"Harvest" as written by and Mikael Lars Akerfeldt....
Stay with me a while
Rise above the vile
Name my final rest
Pored into my chest

Into the orchard I walk, peering way past the gate
Wilted scenes for us who couldn't wait
Drained by the coldest caress, stalking shadows ahead
Halo of death, all I see is departure
Mourner's lament, but it's me who's the martyr

Pledge yourself to me
Never leave me be
Sweat breaks on my brow
Given time ends now

Into the orchard I walk, peering way past the gate
Wilted scenes for us who couldn't wait
Drained by the coldest caress, stalking shadows ahead
Halo of death, all I see is departure
Mourner's lament, but it's me who's the martyr

Spirit painted sin
Embers 'neath my skin
Veiled in pale embrace
Reached and touched my face

Into the orchard I walk, peering way past the gate
Wilted scenes for us who couldn't wait
Drained by the coldest caress, stalking shadows ahead
Halo of death, all I see is departure
Mourner's lament, but it's me who's the martyr


Lyrics submitted by Idan

"Harvest" as written by Mikael Lars Akerfeldt

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Harvest song meanings
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  • +9
    My InterpretationThis is how I interpret the song, Of course I can't be entirely correct, after all, poetry is only a play of words.

    'Harvest': For all those who say that this song is not about death, the very title of the song clarifies it.
    'The harvest is the process of gathering mature crops from the fields. Reaping follows harvesting, where the grain is separated from the cut crops with the help of the reaper/scythe.'
    That is when the one who has lived their life completely dies. The Reaper takes his grain (soul).

    'Stay with me a while,
    Rise above the vile.'
    The writer wants someone by his side in the last few minutes of his life. But he doesn't want them to be saddened by his state (rise above the vile).

    'Name my final rest,
    Poured into my chest.'
    Here, I guess by naming his 'final rest' he means put a grave stone above his coffin (Poured into my chest).


    'Into the orchard i walk peering way past the gate.'
    He knows that he is just about to die, now he looks back at what's happening around his dying body (peering way past the gate).

    'Wilted scenes for us who couldn't wait.'
    Very brilliant pun! When a plant wilts, it bows its head (Flower & Stem). Wilted scenes refers to the sadness that surrounds a person who's dying i.e. everyone's "wilting" (sobbing with their heads held low). 'Us who couldn't wait' refers to those who couldn't wait back here on Earth (people who are dying). This is what the writer sees- a scene of utter sadness.

    'Drained by the coldest caress, stalking shadows ahead.'
    Further, he describes the people around his dying body. There are some people around him that are holding onto him (caress) yet these people are not really sad or they do not feel for the writer (cold). He doesn't want them around (stalking shadows).

    'Halo of death, all i see is departure.'
    He is encircled (Halo) by death and sees only one way out.

    'Mourner's lament but it's me who's to martyr.'
    People around him are depressed and crying but yet, he is the one who will actually have to witness (martyr) death helplessly.


    Now, he looks upon his most beloved one's (wife, son, lover, etc.).
    'Pledge yourself to me,
    Never leave me be'
    He wants a promise that they will think of him often i.e. pledge themselves to his memories. And never forget him.

    'Sweat breaks on my brow,
    Given time ends now.'
    He's worried that he will never see them again. Their time together is almost over.


    Now he has passed away. This is probably at his funeral.
    'Spirit painted sin,
    Embers neath my skin'
    He has done ill all his life and feels his soul is tainted with sin. His spirit looks around and at his dead lifeless body. And sees the fire (life) within him is extinguished (gone).
    Embers refers to the remains of a fire (it's something like the smoke that comes out after you blow out the flame on a matchstick).

    'Veiled in pale embrace,
    Reached and touched my face.'
    People are dressed (veiled) in black (pale refers to absence of color, so it need not always mean white). They reached down and touched his face (a tradition followed at some funerals).

    So basically, it has nothing to do with suicide, heaven or hell. It's only and only about those few minutes before and after death.
    I don't really know if anyone will even read this, but I like writing anyway. Let me know what you'll think.
    kgs1992on January 07, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSongs like these are what make Opeth such an original metal band. They can go from screaming in your face to lulling you into relaxation.
    Supplanteron September 07, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIn my opinion blackwater park is a concept album talking about a place called "blackwater park" that during winter is infested by leper. I think that the whole story is narrated by the same man that in the first two songs sees his lover dying by leper, until in harvest she dies. After he also becomes infected and he is disgusted by the fact that everyone has abandoned him, so in "dirge for november" he decides to commit suicide. In "the funeral portrait" he is a ghost , infact in the last song we can read the word "Fluttering",and he describes how his dead body is covered by snow. Finally in the last song he is like a spectator that describes the other lepers death and he reflects about how healthy people were insensitive whit this situation.
    Sorry if my english is wrong but I'm italian :D
    That's just my interpretation
    silver34324on October 14, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThat sounds about right to me, but maybe the person is dying IN PLACE of someone, "Stay with me awhile" "Plege yourself to me" "It's me who's the martyr"
    Supplanteron May 29, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about the moment of facing Death. Uncertain the final destination. Heaven Or Hell.
    The song title describes a phase or action where all the souls are return to the Almighty after sowing it on a place called Earth.Thats what I think anyway....
    blackenedsgon May 09, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's someone requesting a loved one to stay by their side, maybe take them through a garden of some sorts one last time.
    Blindwishon June 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFixed the lyric a bit.
    Looks better, aye?
    Idanon July 21, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWTF? This song has a higher view rate than about 12 of the last songs on the top 100 chart but yet it's not on there?
    Blindwishon July 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI truly agree....
    blackenedsgon September 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that the lyrics of the song refers to the last crossroads of life, is a good description of that moment would able to be
    hateuon October 05, 2002   Link

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