"Turn Loose The Mermaids" as written by Tuomas Holopainen, Marko Hietala and Erno Vuorinen....
A kite above a graveyard grey
At the end of the line far far away
A child holding on to the magic of birth and awe

Oh, how beautiful it used to be
Just you and me far beyond the sea
The waters, scarce in motion
Quivering still

At the end of the river the sundown beams
All the relics of a life long lived
Here, weary traveler rest your wand
Sleep the journey from your eyes

Good journey, love, time to go
I checked your teeth and warmed your toes
In the horizon I see them coming for you

The mermaid grace, the forever call
Beauty in spygladd on an old man's porch
The mermaids you turn loose brought back your tears


Lyrics submitted by joca13

"Turn Loose the Mermaids" as written by Tuomas Holopainen, Marko Hietala, Erno Vuorinen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Turn Loose The Mermaids song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentIt seems to be about the death of a loved one, and preparing them for death. At first I thought it sounded quite out of place on the album but it ties in nicely with Ghost River, and leads thematically into Rest Calm.
    joca13on November 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFull lyrics:

    A kite above a graveyard grey
    At the end of the line far far away
    A child holding on to the magic of birth and awe

    Oh, how beautiful it used to be
    Just you and me far beyond the sea
    The waters, scarce in motion
    Quivering still

    At the end of the river the sundown beams
    All the relics of a life long lived
    Here, weary traveller rest your wand
    Sleep the journey from your eyes

    Good journey, love, time to go
    I checked your teeth and warmed your toes
    In the horizon I see them coming for you

    The mermaid grace, the forever call
    Beauty in spyglass on an old man's porch
    The mermaids you turned loose brought back your tears
    Nonnyon November 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song, to me, definitely seems to about someone preparing to die. This is my analysis of each verse:

    A kite above a graveyard grey
    At the end of the line far far away
    A child holding on to the magic of birth and awe

    The kite is long, extending from the person holding it to the graveyard; the distance between the two represents life. This verse also mentions the kite being "far far away" possibly representing how, as children, we think life lasts a long time and death is "far far away" from our thoughts. The kite being so long also represents that no matter how old we get, the child withing remains. "A child holding on to the magic of birth and awe" could also represent how children cling to the thought of long life, or immortality, and the awe of the world around us.

    Oh, how beautiful it used to be
    Just you and me far beyond the sea
    The waters, scarce in motion
    Quivering still

    In our youth we find everything entertaining and whimsical, but with age comes wisdom as we learn the world isn't what it seemed before. The "just you and me" part must mean the old man and the mermaid. The two of them being "far beyond the sea" represents their youth and how far they are from dying; also, the mermaid appears to be more than just a mermaid. She could possibly represent memories, emotions, and life itself. "The water scarce in motion quivering still" once again symbolizes the unlikelihood of them dying anytime soon as it is still quivering before them, hesitant to take them.

    At the end of the river the sundown beams
    All the relics of a life long lived
    Here, weary traveler rest your wand
    Sleep the journey from your eyes

    "The end of the river" is, as lolzomgz said, the end of the man's life. The sundown beams are also, as lolzomgz said, the sunset: the sun setting upon his life. "All the relics of a life long lived", are all the memories and experiences of a long life: the good and the bad, but all them beautiful as they're relics. The old man is the "weary traveler" and not necessarily weary, but close to dying. A wand can also be a staff, or walking stick, so in this case it just emphasizes the old man's age and his being a "weary traveler". "Sleep the journey from your eyes" is just a fancy way of saying die.

    Good journey, love, time to go
    I checked your teeth and warmed your toes
    In the horizon I see them coming for you

    In this verse the old man is addressing the mermaid. He's bidding her (his life and memories) farewell, but with joy instead of bitterness. He understands that the mermaid had to return to the sea eventually, that he had to lay his life and memories to rest, and let's go in acceptance of this fact. Checking her teeth and warming her toes is just him making sure all is well, and as he wants it. What's coming in the horizon could be anything. I think "they" are the other mermaids.

    The mermaid grace, the forever call
    Beauty in spyglass on an old man's porch
    The mermaids you turn loose brought back your tears

    "The mermaid grace" is the beauty of life, and "the forever call" is the call of death. The "beauty in spyglass on an old man's porch" could be the mermaid in the old man's eyes as he watches her leave, or him imagining her after she's departed. Letting go of the mermaid is both painful and a relief. He's sad to see something so beautiful leave, but glad to let go of the burden. This is what brings him to tears; tears of both joy and sadness.

    I hope this was helpful, but if you have a different opinion by all means voice it. I'd love to hear what this song means to other people.
    GreyPoeton August 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI feel like the mermaids represent something in this, especially when it says "the mermaids you turned loose brought back your tears", but I'm not sure what. Any ideas? I do think that the 'tears' represent his lost innocence, though, because of the song "I Want My Tears Back".
    Lysithiaon January 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI often think about Hans Christian Anderson when I listen to this song. The only way to know for sure what this song is about, of course, is to ask Tuomas Holopainan himself, but I would not be surprised to learn that the mermaids are meant to be a reference to Anderson. Tuomas has revealed in numerous interviews that he is often inspired by children's literature and films. On the other hand, the lyrics do seem to indicate that this song may be about mortality. I can't think of a connection between the two other than the mermaid's sacrifice in the original The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, and her death is the wrong sort of mortality. She is a young martyr, while this song appears to be about the end of a very long and full life. What do you think?
    Silvermareon February 25, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI feel it's about Life and Death.

    At the start he is a child, the graveyard is described as being "far, far" away

    Then it seems to be about love with a woman (the song is possibly from her prespective) and loosing her love somehow.

    The mermaids bringing back his tears could represent his mistakes and regrets, maybe for the lost love?

    I think "The beauty in the spyglass on the old mans porch" May symbolize him pineing for her, and longing to have those days of love back.

    Finally she seems to be back with him, or it's a diffrent woman, telling him to not regret his mistakes because they made him who he is, and comforting him before he dies.

    At anyrate I'm almost 100% sure that:

    "At the end of the river the sundown beams
    All the relics of a life long lived
    Here, weary traveler rest your wand
    Sleep the journey from your eyes"

    Is about death. The end of the river is the end of life (The waters of life), The sundown beams mean sunset, the sun is setting on his life. All the relics of a life long lived in a sense is him, he embodies all of his memories, his wisdom, his knowlage, his emotions, everything that he's gathered over his long life he takes with him. The rest speaks for it's self. :)

    I love this song so much, it reminds me of someone who was, and still is very close to my heart. :)
    Lolzomgzon August 05, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNice alliterations in the first stanza and chorus, I think that they are what makes this song so nice.
    Pavolon October 12, 2014   Link

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