet earth, and to each other. Tuomas probably sees it as hell on earth, hence the title. First verse looks at children or people fighting each other, supposedly for the sake of others in strife, but this is a hope that is unreachable. There always seems to be lies and propaganda surrounding war, as though it's something that can be won by one or the other side. The truth is that destructive wars only end in losses. I think that's the reference here. That, or the there is some sort of denial about children being involved in war.

    The second verse points towards the effects of wars, "All the blood red carpets before me, behold this fair creation of God!" The innocent people do not have a choice. They are forced into the destruction. They have to fight (causing more blood), run away from home, or die. That is the dark path. No crossroads to choose from. The last line is bitter sarcasm, to me. "behold this 'fair' creation of God," this fair creation, killing each other.

    The third verse doesn't seem to say much other than the singer wants nothing more than to leave hell and destruction on earth. Emotionally, I think it says a lot. Frustrations can escalate to the point of simply wanting to leave everything behind.

    "The first rock thrown again" is something admittedly I had to look up. It's a biblical allusion. It seems to be a statement made by Christ as if to say NO ONE should throw a rock at a sinner, because everyone is a sinner. So, in the song, the first rock being thrown again implies that Tuomas is commenting on the hypocrisy of humans destroying each other based on sins. We're all sinners, and perhaps a further implication could be made that judgment is reserved for God or the gods. Not humans. Sinners should not stone sinners. "Welcome to hell, little saint" and "welcome to paradise, soldier!" are interesting. The second line there is sarcastic, the first is revealing.

    The fifth verse has more to reveal. The singer seems endlessly tormented about the fact that life on earth is nothing but fearing for your life or the life of another. That rings of war. "You fool, you wanderer, you challenged the gods and lost" has me thinking about the relationship to the last verses, "save yourself a penny for the ferryman" because if you don't leave a coin for Charon, you'll likely end up as a wanderer. The gods probably did not wish for all this destruction that mankind seems to have an affinity for creating, so by destroying fellow humans and challenging the gods, man has sealed his fate as a foolish wanderer. He does not have his place in the underworld (not to be associated with "hell," by the way). The only problem with this is that, as I recall, the Greek gods are not particularly peaceful themselves. They may have been hypocrites though, being more human-like than the monotheistic gods, and wanting man to "do as I say, not as I do." Not sure on that.

    "This world ain't ready for the Ark" followed, "save yourself and let them suffer" so it makes sense that mankind would not be prepared for a flood, he is too selfish to care for others, whether it be during earthly wars or reserving a place for himself in the afterlife.
    Obiwanobrienon February 08, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt reminds of "Buffy - The Vampire-Slayer"

    *spoiler* After Buffy gets raised from death, she's not happy at all. In death she realised that earth IS hell, the most horrible place of all. In another episode Angel want's to get to the leader of the demons and forces one to bring him to hell. After stepping through the portal, he's back exactly at the same place he had been before.

    I think it's quite the same in this song.
    Neithanon April 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song, like many others by Nightwish, refers to the injustice of this world. It is special in the way that children in this one actually does mean children.
    The first verse is about poor children fighting and dying to survive and especially about the children soldiers in some 3. world countries. And about the hopeless situation they are in. The song focuses on children but refers to all humans in this world who rejects unity. From the perspective of the song, just about everybody rejects unity.
    Second verse ads power and feeling to the theme of the first verse.
    third verse is a desire to be able to leave this world and its injustice and pain.
    fourth verse: fighting continues, another war starts.
    fifth verse: It is hopeless to challenge the gods (destiny) and hope/fight for a better world. The wanderer, who is one of the ideals in Nigthwish terminalogy, is a fool and is fighting for a lost cause.
    sixth verse: It is everybody for himself, egoism rules the world, even love is too weak to fight it. The world is not worth preserving. "Mankind works in mysterious ways" refers to the meaninglessness of the world and the people in it at its current state.
    This song is very special because it shows no hint of hope for this world. Nightwish songs almost always are about hope in some way or another, but this song is about pure despair.
    I do not belive that religion has any place in this or just about any of the songs by Nightwish. Many of the songs use religious and mystical symbols and metaphors but are not themselves about religion. This has been confirmed by Nightwish upon many occasions.
    andersapon March 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe "the first rock thrown again" line also refers to the bible. Somewhere in there is a scene where someone is being stoned to death. And then jesus - i think it was him, but im not sure, might even be him who is being stoned - says "the one who is without sin throw the first rock" and no one moves... perhaps this isnt exactly the story, but the situation. :) So i think in this song it means a mistake which is made again, like some of you already said.
    Picajoon June 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis sounds to me a bit like Revelation. And since a Greek meaning has already been given, here is the possible meaning with relation to Christianity [Revelation].

    "Denying the lying
    A million children fighting
    For lives in strife
    For hope beyond the horizon"

    Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. Rev 6:4

    "A dead world
    A dark path
    Not even crossroads to choose from
    All the blood red carpets before me
    Behold these fair creations of God"

    There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Rev 6:12

    "My only wish to leave behind
    All the days of the earth
    An everyday hell of my kingdom come"

    During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. Rev 9:6

    "My first cry neverending
    All life is to fear for life
    You fool, you wanderer
    You challenged the gods and lost"

    Basically, the people of the world neglected God and challenged his authority and now he is asserting it.

