"Dark Chest Of Wonders" as written by and Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen....
Once I had a dream
And this is it

Once there was a child's dream
One night the clock struck twelve
The window open wide
Once there was a child's heart
The age I learned to fly
And took a step outside

Once I knew all the tales
It's time to turn back time
Follow the pale moonlight
Once I wished for this night
Faith brought me here
It's time to cut the rope and fly

Fly to a dream
Far across the sea
All the burdens gone
Open the chest once more
Dark chest of wonders
Seen through the eyes
Of the one with pure heart
Once so long ago

The one in the Big Blue is what the world stole from me
This night will bring him back to me

Fly to a dream


Lyrics submitted by unlearnthetruth

"Dark Chest of Wonders" as written by Tuomas Lauri Johannes Holopainen

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Dark Chest Of Wonders song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentIt's interesting, the Peter Pan bit, and I understand where you're getting that from. But there are other parts that take that idea out.

    The one thing about Tuomas, he loves to write about how innocence is what's going to save the world. The reference to children is how he portrays innocence.

    "All the burdens gone, open the chest once more." - How when you are a child, you don't understand what kind of evil the world has, and you're just completely care free and you have love for everything.

    It's missing those times that kill us all.
    Silence719on April 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTranslations are always a problem. The big blue I think is generally a reference to the sea, but it could be the sky. Zeus features in the legend.

    The imagery in symphonic metal picked for the songs is always going to be derivative, of fantasy, and of each other, and of the native surroundings of each band.

    Nightwish has the strange "christianity transplant" which shows up in a lot of medieval european culture where christianity has been superimposed on the native culture by conquest, inquisition and missionaries.

    The imagery here I can't be sure that this has that in it, except maybe the last line. I can see the God=Zeus parallel, the whole origin of our modern concept of god is very twisted (Latin Deus actually is Zeus)

    Where fantasy legends come from is harder to pin down even than religious ones. The Greek legend of Anesidora's Urn is usually cited as the origin of Pandora's Box, but really, no one knows for sure, it could be just another permutation of an older legend.

    Anyway, Pandora's box is the one picked here for the song. I agree with the Peter Pan image, but then again, consider the etymology of the name Peter Pan. Speaking of christian-fantasy hybrids. (Not in a Narnia way.)

    And I don't think that Nightwish is subtly trying to sell us on Jesus through fantasy, but just a hand down of the collective past to the present. Like their language.

    Where these images come from to me is not as important as what they are saying. Poet and the Pendulum, for instance, is not a song about Edgar Allan Poe.

    Overall, I love the imagery. I love the music also. I'd like to hear it in the original Suomi. I just have a handful of tracks untranslated.

    :)
    llwython March 13, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo me I see it not as Pandora's box, but rather a person's own mental will and mind; as a child they had everything in their heads free and loving, but the limited sight of adults locks that mind and brings out only what they think will help the child; anything else they find they tell the child to "Forget about it". For example:
    The child dreams perhaps (or truly is living) in his/her own world when the clock strikes midnight; he flies to his own world, his dreamland of limitless possiblities. As the child grows, so does his confliction with this limitless mind. I'll explain further by describing the song in two voices.

    The beginning is stated as "Once I had a dream, and this is it." The child is already an adult, reminiscing about his/her dream, the life they wanted.

