Over The Hills And Far Away
2001 | Metal
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“Cut me free, bleed with me, oh no. -- One by one, we will fall, down down. -- Pull the plug, end the pain, runin' fight for life. -- Hold on tight, this ain't my fight."
- Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and former lead singer Tarja Turunen.
- Nightwish is the third-best-selling musical entity in Finland with certified sales of nearly 900,000 certified copies.
- The group has sold more than 9 million records worldwide and receiving more than 60 gold and platinum awards, released five Number 1 albums and thirteen Number 1 singles.
THE HOT TAKES
Some of the concepts this year have repeated themselves over and over. A lot of this list has been anti-war in nature. But there is a line here that really hits me: "It's not for me, it's because of you." In other words, I'm not fighting this war because I want to. I have no personal stake in this fight. You are wicked and the wicked must be vanquished. This is precisely the story that everyone is taught about every great war their home country was involved in. Our boys are fearless protectors, defending freedom. Your forces are wicked scoundrels with naught but death in their hearts. Our troops are "just following orders." Your legions are consumed by hatred, personally involving themselves in the conflict because they, too, share in the diabolical machinations of their leaders. All it takes to dispel this mythologically-steeped nonsense (and I'm definitely one for mythology, mind you!) is to evaluate both sides the same way. Neither army's troops want to be there. War is a game, and if you're fighting, you're not the one playing.
Opera and metal just go together, don’t they? The drama, intensity, and range of vocals are just so complementary, and this song is a great example. To me the story of the song seems to be of a soldier who has bought the lie that he must murder those of his masters enemies in order to protect his own. He then returns home and realizes that he is only fodder for politicians as well. Sad stuff. What’s even more sad is that this scenario happens in the real world. Every day US soldiers are sent off to fulfill the political goals of the powerful on the lies that they are fighting for hearth and kin. If the war doesn’t completely destroy their humanity, they come home broken in the realization that they were murderers for hire so that some defence contractor could make a bundle and line the pockets of some grinning politician that can keep him in business. It’s sick stuff and I wish it were only a story. No wonder 22 veterans commit suicide every day. As a libertarian I want that to stop. I want to end all of the needless and endless wars that keep the world an unstable mess for the profit of a relative few.
As Luke points out there are some themes that might seem more important to us. We're really against war. The costs of war on nations and its citizens are immeasurable in some ways and disproportionately felt by it's poorest. This song in particular is written from the perspective of the tool. The soldier who understands what they truly are and no longer pretends they are acting in any way for their own benefit. Wishing for death because it's the only way to atone for the death you've inflicted. This is a truly haunting song, made more powerful by those classic Nightwish vocals.