What does Nemo mean?

Nightwish: Nemo Meaning

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Album cover for Nemo album cover

Nemo Lyrics

This is me for forever
One of the lost ones
The one without a name
Without an honest heart as compass

This is me for forever
One without a name
These lines the last endeavor
To find the missing lifeline

Oh how I wish
For soothing rain
All I...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Nov 6th 2010 !⃝

    "Nemo" is a hit single from Nightwish's 2004 album "Once", and I have decided to submit a basic yet informative interpretation and meaning of its reasonably cryptic (for most) lyrics. I will discuss the meanings in lyrics format.

    Before I begin, it is noteworthy to know that "Nemo" was the name (actually a pseudonym, as the character's real name was Prince Drakken) of a fictional character from the 19th century fiction book entitled "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea". Nemo was a scientific genius and the captain of a submarine which sailed through the world's oceans. While a hero and a protagonist, Nemo, in the book, was constantly faced with trouble and danger.


    "This is me for forever
    One of the lost ones"
    Captain Nemo opposed government, as he knew that human rule was imperfect. Therefore, he is one of the "lost ones" -- referring to his submarine's crew of rogues. They were lost in the sense that they followed no human institution or government. He does this forever because he believes it is wrong to follow human authority.

    "The one without a name
    Without an honest heart as compass"
    Nemo's real name was actually Drakken, but he had forsaken this name and named himself with a pseudonym instead (a fake name). Nemo, in Latin, actually means "nobody", or "nothing" -- it is therefore fitting that he is described as being "without a name". Despite being a hero, Nemo, was in effect, an outlaw as seen by the government -- a rebellious criminal, and so it is suitable to say he did not have an honest heart "as compass" -- that is, not being guided by any intentions that would bring good to human government.

    "This is me for forever
    One without a name
    These lines the last endeavor
    To find the missing lifeline"
    This is just referring to Nemo's "outlawed" state, and the fact he has no name. The "lines" being referred to here are ambiguous; they can be either figurative or literal. It could be referring to the charted pathways marked on a map which showed where Nemo travelled in his submarine in his "endeavors", or it could be the charted oceans on the map (it is reasonably safe to assume these "lines" have a geographic denotion). The "missing lifeline" is also ambiguous, but it is most probably referring to the goal of all of Nemo's efforts: discovery. He believes it's a "lifeline" for humanity because it would help enlighten them, and bring them out of the figurative darkness.

    "Oh how I wish
    For soothing rain"
    While it can be taken literally (because he's in a submarine, Nemo wouldn't have felt literal rain for very long periods of time), this "soothing rain" most probably means relief from all his problems and opponents. Because he was an outlaw in the eyes of many, many opposed him, and, because he had to rely fully on his own wits, he may have been subject to much stress and problems, thus wanting a way out -- hence the "soothing rain".

    "All I wish is to dream again"
    Because his work dominated his life, Nemo most likely had little time for anything else. Therefore, he may have wanted to "dream again" -- that is, be able to think of other things.

    "My loving heart
    Lost in the dark"
    The heart is often used symbolically to represent feelings and emotion. Because of all the problems Nemo faced, he may have grown emotionally apathetic -- that is to say, he didn't know what happiness and love truly felt like. His heart being referred to as "loving" means he may have felt tender compassion and love once, but that is now forgotten or lost ("lost in the dark")

    "For hope I'd give my everything"
    Because the context of the chorus is referring primarily to Nemo's emotional state, this "hope" most probably means hope that he'll find love, or a true meaning in life. He wants this so much that he'll give his "everything" -- all that he has.

    "My flower
    Withered between
    The pages two and three
    The once and forever bloom gone with my sins"
    This is a fairly ambiguous verse. The book it's talking about could be the journal he kept (after all, being the captain, he most probably was in charge of a captain's log), and how just after two or three pages he stopped writing because he lost hope (possibly that things would change, or because it just wasn't worth writing things down in it). The "flower" could be a flower he wanted or once did give to a lover of his, now withered -- its bloom gone "with his sins" (he may have forgotten all about his sins, as well). It refers to this as "once and forever" because he believes he'll never find hope or love again.

