Turn Loose the Mermaids

Album: Imaginaerum (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Nightwish keyboardist and chief songwriter Tuomas Holopainen told Metal Hammer magazine how witnessing the passing away of his grandfather inspired this ballad. He explained: "One thing that I like to do is pay a little homage to certain things that I really respect – for example, the My Dying Bride album Turn Loose The Swans is one of my all-time favourites, which is why this is called 'Turn Loose The Mermaids'. It's nothing to do with My Dying Bride other than the title, but it was born in the moment when I saw my grandfather die, and my grandmother was giving him the final message. It was one of the most emotional experiences of my life – it was so dark and beautiful at the same time. I had to make a song about it – the last thing she did was check his teeth, warm his toes, and then [say] 'Good journey my love, see you soon'. She was 93 back then, and 15 minutes after, he died. I'd never seen a dead person before, and it was an emotional moment, so I wanted to do a song about it. The album's all about life and the power and beauty of imagination, and I thought that we needed to include the final chapter of life, which is death."

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