    Now we go to the first two chorus lines (the ones sung before Tarja's couplets in the song)
    "Once there was a child's dream"
    "Once there was a child's heart"
    The child here in question basically already reached adulthood and is being faced with one image of his/her childhood already past, and therefore has some difficulty comming to terms with accepting it again.
    Now Tarja sings:
    "One night the clock struck twelve, the window opened wide."
    "The age I learned to fly and took a step outside."
    The child remembers hijs/her first wonderful dream, where their mind had roamed free and given them their first dreams and hopes in the world.
    And again, the chorus with
    "Once I knew all the tales."
    "Once I wished for this Night."
    The child looks back on their dreams past, and now how the dream is comming back to them; their perfect and limitless world.
    Tarja With
    "It's time to turn back time follow the pale moonlight."
    "Faith brought me here it's time to cut the rope and fly..."
    The child has their perfect dream again, their limitless and powerful world, and they decided it's time they went back to that dream to remind themselves of what they once had and what they can have once more. Like this, the child literally finds their "Dark Chest of Wonders", which was the chest their parents had locked away in the child's mind so as to prepare them for the real world, and now the child as an adult finds this chest and wants to reopen it so the can remember what it was like to be a child, to be innocent, to have life and a perfect beautiful mind.
    That's what the song means to me anyway; finding your inner innocence and childlike mind again, and living within it. I find this even more emulated in the line here;
    "The One in the big blue is what the world has stolen from me
    This night will bring him back to me"
    The child's mind was locked away by the chains of reality and family, and now the child wants to bring back their mind on this night, the night where they had their first true dream.
    Greenflameon January 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI don't necessarily see this song being about Peter Pan, but rather about Pandora's box..I think the song title "Dark Chest of Wonders" alludes to the idea of this box that's so mysterious. The "dark" I think goes back to the evils that were in this box and this is a "dark chest of wonders" because of the reason why Pandora opened the box: curiosity.

    Fly to a dream
    Far across the sea
    All the burdens gone
    (the box has been opened and the evils have all escaped into the world...)
    Open the chest once more
    (the box was opened a second time...)
    Dark chest of wonders
    Seen through the eyes
    Of the one with pure heart
    Once so long ago
    (Pandora was born pure, but by disobeying Zeus and opening the box, she is not so pure anymore..also because of these evils, it made all humans immpure...)

    I don't know if this is right, but this is what I think of any time I hear this song..
    TheNeverFadingRainon July 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy hasn't anyone wrote about this song yet? I love this song!! For some reason this song reminds me a little of Rhapsody, minus the flutes and stuff. This song is about opening your eyes and discovering new things, i guess. I just love it!
    SinofSinson January 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkay I may be WAY off track here, but for some reason I think of Peter Pan when I hear this song...
    "Once there was a child`s dream
    One night the clock struck twelve
    The window open wide
    Once there was a child`s heart
    The age I learned to fly
    And took a step outside "
    This could be referring to Peter Pan coming to the bedroom window of the children and teaching them to fly.
    "Once I knew all the tales
    It`s time to turn back time
    Follow the pale moonlight
    Once I wished for this night
    Faith brought me here
    It`s time to cut the rope and fly "
    This could be about the tales the children had heard from their nanny, and how they wished to be free.
    "Fly to a dream
    Far across the sea
    All the burdens gone
    Open the chest once more
    Dark chest of wonders
    Seen through the eyes
    Of the one with pure heart
    Once so long ago "
    Neverland is a dream across the sea, and the children feel like they have no burdens while they are there, it's a new place, a place they can be free.
    "The one in the Big Blue is what the world stole from me
    This night will bring him back to me"
    Not sure about that part....but this is probably all wrong anyway...
    Worthless_Wisheson February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlol peter pan
    Mrcrowon February 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI cant believe like.. hardly anyone has wrote about this song. I think the peter pan thing is rather cool actually and i can see where you got it from. Im not totaly sure what its about...not great at understanding nightwish songs i just love the music and the passion in the music.
    Paper_Flowerson March 31, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song has got to be one of the most underrated... it's brilliant, one of the best on the album. Peter Pan? Hope not. I'm never gonna listen to it in the same way again.
    closet extroverton April 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgoing with Silence719\'s ideas. mebe the dark chest of wonders is supposed to be pandora\'s box. and it\'s about the innocent curiosity, and the opening of this mysterious chest of wonders \'once so long ago\'. not really my interpretation, just an idea
    Gummyon April 23, 2005   Link

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