I never played OOT growing up, but I did watch friends play it and ever since have had the "Lost Woods" song stuck in my head, which I recently learned on ukulele. Specifically, this version. However, I've become aware that it is similar/identical in melody to Saria's Song. Here is an example compilation. When people cover the song, they will frequently refer to it by both titles. (Can't link an example but just search "lost woods cover" on YouTube.)

What is the difference between what each title refers to if there is any? Knowing what the actual title is to look up on chord/tab search engines is really helpful towards finding good arrangements.

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    I am asking a question about terminology for a frequently used asset in a series of video games. I am not asking about what the musical difference is in terms of arrangement or melody, I am asking about what assets or sets of assets these two terms refer to specifically in this game series. Especially since, for instance, this official OOT soundtrack has both songs included on it - one of the few places you will see "Lost Woods" referred to as it's own song. I've tried to clarify my question.
    – Rick
    Jun 10, 2017 at 22:33
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    He wants to know if the two songs are indeed separate, with separate meanings as they relate to the gameworld, or if they are one song with interchangeable titles. Seems reasonable to me.
    – GnomeSlice
    Jul 22, 2017 at 19:35

2 Answers 2


The difference as a composition is nearly zero.

In the game, the Soundtrack "Lost Woods" plays as a background music when you walk through the eponymous Lost Woods, while "Saria's Song" is a music piece Link learns during the game for his ocarina. When you play Saria's Song, you are able to talk to Saria, a friend of Link who lives like him in the Kokiri forest. There isn't a real statement from Nintendo, but I guess that they used the Lost Woods Soundtrack as Sarias Song to show the connection between Saria, the forest and Link.

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    This more or less seems to solve this case. Lost Woods in OoT was a specific implementation of the "Saria's Song" recurring musical asset that was differentiated for the sake of not overloading the term, due to how the storyline used the melody in different contexts.
    – Rick
    Jun 10, 2017 at 22:39

Strictly speaking, Saria's Song is the melody you play on the ocarina in the game, while Lost Woods is the background music you hear in…well, the Lost Woods.

All of the non-warp songs in Ocarina of Time consist of a three-note motif that's played twice, and then an "answering" melody. For example, here's Saria's Song.

sheet music for Saria's Song

This is what Link plays when you press C-down C-right C-left C-down C-right C-left on the ocarina. As you can see, it's only a couple of bars long.

But, all the non-warp songs are also extended into full pieces used as background music somewhere in the game. For Saria's Song, the extended version is the background music in the Lost Woods.

sheet music for Lost Woods

So, to be pedantic, Saria's Song is the short ocarina melody, and Lost Woods is the full, harmonized version. This is how you'll find them labelled on the OST album: Saria's Song is track 34 and Lost Woods is track 35. (Similarly Song of Storms versus Windmill Hut, Epona's Song versus Lon Lon Ranch, and so on.)

But, if you're doing a cover, there's not much point in covering the ocarina version. It's only three bars long! So outside of the OST, most people use the names interchangeably. If you find a cover of "Saria's Song" somewhere, it's almost certainly actually a cover of Lost Woods. And since nobody really covers just the short ocarina melodies, in practice, this doesn't cause much of a problem. It just makes it a little bit harder to search for tabs.

Sheet music taken from here

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