"Élan" as written by and Marko Hietala Tuomas Holopainen....
Leave the sleep and let the springtime talk
In tongues from the time before man
Listen to a daffodil tell her tale
Let the guest in, walk out, be the first to greet the morn
The meadows of heaven await harvest
The cliffs unjumped, cold waters untouched
The elsewhere creatures yet unseen
Finally your number came up, freefall awaits the brave

Come, taste the wine
Raise the blind
They will guide you from the light
Writing noughts till the end of time
Come, surf the clouds
Race the dark
It feeds from the runs undone
Meet me where the cliff greets the sea

The answer to the riddle before your eyes
Is in dead leaves and fleeting skies
Returning swans and sedulous mice
Writing's on the gardens book, in the minute of a lover's look
Building a sandcastle close to the shore
A house of cards from a worn-out deck
A home from the fellowship, poise and calm
Write a lyric for the song only you can understand

Come, taste the wine
Raise the blind
They will guide you from the light
Writing noughts till the end of time
Come, surf the clouds
Race the dark
It feeds from the runs undone
Meet me where the cliff greets the sea

Riding hard every shooting star
Come to life, open mind, have a laugh at the orthodox
Come, drink deep let the dam of mind seep
Travel with great élan, dance a jig at the funeral, come!

Taste the wine
Raise the blind
They will guide you from the light
Writing noughts till the end of time
Ooh, come, surf the clouds
Race the dark
It feeds from the runs undone
Meet me where the cliff greets the sea, come!


Lyrics submitted by Nmlgc

"Élan" as written by Tuomas Holopainen

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Élan song meanings
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  • +4
    My InterpretationThe song is written in a richly poetic way. This means it's quite difficult to work out what the song could be saying, but also you can derive your own interpretation that varies.

    This is mine:

    Leave the sleep and let the springtime talk
    In tongues from the time before man. - Wake up, literally or metaphorically. Listen to Spring (hear or see Spring). The plants, animals and biological mechanics have existed before mankind existed.
    Listen to a daffodil tell her tale. - Study/examine a daffodil (flower).
    Let the guest in. Walk out. Be the first to greet the morn. - Be welcoming. Go outside. Be the first to see the morning/sunrise.

    The meadows of heaven await harvest. - Bountiful meadows need to be harvested. (I don’t know if it’s a theological reference. I know they have written a song called “Meadows of Heaven”)
    The cliffs unjumped, cold waters untouched.
    The elsewhere creatures yet unseen. - Many natural awesomeness that have not been discovered.
    Finally your number came up, free fall awaits the brave. - You have an opportunity. It’s terrifying but exhilarating. Perhaps speaking of leaving what someone finds comfortable?

    Come,
    Taste the wine, - Might be a biblical reference. Might mean “taste the wine of life”. Enjoy life (the positive and wholesome).
    Race the blind; - I assume it’s not being nasty. Race people who cannot see (metaphorically blind, not physically blind).
    They will guide you from the light; - The people who cannot see (metaphorically) will mislead you.
    Writing noughts till the end of time. - Infinity
    Come,
    Surf the clouds,
    Race the dark;
    It feeds from the runs undone. - Lots of metaphorical running/movement. Surf and race are exciting words. I think this is meant to be positive. If they wanted to convey just running, they’d use more boring words.
    Meet me where the cliff greets the sea. - Cliff are a natural wonder. “Meet me where the cliff greets the sea” positive words. Meeting and greeting are almost the same thing.

    The answer to the riddle before your eyes, - An enigmatic question that is right in front of you, but you cannot see it.
    Is in dead leaves and fleeting skies, - Fleeting = lasts very short time. The sky keeps changing rapidly.
    Returning swans and sedulous mice, - Swans are a bird that are associated with beatuty, graces and elegance (as long as you don’t anger them. They can break your arm with their wings). Sedulous = showing dedication. My dictionary says it links with zealous. Mice are associated with being timid and careful (because almost everything wants to kill them).
    Writings on the gardens book, in the minute of a lover’s look. - The lyrics in the book says “gardens” and not “garden’s”. Meaning there’s a book about gardens. If they meant “garden’s”, there’s a book that belongs to a garden. Garden can mean an actual garden, or could mean our planet. Could even mean The Garden of Eden.

    There’s a lot to make sense of in that verse. So: The answer to that question that is right in front of you, but cannot see is:
    In dead leaves (decay/entropy?) , rapidly changing skies, returning of grace, dedicated timid people, garden thing and love.
    So what is the question?

