Step by step
Heart to heart
Left, right, left
We all fall down
Like toy soldiers

It wasn't my intention to mislead you
It never should have been this way
What can I say?
It's true I did extend the invitation
I never knew how long you'd stay
When you hear temptation call
It's your heart that takes
Takes the fall

Won't you come out and play with me?

Step by step
Heart to heart
Left, right, left
We all fall down
Like toy soldiers
Bit by bit torn apart
We never win
But the battle wages on
For toy soldiers

It's getting hard to wake up in the morning
My head is spinning constantly
How can it be?
How could I be so blind to this addiction?
If I don't stop
The next one's gonna be me

Only emptiness remains
It replaces all, all the pain

Won't you come out and play with me?

Step by step
Heart to heart
Left, right, left
We all fall down
Like toy soldiers
Bit by bit torn apart
We never win
But the battle wages on
For toy soldiers

(We never win)

Only emptiness remains
It replaces all, all the pain

Won't you come out and play with me?

Step by step
Heart to heart
Left, right, left
We all fall down
Like toy soldiers
Bit by bit torn apart
We never win
But the battle wages on
For toy soldiers

(Step by step
Heart to heart
Left, right, left
We all fall down)


Lyrics submitted by numb

Toy Soldiers Lyrics as written by Michael Jay Margules Marta Marrero

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Toy Soldiers song meanings
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  • +9
    General CommentWhile many think the song is about love and heartache, Martika has stated in interviews that the song was written about a friend's drug addiction. Martika basically puts herself in the friend's position and narrates a story about their battle with addiction. The beginning of the song explains the origin of the addiction. This part of the song can easily be misinterpreted as being about love as the lyrics are rather vague. Martika sings of extending an invitation without realizing how long they'd stay. This is a way of saying that most addiction starts innocently, voluntarily just for kicks or an ``experience'', until it inevitably spirals out of control and takes over.

    The repeated background choir vocal of ``Won't you come out and play with me'' is a way of capturing how the drug (in this case cocaine) calls itself out to the addict. This is the same sentiment of another line from the song that speaks of hearing temptation call.

    In many ways, the general theme of toy soldiers can represent a person's lack of control when it comes to addiction. Toy soldiers are controlled, powerless, and incapable of thinking for themselves. The same can be said for an addict. The lines of ``we all fall down like toy soldiers'' and ``the battle wages on for toy soldiers'' suggest that someone has clearly lost all semblance of control, have fallen, and must pick themselves back up and carry on.

    Martika later sings that ``if she doesn't stop, the next one's gonna be me'' which seems to be an acknowledgment from the addict's perspective that they've got a problem that can conceivably kill them or ruin life as they know it. In the music video, Martika's romantic interest is seen drowning in a pool, presumably a symbol for dying from a drug overdose.

    VH1's Pop Up Video revealed that the subject of ``Toy Soldiers'' did survive and ultimately overcame their addiction.


    anima69316on August 21, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General Commentlove this song, too bad she was a one hit wonder, they thought she was going to replace madonna at the time
    anima69316on February 18, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this song. It's clearly about addiction. For me, this song is what describes my eating disorder to a T. It's a beautiful song because Martika leaves the door open to interpretations of any addictions, so many people can find comfort in it.
    heafon June 12, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about drug addiction, though not so obvious though with some of the lyric choices. Furthermore, what an odd choice for a song theme from a artist who is so similar to a Madonna.
    foreverafternoonon May 13, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is an awesome song. Obviously not at all famous now, but it really should be. I always loved this song even before I realized what it was about. Again, they should definitely start playing this on the radio.
    RPZQon July 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love this song
    EvanescenceROXon December 19, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentaxlmed, sorry to hurt your feelings, but I saw one of those old school 80's flashbacks where someone (I think it may have even been Martika) described that this song is about drugs (don't remember which one, I think heroine) and one of her friends (or maybe a brother).

    This person who she was talking about did drugs on purpose the first couple times (Its true I did extend the invitation) and then couldn't stop (but I never knew how long you would stay) lied to his/her family and friends (first stanza) and eventually died.

    The 'wont you come out and play with me' line refers to the fact that the drugs continually called to him/her and he/she couldn't say no.

    I think the chorus is supposed to be about dealing with someone on drugs . . . and how nothing you can do helps, but you never give up.

    But, it is easy to make a point for either drugs or love (and it matters more what each individual thinks then what is actually true), drugs (especially heroine) have much the same effect as love, it is so good at the beginning, begins to consume you and then when it goes wrong, it can really go wrong.
    JJJJJJon March 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    QuestionIs there some written or video statement from Martika or some other way that this song was dedicated to Boy George for his addiction?
    I don't think it'd be good to compare Martika with Madonna at least you talk about they were young and full of energy those days, I love Madonna and I'm a big deep fan of her, but Martika had her particular sound even when: ''Madonna's been really inspirational for me because she took herself from nothing to the hugest female pop star alive..." as Martika has said (apnewsarchive.com/1989/Martika-An-Impatient-Star/…)
    Eminem's version... better not to talk about it, just to mention that the song revived a little bit more to the youngest audience that don't use to check their parents' compilations of the good songs from the 80's and 70's!
    Peterboyon September 28, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti never really knew what the song was about, but drug addiction makes sense. i always associate this song with an incident from way back when i was about 15. a womans head was found in a ditch in a small town not far from where i lived. this song was playing when we heard about it. now the song reminds me of her.
    stacibugon May 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyeah....i downloaded this song after i heard eminem's song which samples from this. i really like this song..it's depressing, which is what i love about it. i don't really get the correlation between drug addiction and toy soldiers?
    Ashleigh9169on November 23, 2004   Link

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