    "Walk the dark path
    Sleep with angels"
    The "dark path" could either be taken literally or figuratively. Literally, because the paths he travelled really were mostly dark (deep underwater in his submarine), or figuratively -- it could just mean a lack of figurative "light", meaning hope or guidance.
    In order to be in the presence of angels, one would have to be in heaven, and so this could mean that Nemo, at one stage, wanted to "sleep with angels" -- that is, die, and be relieved from all the trouble in his life. However, this is very ambiguous.

    "Call the past for help
    Touch me with your love
    And reveal to me my true name"
    This almost confirms he had a lover previously in his past, as he now wants her to come back from his past ("call the past for help"), and to touch him with her love; most probably because he wanted to know what love and compassion felt like. Being his lover, she also most probably knew what his real name was, and, because he had chosen to forget it, he wanted to know what it was again

    "Nemo sailing on'
    This can be taken literally, because Nemo really would sail through the oceans in his submarine.

    "Nemo letting go"
    This is referring to how he's slowly losing his grip on life -- having almost no feelings and faced with so many problems, he was slowly "letting go".


    Lastly, it's noteworthy to know that Nemo's character wasn't as dark as this song makes him out to be, but, as is typical with Nightwish's style, they may have made him sound much darker and more depressed to add feeling and emotion to the song.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 8th !⃝


    Follow the above link for the actual explanation from the song writer himself. Geez.

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 25th 2013 !⃝

    el que dio la interpretacion esa es un comepinga, que se ponga a leer acerca de los sistemas de goviernos en escandinavia y la gratitud de las personas alpa que vea que lo que esta hablando pinga, estoy seguro que el que tiene problemas con el govierno es el y en todas las canciones lo que vees eso.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 4th 2012 !⃝

    This song, with words like "compass," "lifeline," and "sailing," is connected to the ocean, which could be a reference to Verne's character Captain Nemo. "Nemo," by the way, is Latin for "Nobody," which you know if you've read the book. In essence, this song is using Captain Nemo as a symbol to describe loneliness.

    -This is me for forever
    -One of the lost ones
    -One without a name
    -Without an honest heart as compass
    There's "compass," the nautical reference. Also, "without a name" refers to "Nemo" meaning "Nobody."

    -This is me for forever
    -One without a name
    -These lines the last endeavor
    -To find the missing lifeline
    Another nautical term, as well as "these lines the last endeavor to find the missing lifeline." These lines are a call for help, for somebody to extend a lifeline that will lead out of the loneliness. This may also refer to the memoir Captain Nemo is seen writing in the bok "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea." Nemo intends to cast the memoir (These lines) out to sea when he dies.

    -Oh, how I wish for soothing rain
    Captain Nemo's ship the Nautilus travels underwater, so he never sees sky or "soothing rain." Symbolically speaking, it's about wanting to love again.
    -All I wish is to dream again
    -My loving heart, lost in the dark
    -For hope I'd give my everything
    This person has nothing to lose.
    -Oh, how I wish for soothing rain
    -Oh, how I wish to dream again
    -Once and for all
    -And all for once
    -Nemo my name forevermore
    This person has lost all hope that they will ever be more than "Nemo."

    -My flower withered between the pages two and three
    -The once and forever bloom gone with my sins
    In the story, Captain Nemo had a daughter who died young. This could be referring to her as his "flower," and the pages referring to his memoir. This line of the song is about loss.
    -Walk the dark path, sleep with angels
    -Call the past for help
    -Touch me with your love
    -And reveal to me my true name
    Once again, the singer reveals a wish for love, to be delivered from loneliness.

    -Nemo sailing home
    -Nemo letting go
    These two lines are just a quiet expression of the loneliness that this song is about.

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