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"Accidentally Like a Martyr" is a song by Warren Zevon from his 1978 album, Excitable Boy.

About the Song Edit

Like many of Zevon's songs about love and relationships, this song is mournful ballad about romantic loss. The song mostly consists of the singer lamenting about opportunities lost and times long gone. Along with its original release on Excitable Boy, an early rendition of this song appears on the 2007 compilation album Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings. The version included there has a variety of alternate lyrics, changing the song's focus from romantic loss to the singer lamenting how he fell for a cruel heartbreaking woman, against the advice of his friends.

A strong contender for the title of Bob Dylan's 1997 album Time Out of Mind is this song, which is coincidentally heavily influenced by Dylan as its title suggests. The phrase is featured in the last line of the second verse. Furthermore, when it was revealed in 2002 that Zevon was dying from cancer, Dylan added for weeks in his concert setlists songs by Zevon. "Accidentally Like A Martyr" was the second most performed song, with 22 performances during October and November.

Song Lyrics Edit

Note: the text of this song's lyrics is not under the same copyright license as the wiki's encyclopedic text, it is used under fair use/dealing.

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

Alternate Lyrics Edit

Why did I let you get to me again?

Get me all confused

Can't I ever get it through my head

I'm only being used

Why did I let you get to me again?

Why did I let you in?

Knowing that you were only going to nail me up again


Making mad love

Shadow love

Random love

And abandoned love

Accidentally like a martyr

The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder


Why did I let you get to me again?

And treat me like a fool

Sometimes I wonder if you're being deliberately cruel

Can't I ever get it through my head

It may be time I learned

That the greedy just get greedier

And the vulnerable get burned


Making mad love

Shadow love

Random love

And abandoned love

Accidentally like a martyr

The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder


Why did I give you all the love I had?

To squander like you did

My friends all shook their heads and sighed

Such a naive kid

My friends all shook their heads and wished

I'd find somebody else

And now I'm all alone and feeling sorry for myself


Making mad love

Shadow love

Random love

And abandoned love

Accidentally like a martyr

The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder


They were making mad love

Shadow love

Random love

And abandoned love

Accidentally like a martyr

The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder

- Alternate Version from Preludes: Rare and Unreleased Recordings

See Also Edit

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