"Accidentally Like A Martyr" as written by and Warren Zevon....
The phone don't ring
And the sun refused to shine
Never thought I'd have to pay so dearly
For what was already mine
For such a long, long time

We made mad love
Shadow love
Random love
And abandoned love
Accidentally like a martyr
The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder

The days slide by
Should have done, should have done, we all sigh
Never thought I'd ever be so lonely
After such a long, long time
Time out of mind

We made mad love
Shadow love
Random love
And abandoned love
Accidentally like a martyr
The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder


Lyrics submitted by Bobo192

"Accidentally Like a Martyr" as written by Warren William Zevon

Lyrics © UNIVERSAL MUSIC PUB GROUP , Universal Music Publishing Group

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Accidentally Like A Martyr song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +6
    General Commentsuch a hard, hard song. Waking up to the fact that someone you still love doesn't love you anymore. This was a song that I turned to many time, as I came to term s with the end of my marriage. a hard sentiment to give voice, which Warren does so well here, "The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder" indeed...
    darnflooron December 31, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General Commentthis is a semi love song that could only have come out the music industry's resident expert in fatalism and anticipation of death. It is desperately lonely without being self indulgent, and disillusioned while retaining a feeling of nostalgia. one of my personal favorites.
    scumbagstyleon February 03, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General CommentZevon is a master songwriter. This is one of the hard-hitting hurt songs I've heard. As I've said in other threads, Zevon can say more in three minutes than most singers can say in their entire career.

    He's that cool, that awesome.
    OpinionHeadon June 09, 2008   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationAs with so much of Zevon’s work, the lyrics here are abstract enough that they fit to your own personal circumstances - and that probably drives my own interpretation - but here goes:

    I see Accidentally Like a Martyr as a song about a relationship that has grown old and stale but the protagonist is stuck in it and cannot leave. The chorus refers to the state of their physical relationship going from making “mad love” when they were first together and passionate, though “shadow love” when they were always together and happy, through “random love” as their intimacies became more sporadic with time and finally to “abandoned love” as they no longer interact in that way.

    The title suggests that as a “martyr” he has given his life for a cause which is why I think that he is still stuck in the relationship. I see him as being married and probably with children and deciding to forfeit the life that he wants — that makes him happy - in order to protect his family from the hurt of separation and divorce. He didn’t actively choose to get to this point but probably acquiesced to the point that he has no choice left, hence he is “accidentally like a martyr” and has given up his life for the sake of his family.

    Slightly more tenuous but I suspect that the “phone don’t ring” because his former friends slipped away as his relationship grew (and he isolated himself away with his lover) but now that the relationship is dying they’re not coming back; the “sun refused to shine” because he is so depressed with the situation that he is stuck in. The “hurt gets worse” for him every day as things get worse and worse and his “heart grows harder” in order to deal with it. “The days slide by” without him really being happy but just hoping and waiting for an end…”should have done, should have done we all sigh” when the options were available.

    “Never thought I’d be so lonely after such a long, long time” refers to the growing distance between him and his wife and his inability to connect with anyone else whilst he is in this relationship. This is hard to imagine unless you have been there but being stuck in a relationship where you are distant with the other party but unable to connect with anyone else because of the relationship is an extremely lonely and desperate place to be.
    benhayes21on February 19, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBetween words, playing, and vocals in WZ's raw, even brutal to the heart style, it is amazing what he can convey so simply, but so complex. These few words talk about so much. It is about one's who life and relationships, not one, and the difficulties in reaching. The lines are about different women one has known, random love: those met in passing to fill a void of loneliness, shallow love: means nothing but wish it did, mad love: pure passion that burns out like a match, abandon love: to find what you really want, but have the other not feel the some, pay for what was already yours: to find your goal, only to have that goal not find you.

    Much of this is a manifestation of OCD, something that may be hard to fully understand for one that does not share the condition, the inability to move freely from one place or one person to another with the freedom and short lived pain that others have. Though the continual obsession and inability to release the past, the heart only gets harder and the pain multiply with each loss and each day. Sorry, so many words are required to describe so few.
    grheon August 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my favorite song, there are days when it makes me cry.
    CeeJaion April 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love to hum this in class. I think I'm the only one in my school who appreciates Warren Zevon/knows who the Hells he is. :P
    Defyenceon January 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a great song and definitely my favorite by Zevon. Nice to know that younger generations appreciate it.
    Thirtysumpinon March 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefyence, I'm the same way. It's a sad story... But I can always talk music with people such as Thirtysumpin, which beats listening to the top 40 any day.
    Buddha of Suburbiaon April 11, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment^^^^ I am 16 and I agree with all above comments.
    petermelaon December 10, 2005   Link

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