Warren Zevon

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When I was young, times were hard.
When I got older it was worse.

Warren William Zevon (24 January 19477 September 2003) was an American rock singer-songwriter and musician noted for including his sometimes sardonic opinions of life in his musical lyrics, composing songs that were sometimes humorous and often had political or historical themes.


So much to do, there's plenty on the farm; I'll sleep when I'm dead.
  • I write songs about things that I'm simultaneously trying to not think about.
    • As quoted in "My Lunch with Warren Zevon" by David Bowman,Salon.com (17 March 2000)
  • It just sort of happened. I wrote like what I'd always read and what was in the movies … I'm sure popular music is supposed to be like this.
    • Answering the question "What led you to stake out the noir Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner genre?", in "My Lunch with Warren Zevon" by David Bowman,Salon.com (17 March 2000)
  • Well, first of all, let me say that I might have made a tactical error in not going to a physician for 20 years. It was one of those phobias that really didn’t pay off.
    • The Late Show with David Letterman (30 October 2002)
  • You know, you put more value on every minute … I mean, I always thought I kind of did that. I really always enjoyed myself. But it's more valuable now. You're reminded to enjoy every sandwich, and every minute of playing with the guys, and being with the kids and everything.
    • Remarks on his attitude after discovering he had terminal mesothelioma, on The Late Show with David Letterman (30 October 2002)

Song Lyrics[edit]

All songs written by Warren Zevon, except as noted.

Warren Zevon (1976)[edit]

  • She's so many women,
    He can't find the one who was his friend.
    So he's hanging on to half her heart.
    He can't have the restless part,
    So he tells her to hasten down the wind.
  • Poor, poor pitiful me.
    Poor, poor pitiful me.
    These young girls won't let me be.
    Lord have mercy on me.
    Woe is me.
  • Loneliness and frustration,
    We both came down with an acute case.
    And when the lights came up at two,
    I caught a glimpse of you.
    And your face looked like something
    Death brought with him in his suitcase
    • "The French Inhaler"
  • So much to do, there's plenty on the farm;
    I'll sleep when I'm dead.
    Saturday night I like to raise a little harm;
    I'll sleep when I'm dead.
    • "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"
  • Carmelita hold me tighter,
    I think I'm sinking down.
    And I'm all strung out on heroin
    On the outskirts of town.
  • And if California slides into the ocean
    Like the mystics and statistics say it will,
    I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill.

    Don't the sun look angry through the trees?
    Don't the trees look like crucified thieves?
    Don't you feel like Desperados under the eaves?
    Heaven help the one who leaves.

  • Except in dreams, you're never really free.
    • "Desperados Under the Eaves"

Excitable Boy (1978)[edit]

  • Roland the headless Thompson gunner,
    Norway's bravest son.
    Time, time, time
    For another peaceful war.
    But time stands still for Roland
    'Til he evens up the score.
    They can still see his headless body stalking through the night
    In the muzzle flash of Roland's Thompson gun;
    In the muzzle flash of Roland's Thompson gun.
  • He took little Suzie to the Junior Prom.
    Excitable boy, they all said.
    And he raped her and killed her, then he took her home.
    Excitable boy, they all said.
    • "Excitable Boy", written by Warren Zevon and LeRoy Marinell
  • I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand,
    Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain.
    He was looking for a place called Le Ho Fooks.
    Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein.
  • He's the hairy-handed gent, who ran amok in Kent.
    Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair.
    You better stay away from him. He'll rip your lungs out, Jim.
    Huh, I'd like to meet his tailor.
    • "Werewolves of London"
  • I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen
    Doing the werewolves of London.
    I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic's...
    His hair was perfect.
    • "Werewolves of London"
  • We made mad love:
    Shadow love,
    Random love,
    And abandoned love.
    Accidentally like a martyr.
    The hurt gets worse and the heart gets harder
    • "Accidentally like a Martyr"
  • Well, I went home with the waitress
    The way I always do
    How was I to know
    She was with the Russians, too
  • Send lawyers, guns and money.
    Dad, get me out of this!
    • "Lawyers, Guns And Money"
  • I'm the innocent bystander
    Somehow I got stuck
    Between the rock and the hard place
    And I'm down on my luck
    • "Lawyers, Guns And Money"
  • Now I'm hiding in Honduras
    I'm a desperate man
    Send lawyers, guns and money
    The shit has hit the fan
    • "Lawyers, Guns And Money"

The Envoy (1982)[edit]

  • So I'm gonna hurl myself against the wall,
    'Cause I'd rather feel bad than not feel anything at all.
    • "Ain't That Pretty At All", written by Warren Zevon and LeRoy Marinell

Sentimental Hygiene (1987)[edit]

  • Every day I get up in the morning and go to work
    And do my job — whatever.
    I need some
    Sentimental Hygiene.
    Everybody's at war these days.
    Let's have a mini-surrender.
    I need some Sentimental hygiene
    • "Sentimental Hygiene"
  • They made hypocrite judgments after the fact,
    But the name of the game is be hit and hit back.
  • I woke up this morning and fell out of bed;
    Trouble waiting to happen.
    Should've quit while I was ahead;
    Trouble waiting to happen.
    I turned on the news to the Third World War,
    Opened up the paper to World War IV.
    Just when I thought it was safe to be bored,
    Trouble waiting to happen.

Transverse City (1989)[edit]

  • When I was young, times were hard.
    When I got older it was worse.
    • "The Long Arm of the Law"

Mr. Bad Example (1991)[edit]

  • I'm very well acquainted with the seven deadly sins
    I keep a busy schedule trying to fit them in
    I'm proud to be a glutton and I don't have time for sloth
    I'm greedy and I'm angry and I don't care who I cross.
  • Down in the basement
    I have a Craftsman lathe.
    Show it to the children
    When they misbehave.
    • "Model Citizen", written by Warren Zevon, LeRoy Marinell, and Waddy Wachtel
  • And I'm searching for a heart,
    Searching everyone.
    They say love conquers all.
    You can't start it like a car,
    You can't stop it with a gun.
    • "Searching For a Heart"

Mutineer (1995)[edit]

  • We contemplate eternity
    Beneath the vast indifference of heaven.
    • "The Indifference of Heaven"

Life'll Kill Ya (2000)[edit]

  • Life'll kill ya,
    That's what I said.
    Life'll kill ya,
    Then you'll be dead.
    Life'll find ya
    Wherever you go.
    Requiescat in pace
    That's all she wrote.
    • "Life'll Kill Ya"
  • I can saw a woman in two.
    But you won't want to look in the box when I do
    • "For My Next Trick I'll Need A Volunteer"
  • You know I hate it when you put your hand inside my head
    And switch all my priorities around.
    Why don't you go pick on someone your own size instead?
    • "I'll Slow You Down"
  • My shit's fucked up.
    It had to happen to the best of us.
    The rich folk suffer like the rest of us,
    It will happen to you.
    • "My Shit's Fucked Up"

External links[edit]

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