Lyrical Analysis: Amorphis – Sky Is Mine

Posted by on Jul Sun, 2019 in Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Electronica, Folk Metal, Hard Rock, Heavy/Traditional Metal, Lifestyle, Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal, Progressive Rock, Stoner Metal, Symphonic | 0 comments

Lyrical Analysis: Amorphis – Sky Is Mine
Released in 2009, Skyforger is the 9th studio album from Finnish melodic death metal outfit Amorphis.

Amorphis is one of my favorite bands, and this song is one of the many reasons why I love them. This track is from the concept album Skyforger, which is about the Blacksmith of the Gods, named Ilmarinen. (Not to be confused with Leminkainen, the warrior-poet, or Kullervo, the Tragic Antihero.) That’s the trouble with centuries-old ancient epic literature. There’s dozens of books, chapters, plots, story arcs, and characters. It’s hard to keep up.

Enter Amorphis. Their unique music makes ancient old books still relevant to contemporary audiences. They make foreign cultures seem close to home. They literally translate the Finnish language into English. They transform traditional songs, known as Runes, into modern death metal. They make the impossible seem real, and like magic, they bring fantasy to life.

This song in particular was uncanny. The melody is beautiful and the lyrics are extremely emotional. The literal meaning is about Ilmarinen forging a new sun, moon, and stars out of gold and silver, after the real celestial bodies were stolen from the sky. The symbolic meanings of living in darkness, and making your own light, related heavily to my own life, and they still do. Here is why:

From my world the sun faded,

And the moon from my sky was gone with stars.

One night, a disembodied voice told me: “You are living in the outskirts of hell, and good will be eclipsed by evil.” I instantaneously understood what that meant. Even though the moon is much smaller than the sun, it is closer to our world. A cold, tiny rock can literally eclipse the largest heavenly body in our solar system. Similarly, I believe that there is more good in the world than bad, but the bad is closer to home, and appears much larger than the good. When you experience more evil than good, you live in darkness, and there seems to be no hope at all. It feels like you’re damned to an eternity of suffering, when you are closer to the darkness than the light.

I came home to a bleak room of sorrow,

Forsaken house, place of grief, in solitude.

This voice came to me around the same time I left college. After dropping out, I lived at my father’s house while I had no school, no job, and few prospects in life. He died alone one night while I was out fighting and drinking with other street rats. The devastation and loss was compounded with my overwhelming, unbearable guilt. I was sad, scared, alone, and confused. My sorrow was only beginning, and would shatter my life throughout the following years.

I listened to my heart beating,

The faint rush of my blood.

I listened to my heart beating,

The echoes from space.

The silence was stifling. I felt oppressed by loneliness and pain. My father was one of the only people who truly loved me. Even all these years later, I don’t think I’ll ever be as close to any of my other relatives, especially those who were cruel to me. He was the bridge that linked me to the rest of the family, and when he died, so did my connection to them.  And I took him for granted. He was a man of few words, and preferred the sound of his guitar over small talk. No more late nights, being woken up by the wailing sound of the sunburst Les Paul. Now the only thing that kept me up at night was my own guilty conscience.

Something moving in the emptiness,

Something drew me near.

Someone told me of my future deeds,

Whispered them in my ear.

Hearing voices at night was nothing new to me. To this day, sometimes I’ll drift off to sleep, just to be startled awake by the sound of someone calling my name. I always knew that my brain was fucked, and I dismissed these voices as dreams or my mind playing tricks on me. My auditory hallucinations were usually familiar phrases, like my name, or snippets of yesterday’s conversations.  I could usually tell these apart from reality. But that night was different. This voice was not only special; it was prophetic.

The sky stirred,

The lights of space flared.

Beneath my feet,

The living earth started to breathe

The next year or so was a clusterfuck of misery and pain. After my father’s death, I needed to escape from myself. A homeless train hopper was traveling, and I thought this was the perfect opportunity to tag along. I thought of all the cheesy quotes I’ve heard and read, about “doing what you’re afraid to do”, or “the greatest regrets are lost opportunities”. Those clichés were dead wrong. Sometimes you’re scared to do something, because your intuition is warning you of danger. My foolish risks and reckless stupidity will haunt me for the rest of my life. It felt as though my entire world was upside down, if not disintegrating completely.

I listened to my heart beating,

The faint rush of my blood.

I listened to my heart beating,

The echoes from space.

Now silence is soothing, instead of painful. What once was anathema has become an anodyne. When I hear my heart beating, I know that I’m alive. I may not always want to be alive, and I still struggle with suicidal thoughts, self mutilation, and depression. But I have not yet been killed, by my own hand or anyone else’s.

Something moving in the emptiness,

Something drew me near.

Someone told me of my future deeds,

Whispered them in my ear.

I had only one other hallucination or dream that seemed to foretell the future. Several years before my father’s death, I heard something say: “No matter what talents you have, the only true talent is sight.” This seemed to be self-referential, a prediction about other predictions.

This sky is mine

This sword is mine

This fate is mine

This miracle, mine

Yet, through all my tragedy and heartbreak, I managed to survive. I’m not dead, and I’m not in prison. That’s more than some people can say, especially the bad crowd who I ran with in those days. I have to contend with the past, both good and bad. I once was a young, innocent little girl. But years of dysfunction impaired my ability to make responsible decisions. I fell from grace, but I also clawed my way back up from rock bottom. I may never reach Heaven, but at least I’m no longer in Hell.

From steel I made the master’s sword

Cleaves stone, cliff, a mountain

I must learn to make peace with society, as well as my internal struggle. Like Hester Prynne, my scarlet letter will define me forever. But I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation. I remember the horrors that I survived, and I understand that I am anything but weak. I am a survivor, a fighter, a badass. I wish I had done things differently, but no amount of guilt will change the past, and no amount of worry will change the future. I wear my violent memories, not as shackles, but as armor. They are still heavy, but now they are a weapon instead of a burden.

From darkness I stepped

Onto the path of stars

I can’t pretend that I’ve reconciled with my dark past. But I understand that every memory is part of me, every trauma shaped me, and every nightmare made me who I am today. Now that I know true regret, I hold love and forgiveness even more precious to my heart. Even with heavy burdens on my soul, I carry my head high, and slowly but surely, I am restoring dignity and pride back into my life. Healing will be a life long process, but I’d rather have a life sentence than a death sentence.

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