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 Lyrics as written by Jukka Antero Nevalainen Erno Matti Juhani Vuorinen

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sacrament Of Wilderness song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

14 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I believe this song is about the relationship between humankind and nature, using imagery from ancient societies. Midwinter is mentioned, which is another way of saying winter solstice, which in many ancient cultures was a time of spiritual ceremony. This is followed by the contrast between an idolized angelic figure frozen in the snow with a humanoid form, perhaps an earth goddess representing how humans view nature or the tamed, motherly forces of nature, and the wild, primal wolves symbolic of the fierce, untamed forces of nature.

    The contrast between wild energies (elves and dryads) and humans controlling them (campfire) continues. The "tameless" is nature, the "one with the tool" is man. The journey from the cave calls to mind vision quests or other spiritual journeys in older societies. The "charming tunes" and "promise" are probably suggestive of mankind in this ancient society trying to work with the forces of nature rather than against them. Their way of life then was more closely tied to the seasons and environment.

    "I want to hunt with the tameless heart" brings to mind an ancient hunter wanting the strength of the wolves, bears, or other fierce animals during his hunt or quest. "I want to learn the wisdom of the mountains afar" also implies wanting to know the secrets of nature. "We will make the streams for our children flow" brings to mind the way our species has changed the face of the earth for our own needs.

    The last stanza, "From my cave I watch the land untamed And wonder if some becoming season Will make the angel melt in shame" seems to suggest the ancient man looking out on the untamed land and wondering if one day it will be destroyed by our efforts to "tame" it, and whether one day their gods, goddesses, and/or way of life will fall.

    Naalion February 26, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I'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 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    brilliant

    Ocean Soulon February 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    to 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 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    wel 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 Comment

    Tarja'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 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    dannybangbangj I think you meant Bilbo, not Frodo

    Hannah36on September 28, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I 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 Comment

    i 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 Comment

    Okay 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

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
The Night We Met
Lord Huron
This is a hauntingly beautiful song about introspection, specifically about looking back at a relationship that started bad and ended so poorly, that the narrator wants to go back to the very beginning and tell himself to not even travel down that road. I believe that the relationship started poorly because of the lines: "Take me back to the night we met:When the night was full of terrors: And your eyes were filled with tears: When you had not touched me yet" So, the first night was not a great start, but the narrator pursued the relationship and eventually both overcame the rough start to fall in love with each other: "I had all and then most of you" Like many relationships that turn sour, it was not a quick decline, but a gradual one where the narrator and their partner fall out of love and gradually grow apart "Some and now none of you" Losing someone who was once everything in your world, who you could confide in, tell your secrets to, share all the most intimate parts of your life, to being strangers with that person is probably one of the most painful experiences a person can go through. So Painful, the narrator wants to go back in time and tell himself to not even pursue the relationship. This was the perfect song for "13 Reasons Why"
Album art
Holiday
Bee Gees
@[Diderik:33655] "Your a holiday!" Was a popular term used in the 50s/60s to compliment someone on their all around. For example, not only are they beautiful, but they are fun and kind too ... just an all around "holiday". I think your first comment is closer to being accurate. The singer/song writers state "Millions of eyes can see, yet why am i so blind!? When the someone else is me, its unkind its unkind". I believe hes referring to the girl toying with him and using him. He wants something deeper with her, thats why he allows himself to be as a puppet (even though for her fun and games) as long as it makes her happy. But he knows deep down that she doesnt really want to be serious with him and thats what makes him.
Album art
Dreamwalker
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.
Album art
Gentle Hour
Yo La Tengo
This song was originally written by a guy called Peter Gutteridge. He was one of the founders of the "Dunedin Sound" a musical scene in the south of New Zealand in the early 80s. From there it was covered by "The Clean" one of the early bands of that scene (he had originally been a member of in it's early days, writing a couple of their best early songs). The Dunedin sound, and the Clean became popular on american college radio in the mid to late 80s. I guess Yo La Tengo heard that version. Great version of a great song,
Album art
Punchline
Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran sings about missing his former partner and learning important life lessons in the process on “Punchline.” This track tells a story of battling to get rid of emotions for a former lover, whom he now realized might not have loved him the same way. He’s now caught between accepting that fact and learning life lessons from it and going back to beg her for another chance.