Sleeping Sun

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"Sleeping Sun – 4 Ballads of the Eclipse"
Single by Nightwish
Released 11 August 1999
Format CD
Recorded May/June 1999
Length 4:04
Label Spinefarm
Songwriter(s) Tuomas Holopainen
Producer(s) Tero Kinnunen
Nightwish singles chronology
"Walking in the Air"
"Sleeping Sun – 4 Ballads of the Eclipse"
"The Kinslayer"

"Sleeping Sun" is a power ballad by Nightwish. The song was written by Tuomas Holopainen and dedicated to the solar eclipse that arose on the European sky in 1999.[1] It was first released on the MaxiCD of the same name in 1999, with a re-recorded version released in late October/early November 2005.

First release[edit]

"Sleeping Sun (Four Ballads of the Eclipse)" is the fifth single by Nightwish. The first recording of the song dates back from May and June 1999, it was recorded at two studios, Caverock and Finnvox, both in Finland. Together with the songs "Walking in the Air", "Angels Fall First" and "Swanheart", Sleeping Sun was released for the first time on the MCD Sleeping Sun – Four Ballads of the Eclipse. Later in 1999, the song was added to most new releases of the 1998 album Oceanborn, and in 2004 also on the compilation album Tales from the Elvenpath.

Sleeping Sun was certified with Gold Disc in Finland with more than 5.000 sold copies,[2] and also in Germany with more than 15.000 sold copies.[3] It reached the number-two spot in the Finnish charts,[4] and was #69 in the German Official Singles Charts.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Nightwish.

1."Sleeping Sun"Tuomas Holopainen4:04
2."Walking in the Air"Howard Blake5:31
4."Angels Fall First"Holopainen5:34
Total length:19:56

Sales and certifications[edit]

Country Certification
(sales thresholds)
Finland Gold[5]


  • Director: Sami Käyhkö
  • Producer: Paula Eronen
  • Executive producer: Sami Manninen
  • Cinematographer: Risto Laasonen
  • Camera assistant: Kalle Pekkala
  • Trip and organizer: Juha Virtala
  • Makeup and costumes: Johanna Pulli
  • Grip assistant: Esko Virtala, Ville Kyro
  • Offline editors: Sami Käyhkö, Reko Turja
  • Telecine colourist: Adam Vidovic
  • Online and compositing: Sami Käyhkö, Reko Turja


Second release[edit]

"Sleeping Sun"
Sleeping Sun 2005.jpg
Single by Nightwish
from the album Highest Hopes
Released 19 October 2005
Format CD, DVD
Recorded 2005 at
Spinefarm, Helsinki
Length 4:24
Label Spinefarm
Songwriter(s) Tuomas Holopainen
Producer(s) Tero Kinnunen
Nightwish singles chronology
"The Siren"
"Sleeping Sun"

In 2005, Nightwish announced that they were busy recording a new version of this song for a compilation album, entitled Highest Hopes. Tarja Turunen sang lead vocals on the re-recorded version, this becoming her final studio contribution to the band before being replaced by Anette Olzon.

"Sleeping Sun" would appear on the Highest Hopes album titled "Sleeping Sun 2005 Version". To promote the compilation it was released as a CD & DVD single.

The CD single include the full "2005 version", the radio edit of this new version, and the original 1999 version.

The band also made a video for the 2005 Version; It is a vicious medieval war scene including all the Nightwish band members, with Tarja In the aftermath of the battle. The 2000 DVD single version was filmed with vocalist Tarja Turunen walking about at Pakkahuone, Tampere, Finland. She is the only Nightwish band member featured in the original, far less dramatic video. Both videos for 2000 & 2005 versions are included on The DVD Single.

Track listing[edit]

CD single[edit]

  1. Sleeping Sun - edited
  2. Sleeping Sun
  3. Sleeping Sun - original

DVD single[edit]

  1. Sleeping Sun 2005
  2. Sleeping Sun 1999 version
  3. Sleeping Sun (Live @ Summer Breeze)



A video was shot for the song, in which Tarja Turunen seems to have red hair. The videoclip includes many landscapes characteristic of Finland, for example the forests, the beaches and a large grain field. The video was directed by Sami Käyhkö and shot at Ivalo and Lake Inari, Finland, July 1999.[6]

Together with a new recording of the song found on the compilation Highest Hopes, a new video was released in 2005, which shows Turunen as a valkyrie, walking along a field of dead and wounded soldiers. In the video the other band members appear as soldiers, who are being led away from the battlefield.[7]


German Dramatic Dark rock band ApoVelation released a demo version in 2006. Spanish Gothic metal band Iris covered the song in 2007. Maryana Borak sang the song Live in Novy Rozdil, Ukraine, 2007. Soprano Maria Lund recorded a Finnish language version of the song (titled "Uinuva Aurinko" on YouTube) for her 2008 album "Ajan Sävel". Classical string quartet group "The Random Quartet" also played the song in 2008. Brazilian Rock band Swianne currently perform the song regularly in their concerts. New Mexico-based acoustic duo Chile Pi included it in their album "Out in New Mexico" in 2017.


  1. ^ "Nightwish: Sleeping Sun". Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  2. ^ "The Band - Biography". Retrieved 2009-11-09.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ ""Sleeping Sun" sells well". Retrieved 2009-11-09.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "IFPI Tilastot: Nightwish". Retrieved 2010-01-03.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ Käyhkö, Sami (Director) (1999). From Wishes to Eternity (DVD). Ivalo, Lake Inari (Finland): Spinefarm records. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]