"Ghost Love Score" as written by and Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen....
We used to swim the same moonlight waters
Oceans away from the wakeful day

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

Scent of the sea before waking afterwards
Brings me to thee
Into the blue memory

My fall will be for you

Into the blue memory

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

The Child will be born again
That siren carried him to me
First of them true lovers
Singing on the shoulders of an angel
Without care for love n' loss

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

Take me
Cure me
Kill me
Bring me home
Every way
Every day
Just another loop in the hangman's noose

Take me, cure me, kill me, bring me home
Every way, every day
I keep on watching us sleep

Relive the old sin of
Adam and Eve
Of you and me
Forgive the adoring beast

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

My fall will be for you


Lyrics submitted by Equilan, edited by TheRealLumos

"Ghost Love Score" as written by Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Ghost Love Score song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentI 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 Heavilyeverafter@hotmail.co.uk
    pyrewebon May 19, 2008   Link
  • +5
    My InterpretationSomehow 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.
    NekoMcEvilon October 19, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis 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
    dark-artemison September 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis 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.

    I find myself whispering the chorus to myself when no-one's around. It's sad, terribly forlorn but beautiful nevertheless. I'd rate it as one of my favourite songs in an instant.
    Tremadogon February 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation*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.
    AlexAngelon March 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti 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
    Imenaon April 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis 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.
    Lailseaxon June 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSuch an amazing song.
    X405pastmidnighton September 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, it's so beautiful and epic, and the chorus is so haunting
    binnion October 20, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti am hoplessly in love with this song, i love the way the chorus changes at the end to is you were the one to cut me, so ill bleed forever.

    its definatley the best song on the once album

    i love the way they have a huge choir and full orchestra, but still sound really amazing.

    im off to see nightwish when they come do a concert in london, they are gonna have it in teh albert hall i think... with a full orchestra and choir!!! (even though i live up in yorkshire!) its gonna kick ass!

    anyhoo best be on my way, as im supoosed 2 b working!
    iamthemuffaloon October 26, 2004   Link

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