    Building a sandcastle close to the shore, - Children build sandcastles. Be child like? Be innocent again? If you build too close to the sea, the sea will destroy it. The sandcastle is not permanent.
    A house of cards from a worn out deck. - Easier to build a deck of cards from worn cards. The cards have better friction. Also implies the cards are well used. They have a long life. Deck of cards are also not permanent.
    A home from the fellowship, poise and calm. - Poise = balanced/equilibrium. A home from the fellowship is balanced and calm. Interesting that there's a theme of home (caste, house, home). The first two are not stable, they will one day fall. Those are build by you. The last is in balance but is given to you.
    Write a lyric for the song only you can understand. - I don't know.

    Riding hard every shooting star, - Experience every wonder to the fullest.
    Come to life, open mind, have a laugh at the orthodox. - Experience life. Soften your mind and heart. Feel gratitude that you’re not restricted by strict laws (having a laugh at someone is cruel Face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye).
    Come, drink deep, let the dam of mind seep. - The theme of drink again. Allow your heart and mind soften. Release hold on things like pride etc..
    Travel with great Élan, dance a jig at the funeral. - Travel with much energy/enthusiasm. Be unconventional. Find joy and the blessing of someone’s life at their funeral.​


    **Summery**: Talks about go enjoy experiencing nature. But there's also some Christian themes, such as:

    Tasting the Wine (of the new covenant), finally your number came up (to follow Jesus), speaking of people who are blind (they are forever listening but not hearing), the blind people will mislead you, there's a question in front of your eyes whose answer is love and the return of grace, building a home by yourself won't last forever, a home granted is safe (salvation is not something you work for, it is a gift) , critiquing those who keep the old laws but lose sight of the purpose, soften your heart and mind.

    (Sorry for wall of text. Thank you if you read it all)
    bluebottleblueon July 27, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'd say this is just a song about enjoying the beauty of nature.
    It's written with so much love in it. You can really feel how Tuomas loves nature
    hawehon February 24, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm not a native English Speaker, but I'll try my best to interpret some words in my opinion by English.
    Regarding Race the Blind, when a man gets blind, there will be no distance between what he wants and himself because he doesn't see things and the distance through lights any more. So at this point the blind is the fastest man in this world, They travel through time by minds and thoughts so anyone cannot match them.
    "Free fall awaits the brave" - as what Elan means, "dash; impetuous ardor", just free yourself from all chains and go for a life full of adventure and ardor at least for a moment that a fall from cliff to sea takes.

    BTW, the acoustic guitar is amazing at the end of this song.
    My English is bad..Don't know if you guys understand me..
    Vale of Butterflieson September 11, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOn blabbermouth.net/news/nightwish-elan-video-released/ you can read the following:

    Regarding "Élan", Holopainen said: "'Oh, while I live to be the ruler of life, Not a slave. To meet life as a powerful conqueror, and nothing exterior to me will ever take command of me.' This beautiful quote from my hero Uncle Walt [Walt Whitman] was the starting point for writing 'Élan'.

    "The underlying theme of the song is nothing less than the meaning of life, which can be something different for all of us.

    "It's important to surrender yourself to the occasional 'free fall' and not to fear the path less travelled by."


    However, I think this song allows you to give it your own interpretation.
    sophiexzgon March 03, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationJudging by the video and the lyrics, it comes across to me as them saying 'just because you're old doesn't mean you can't make anything new or have fun' in the second and last verses.

    'The meadows of heaven await harvest
    The cliffs unjumped, cold waters untouched
    The elsewhere creatures yet unseen
    Finally your number came up, free fall awaits the brave'
    Fairly obvious it's talking about the afterlife here. I'm unsure if it's metaphorical or not, but it sounds fairly literal, saying that heaven awaits you. The final line 'finally your number came up, free fall awaits the brave' sounds like they're saying (putting it bluntly) 'you're facing death. Face it with bravery and you'll be rewarded with the afterlife' or something to that effect.

    'Come to life, open mind, have a laugh at the orthodox
    Come, drink deep let the dam of mind seep
    Travel with great élan, dance a jig at the funeral'

    The first line sounds like they're saying 'Let go of your traditions'
    Second sounds like they're saying 'Feel free to tell your stories'
    Third sounds like they're saying 'Go out and live, and when you or someone you know dies, don't be sad'

    There's a fairly strong vibe or implication of the afterlife in the song, certainly.
    potaytopotahtoon March 23, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat I want to know is wth "race the blind" means
    ehcon July 25, 2016   Link

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