Nightwish’s Floor Jansen: The 10 songs that changed my life

We delve into Nightwish singer Floor Jansen’s record collection – from The Beatles to Sabaton.

Nightwish’s Floor Jansen: The 10 songs that changed my life
Steve Beebee
Originally published:

Floor Jansen – vocalist for Finnish symphonic metal powerhouse Nightwish – is one tough lady. Except when it comes to power metal – then her heart goes aflutter...

The first song that I remember hearing...The Beatles – The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (1968)

“I’m sure my mum sang me lullabies, and my dad played guitar to me, but the song I can remember hearing is this. I have vivid memories of my parents singing along to it. I was always intrigued by what it was about, and the older I got the more I came to understand its true meaning [it mocks a hunter’s false bravado]. As a child, I thought it was jolly and easy to jump around to.”

The song that makes me think of childhood...Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (1985)

“That distinctive guitar intro really stayed with me. It reminds me of my dad in particular and he would play it everywhere. We always had music on – it would be classical music during breakfast on Sunday mornings, but that Dire Straits album [Brothers In Arms] went everywhere with us.”

The first song that I learned to sing...Andrew Lloyd Webber – Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1970)

“I didn’t know I could sing until I took part in a musical at primary school. I was part of the choir and I loved it, so when I went to high school I auditioned for a part in a production of Joseph… I was chosen to be the narrator, which is quite a big role. I practised, sang and sang, and that’s when I realised I could do this. I loved being part of that, and it was really the first thing that set me on my path towards being a singer.”

The song that inspired me to be in a band...The Gathering – Strange Machines (1995)

“It was interesting to hear such a strong female voice [Anneke van Giersbergen] in metal, and also the song itself affected me. Strange Machines is by far the strongest track on that album [Mandylion]. It was big in my homeland, the Netherlands, and it wasn’t famous for nothing. It was an epic track and Anneke was at her best on there. She inspired a lot of people, including me, and although she’s done all sorts of things, I think she deserved to have a lot more success.”

The song I can’t listen to anymore...After Forever – Strong (2005)

“I wrote this with my first band about my mum during a time when she wasn’t in good health. Thankfully she isn’t dying of anything, but she is still struggling with various issues today, and of course you always want your loved ones to be healthy. This is such a personal song, and I put so much emotion into it that to this day I honestly haven’t been able to listen to it. Oh God, I used to even try to sing it live. You should have seen the rehearsals.”

My favourite song to play live...Nightwish – Ghost Love Score (2004)

“On my first tour with Nightwish I started to sing the ending differently, to add something to it. Then there was a concert DVD [2013’s Showtime, Storytime] showing this, and everyone wanted to keep hearing the new ending. It suddenly became a ‘thing’ – there was expectation, so it became special for me.”

The song that reminds me of my first love...Everything by Sabaton

“I can’t remember much about my first love, but I do remember how I met the love of my life. We were on tour with Sabaton and I fell in love with their drummer, Hannes [Van Dahl]. Once their songs are in your head, they don’t leave. Every time I hear Sabaton I am reminded of those six weeks on tour. Sure, their music may not seem romantic to most – but it is to me. When I think of love, I hear Sabaton in my head!”

The song that picks me up when I’m down...Don Henley – New York Minute (1989)

“It’s not the happy music you might expect, but it calms me down and makes me go warm and fuzzy. Hannes and I play this all the time. When I’m not at my best, I don’t want to hear music that involves a lot of input from me.”

The song that means most to me now...Northward – Northwards (2018)

“It’s about my life changing. I wrote this album in Norway, then I joined a Finnish band [Nightwish], and now I live in Sweden with my husband. My path was northward, where I found my love and happiness.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral...Auri – Night 13 (2018)

“At the age of 37 I hope I’m nowhere near that point, but this song was played at my aunt’s funeral a few months ago, and it was perfect. This song features the line ‘Goodnight to an old soul, goodbye to life once lived.’ It’s beautiful and feels very close to me at the moment.”

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