"Even Less" as written by Richard Barbieri, Steven John Wilson, Colin Edwin Balch and Christopher James Maitland....
A body is washed up on a Norfolk beach
He was a friend that I could not reach
He thought I was cold but I understand
But for the grace of God goes another man

And I may just waste away from doing nothing
But you're a martyr for even less

A choirboy is buried on the moors
Where we used to go dreaming when we were bored
So some kids are best left to fend for themselves
And others were born to stack shelves

And I may just waste away from doing nothing
But you're a martyr for even less

Lyrics submitted by Ministry

"Even Less" as written by Colin Edwin Balch Christopher James Maitland

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Even Less song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThe entire album of Stupid Dream seems to be riddled with Steven's angst over finding meaning in life. In Piano Lessons, he refers to becoming a rock star as a 'stupid dream'. In this song, he seems to be reflecting on how different his life is from his childhood friends. They may have parted over ideas of religion/atheism, or some such difference in ideology.

    In the full version of the song, one of the last lines he sings is:

    I had a stupid dream that I could change things
    But I'm a martyr for even less.

    And that line hits like a ton of bricks. Its as though he himself is realizing that whatever ideological differences separated him from his now dead friend are basically meaningless in light of the fact they are powerless to change anything. The entire song up until this point has been Steven telling his friend that he chose the wrong path (religion, etc). But this final confession shows just how empty his own path feels.
    caedcall11on April 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've considered this song (in its full version) as an anthem for atheism. It sounds like he's cynically saying that religious people have no more knowledge than those without religion. I love it.
    Anilandon November 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPretty sure this is about Steven being disillusioned by the lie of fame and rock and roll myth, and questioning his place in life.
    sonicskullon September 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about two boys who grow up together. One becomes a complete burnout, and the other looks upon him with a feeling of helplessness, not wanting to see their best friend like that. It seems that the other friend dies even, because of the first stanza.
    totaldeathon March 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe correct lyrics are "But you're a martyr for even less" not "I'm a martyr".

    I can't help but think of Stupid Dream like Lord of the Flies. The choir boy references here...but that really doesn't have any grounding so whatever. Great song though. Stupid Dream is one of the best Porcupine Tree releases by far.
    atomsplitteron December 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentactually i think steven mixes it up a bit live and sings both You're a martyr, and I'm a martyr. But you're right the album version is just You're a martyr.

    anyway! i love this song. the extended version is quite nice :)
    WeepingMoonon July 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn Arriving Somewhere, the DVD, he sings 'But I'm a martyr to even less', and I think they were the original lyrics prior to the album.
    Amazing song though. Beautiful. Flawless.
    demon_of_the_fallon March 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentUpon reading the lyrics to the Even Less demo version, I think SW is comparing himself to Jesus. He's saying that he's wasting away from doing nothing, but Jesus did barely anything himself, and he's a martyr because he died.
    im_a_pirateon May 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about suicide, and how little you achieve doing so, possibly you might think you're dying nobly, but in truth "I may just waste away from doing nothing. But you're a martyr for even less"
    woscafrenchon September 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBut you're a martyr for even less, could have religious connotations as well, although the suicide idea makes good sense.

    SW may be an agnostic or atheist stating that he isn't doing anything religious, but there are all these christians, muslims, jews, any type of religious fanatic dying for what they think is a noble cause, but they are dying for even less than he is. Whatever, just what I initially thought. The radical jihadists would be most relevant to my interpretation. I actually think the suicide interpretation is a better interpretatation, just offering my take.
    glorifiedg79on September 17, 2007   Link

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