    "Save yourself a penny for the ferryman
    Save yourself and let them suffer
    In hope
    In love
    This world ain't ready for The Ark"

    Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm. Rev 11:19


    It's hard to tell whether this might be related to the Biblical predictions in Revelation or Greek mythology (e.g. the meaning posted by michaellaloe), as 'God' is referred to in one line while 'gods' is referenced in another. Also, there is mention of both Greek characters (the ferryman and Gaia) and the Ark (which I've never heard referenced to anything other than the Ark of the Covenant).
    djh101on December 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI want to present my interpretation of the song and I believe it to be the most accurate so read it all! I need to give you some information before I take the lyrics one by one so that you will understand my interpretation.
    About 2500 years ago the Greek writer Aeschylus wrote a tragedy named ‘‘Prometheus Bound’’. According to this myth, Prometheus who was the son of a titan and of Themis (in the tragedy she is identified with Gaia =Earth). He went against the will of Zeus and helped mankind by giving humanity fire, science, writing and agriculture (civilization in general). As a result, he was eternally punished. He was chained to a rock in a mountain, where his liver is eaten daily by an eagle, only to be regenerated by night, as he was immortal. So I start:

    Verse 1: ‘Denying the lying
    A million children fighting
    For lives in strife
    For hope beyond the horizon’
    These lyrics reveal that people have no hope and they struggle to survive. Humankind is in danger of extinction.
    V2: ‘A dead world
    A dark path
    Not even crossroads to choose from
    All the bloodred
    Carpets before me
    Behold this fair creation of God’
    The world without fire was dark and people dead because they couldn’t create weapons nor feed themselves properly. They couldn’t progress. Without the gift of fire people were doomed. So they had no choice. These words (of the lyrics) could be spoken by Prometheus as he saw the unfair behaviour of God Zeus. In the tragedy I told you about Prometheus sees mankind as being left to destruction.
    Verse 3: ‘My only wish to leave behind
    All the days of the Earth
    An everyday hell of my kingdom come’.
    Prometheus is really upset and he wishes to be able to forget his torture but the pain is so intense that he can’t because he is being tortured everyday and only awaits for his punishment to end and for his action to be at last rewarded not only by people nut also by Zeus so that He will stop his torment (->his kingdom come).

    Verse 4: ‘The first rock thrown again
    Welcome to hell, little Saint
    Mother Gaia in slaughter
    Welcome to paradise, Soldier’
    ‘The first rock thrown again’ represents the punishment that is recycled. Prometheus is a ‘‘Saint’’ as he acted good but he was sent to ‘‘hell’’ because of this action.
    ‘Mother Gaia’ maybe is a reference to Gaia (Prometheus’ mother) or to the suffering Earth.
    Welcome to paradise, Soldier’ is probably ironic. I can’t add it to my interpretation in another way.

    Verse 5: ‘My first cry neverending
    All life is to fear for life
    You fool, you wanderer
    You challenged the gods and lost’
    Prometheus (in the tragedy) had endured his humiliating punishment silently (which shows his pride) by the moment he cries alone in the mountain and he evokes the presence of the elements of nature.
    ‘All life is to fear for life’: He as an immortal God had the ability to see the future and he knew that he will spend all this life being tormented.
    ‘You fool, you wanderer, You challenged the gods and lost’: This is addressed to Prometheus by someone who thinks he was a fool to disobey the will of the gods and what he did led to his misfortune and loss.
    ‘Save yourself a penny for the ferryman
    Save yourself and let them suffer
    In hope
    In love
    This world ain't ready for The Ark’
    Ancient Greeks offered Harus (the ferryman) two pennies for taking them to the underworld (people placed coins to the eyes of a dead man). Here probably Zeus tells Prometheus that he should’ve meant his own business and let people suffer.
    But Prometheus is still in hope that something will release him and he hasn’t repented because he loves mankind.
    The last verse is a thought of Prometheus that the world shouldn’t be left alone to die. They aren’t ready to be obliterated.
    EvaNightwishon November 22, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationJust saying... The first verse is not talking about children fighting literally, but for child labour.
    Second verse, again, the blood red carpets are product of middle eastern child labour.
    Third verse, Jesus talking for his kingdom.
    4th verse's first line is from the gospels, in the 2nd line, the hypocrisy of religion results at suffering people, or children again (litlle saint). 3rd line, earth is suffering from people crimes, which on the 4th line are hypocritically send to heaven by religion.
    5th verse is showing how religions deny life for the sake of the afterlife and a mere human who challenges this opinion is doomed to fail (at least in older ages i guess).
    The refrain i think it's pretty clear...
    Fallenmanon January 06, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBy far the most powerful song on the entire album! So much energy behind this track, it's just amazing! >=oD
    AsItBeganon March 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think they mean THIS world with planet hell
    "My only wish to leave behind
    All the days of the Earth
    This everyday hell of my
    kingdom come"
    Like life is a hell sometimes.. and every day is closer to your/their kingdom come (heaven)
    "You fool, you wanderer
    You challenged the gods and lost"
    think this refers somehow to jezus christ.. people who do not accept him as savior are fools ..wanderers wo deny jezus and the god(s) and you challence to think you can make it on your own but you can't
    roronaldon May 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is my fav on the album. its powerful and moving, has a strong message. i believe that it is saying how we've brought our once beautiful world into a cold dead place, how its now a load of crap. everything people do destroys more of it, whether the earth itself or the people on it. humans are such stupid creatures. now the "higher power" whatever you may believe in is angry, and will destroy us for it. but thats just my opinion.
    xXYourSweet666Xxon May 30, 2005   Link

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