"Sacrament Of Wilderness" as written by and Erno Matti Juhani/holopainen Vuorinen....
Naked in midwinter magic
Lies an angel in the snow
The frozen figure crossed by tracks of wolves
An encounter symbolic yet truthful
With a hungry choir of wolves
An agreement immemorial to be born

Dulcet elvenharps from a dryad forest
Accompany all charming tunes
Of a sacrament by a campfire
A promise between the tameless
And the one with a tool
Tonight the journey from a cave begins

I want to hunt with the tameless heart
I want to learn the wisdom of mountains afar
We will honor the angel in the snow
We will make the streams for our children flow

Wrapped in furs beneath the northern lights
From my cave I watch the land untamed
And wonder if some becoming season
Will make the angel melt in shame

I want to hunt with the tameless heart
I want to learn the wisdom of mountains afar
We will honor the angel in the snow
We will make the streams for our children flow


Lyrics submitted by Fistan

"Sacrament of Wilderness" as written by Erno Matti Juhani/holopainen Vuorinen

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Sacrament Of Wilderness song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI'm really obsessed with Nightwish so naturally I'd love this song. But the cheesy sounds at the beginning are annoying. Lyrics as always are complex and interesting. Tarja, as always, is amazing. Once again with the "elven" you see a link to LOTR, which is in a lot of their songs. Basically there is this angel and she is living in the snow, in the cold, frozen, wolves come near but it seems they don't attack her; This other dude leaves there cave in search of a way to make the angel remembered, Then worries if she might die... At least that's the impression I get....
    vampirella666on February 04, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbrilliant
    Ocean Soulon February 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me this song reminds me of how you see messed up things happen to other people all the time, but you don't do anything since they're not happening to you, you just watch them happen and wonder if they'll be okay

    i'll explain myself, the song talks about a fallen angel in the snow and how she's surrounded by wolf tracks and there's a guy watching her die/suffer in the snow from the warmth and safety of his cave, he doesn't help her, but he feels sorry for her, just like we all (at one point in our lives) see someone else suffer, but we think that we probably can't do much to help, so we stand by and watch it all happen,the whole time just feeling sorry for the other person
    black angelon February 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwel thats a great point black angel but im quite sure this song is actually about jrr tolkeins 'the hobbit'

    this is how i think it goes 'naked in midwinter magic'
    (frodo with nothing but the aid of gandalfs magic)

    lies an angel in the snow
    (gandalfs presence ,hidden but still with them)

    an encounter sybolic but truthfull
    (the recent encounter with gollum and the ring)

    with a hungry quior of woods
    (trapped in fangorn forest)

    Dulcet elvenharps from a dryad forest
    Accompany all charming tunes
    of a sacrament by a campfire
    (the wood elves by the fire frodo imagines)

    and the one with a tool
    (frodo and sting)

    Tonight the journey from cave begins
    (the journey to smaug)

    I want to hunt with the tameless
    I want to learn the wisdom of mountains afar
    (frodo wants to learn from beorn)

    we will honor the angel in the snow
    We will make the streams for our children flow
    (honour gandalf and the men of the lake)

    Wrapped in furs beneath the northern lights
    (defeated smaug wrapped in retreived treasures slowly returing to hobbiton)

    And wonder if some becoming season
    will make the angel melt in shame
    (wondering if after the adventure is over gandalf and thorins company will still honour him)

    theres my fascinating opinion haha
    noooo.....i dont read the hobbit way too much
    dannybangbangjon August 11, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTarja's vocals are AMAZING in this song. Her voice always sounds incredible, but to me, this song shows just how powerful her voice is. wow.
    The_howlingon August 26, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdannybangbangj I think you meant Bilbo, not Frodo
    Hannah36on September 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the song is about the angel being transformed into a wolf.
    The angel is a symbol of innocence when talking Nightwish.
    The wolf is a symbol of the beast which represents bestial freedom and some other things. Also note "the beauty of the beast" often used by Nightwish. This might help to understand the full symbolic meaning of the beast as it is a little hard for me to put into words.
    The transformation from angel to wolf might represent growing up in the "right way" as Nightwish sees it.
    andersapon March 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti might be way off track here but i really am convinced that this song is actually about the "contrat social" french philosophers talk about... English: social contract where society is created in the world of men, where they agree to leave behind each part of his individuality to form a sort of interacting community, thus leaving behind a big part of our innocence "the naked angel in the snow"
    Will it finally melt in shame, seeing all the cruelty society causes?
    noufion April 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkay here I come with a theory that are far away from the others here.

    I think that the song is about the band.

    Naked in midwinter magic
    Lies an angel in the snow
    -The frozen figure crossed by tracks of wolves
    An encounter, symbolic, yet truthfull
    With a hungry choir of woods
    An agreement immemorial to be born'

    I think this is a reference to someone who is a good inspiration to the band/Tuomas and that they are listening to his works (or something) to make their own music.

    Dulcet elvenharps from a dryad forest
    Accompany all charming tunes
    of a sacrament by a campfire
    A promise between the tameless
    and the one with a tool
    Tonight the journey from cave begins

    This is a clear reference to the creation of Nightwish, the idea came when Tuomas, Tanja and i think someone else was out hiking (sacrament by a campfire). ''A promise'' i think is about that Tuomas (the tameless) and Tanja (the one with a tool, her voice) desides to start the band.

    I want to hunt with the tameless
    I want to learn the wisdom of mountains afar
    we will honor the angel in the snow
    We will make the streams for our children flow

    The first one and the second I think is about that he want to write what he want. The third is that they will honour their inspiration. And the last is that they will make their music for their future fans, their children.

    Wrapped in furs beneath the northern lights
    From my cave I watch the land untamed
    And wonder if some becoming season
    will make the angel melt in shame

    He is thinkinig how the future will be and how it looks right now. the last one is that he is thinking if he will someday become better than his inspiration.

    Thats what Im thinking
    Thomas1989on August 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkay, this will be a long post.

    However, a few remarks:

    dannybangbangj's theory of the song being about The Hobbit I concede could be possible. I never thought of it that way. Nice rendition. However, this site has incorrect lyrics: both the lyrics shipped with the album and the official Nightwish website render the fifth line as "with a hungry choir of WOLVES," not woods. So fangorn doesn’t quite hold up, but dang nice matching all the same. And no, you certainly don’t read the hobbit too much. ;)

    noufi and andersap both have good thoughts as well, and the_howling is just fricking right ;P

    My analysis is somewhat similar to Thomas 1989, but more in depth. I’m assuming that Tuomas is Christian, as he has Christian lyrics and phrases all over his music, and that he loved Tarja from the very beginning.


    The first verse of this song is either drawing a parallel between some individual in Tumoas’s life and Christ, or is making a direct allusion to Christ. The description of this angel implies that it is lifeless, being frozen and lying on the ground. However, it doesn’t state it’s dead either, as it’s surrounded by magic, the wolves don’t seem to hurt or eat it, and some kind of agreement is made. Wolves tread across this body in such a way that they have both literally crossed over the body, as well as formed a Christian cross around it with their paw prints. This is:

    “An encounter symbolic yet truthful
    With a hungry choir of wolves
    An agreement immemorial to be born.”

    This scene is symbolic of Christ because Christ died, but yet he lives through “magic” if you will. The hungry choir of wolves are human beings looking at Christ, desiring his sacrifice and Atonement on their behalf. The wolves sing to the angel as Christians sing in praise of God and Christ. I get the image of a circle of sitting wolves howling around the angel in the snow, as an agreement immemorial (an agreement made a really long time ago) to be carried out. That’s an illusion to the covenant of Christ’s sacrifice being planned by God a “immemorial” time long ago that Christ had to bare the sins for all of the beasts of the world: sinful humans.

    The purpose of the first verse is to be compared to the second verse.

    The second verse now talks about a completely separate experience, the centerpiece founding of Nightwish described as “a sacrament by a campfire.” The “dulcet elvenharps” I believe are the dreams of what the band could be that are ringing in Tuomas’s head as he listens to the “charming tones” that Emppu plays on his acoustic guitar with Tarja’s vocals. This is the beginning of the band we know and love. The Christian themes in the first verse are now applied to the founding of this band, again with the words “a sacrament by a campfire.”

    How the heck are they similar? As Christ gave of himself to sustain others by his sacrifice, to some degree Tuomas is doing the same thing to his own “hungry choir”, presently Tarja and Emppu. Remember that Tuomas wrote the songs they were playing. He’s been the mastermind, heart and soul behind the whole Nightwish endeavor. Tarja and Emppu are music majors without jobs currently; having graduated, they are certainly “hungry” for work, and how much more wonderful would it be to work with their friend in a band? Tuomas is not making this analogy because he’s going on a power trip, nor is he calling himself God. It’s a comparison. Recall that Christ calls those who believe in and follow him his friends, and does not treat them poorly. This is the “sacrament by a campfire.”

    I differ from Thomas1989’s distinction of “the tameless” as Tuomas and “the one with the tool” as Tarja. I believe “the tameless” refers to Tarja, and “the one with the tool” is Emppu. My rendition of “the tameless” will be made clear in the chorus. Due to that, the one with a tool can only be Emppu, who was invited to the band first. Sources aren’t clear, but I believe that Emppu may have been the one to ask Tarja to join the band, albeit in behalf of Tuomas. This is the promise between the tameless Tarja and the one with the tool Emppu. The journey from “a cave begins:” in other words, the band, all of starving, relatively jobless young musicians begins. The cave could also refer to Kitee, their hometown itself.

    Now for the definition of “the tameless.” The chorus onward differs from the rest of the song in that it is now written in first person. The rest has been observation. “I (Tuomas) want to hunt WITH the tameless heart.” Assuming that Tuomas loved Tarja, in addition to wanting her fabulous vocals, this makes perfect sense. He wants to hunt, or seek out a destiny with Tarja, the tameless heart. Why is she tameless? Could be that she never really dated anyone in school and was tameless in that sense. Could be her powerful vocals. Could be that she is tamelss by Tuomas himself, as he loves her, but Tarja only views him as a friend. In any case, together Tuomas envisions Tarja and himself honoring the angel. Notice the “We,” which only includes “the tameless heart,” who we know is a direct person, referred to before as just “the tameless.” Together they will honor the Christian tradition of coming together in marriage by “mak[ing] the streams for our children flow.” This has sexual connotation certainly, and also captures the idea loosing the stream of creativity and innovation in song writing being opened by both of them. We know Tarja certainly influenced this with her powerful voice that shaped the music of Nightwish into being a metal act, which Tuomas did not initially intend.

    The last verse shows Tuomas watching the land untamed. I think this refers to Tarja again, for she is the tameless heart. The “land untamed” may specifically be Tarja’s actions and demeanor with Tuomas. He wonders “if some becoming season” will come and shatter his Christian dream of being with Tarja in a romantic and/or band relationship. Unfortunately, these fears ended up coming true indeed, for Tarja is indeed the tameless heart (who’s gone on to make some damn good music in her own right).

    That is my opinion.
    StanJeton November 17, 2010   Link

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