Accidents Will Happen

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Oh I just don't know where to begin
Though he says he'll wait forever
It's now or never
But she keeps him hanging on
The silly champion
She says she can't go home
Without a chaperone

Chorus:
Accidents will happen
We only hit and run
He used to be your victim
Now you're not the only one
Accidents will happen
We only hit and run
I don't want to hear it
'Cause I know what I've done

There's so many fish in the sea
That only rise up in the sweat and smoke like mercury
But they keep you hanging on
They say you're so young
Your mind is made up but your mouth is undone

(Chorus)

And it's the damage that we do
And never know
It's the words that we don't say
That scare me so

There's so many people to see
So many people you can check up on
And add to your collection
But they keep you hanging on
Until you're well hung
Your mouth is made up but your mind is undone

(Chorus)

I know, I know... (repeat)

Accidents Will Happen
Written byElvis Costello
Performed byElvis Costello & The Attractions
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocals, guitar
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Bruce Thomas - bass
Pete Thomas - drums
RecordedAugust-September 1978, Eden Studios, London
ReleasedJanuary 5, 1979
AlbumsArmed Forces, 1979
SinglesAccidents Will Happen, 1979
Alison (US/Canada "Hall of Fame" reissue), 1981
Accidents Will Happen (US "Hall of Fame" 3" CD single), 1989
CollectionsThe Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1985
The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello), 1985
Girls Girls Girls, 1989
2½ Years, 1993
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1994
The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999
Singles, Volume 1, 2003
The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years, 2007
In Motion Pictures, 2012
SoundtracksThree And Out, 2008
Various Artists collectionsCMJ The Year In Music 1979, 1998
PromosEither Side Of The Same Town Sampler, 2010
VideosThe Right Spectacle: The Very Best Of Elvis Costello - The Videos, 2005
Length3:00

First known performance:
April 16, 1978, London, England
Last known performance:
October 22, 2017, Austin, TX
     (901 known performances, 1 as a snippet)


Alternate versions

Accidents Will Happen (Live 1978)
Performed byElvis Costello
Produced byNick Lowe
MusiciansElvis Costello - vocal
Steve Nieve - piano
RecordedJune 4, 1978, Los Angeles, CA
ReleasedJanuary 5, 1979
AlbumsArmed Forces (UK cassette), 1979
Almost New, 1982
Armed Forces (Rykodisc/Demon reissue), 1993
Armed Forces (Rhino/Edsel reissue), 2002
SinglesLive At Hollywood High (bonus single with Armed Forces LP), 1979
Collections2½ Years, 1993
Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album, 2015
Various Artists collectionsAutodiscographie: Benjamin v. Stuckrad-Barre, 2003
Promos2½ Years (In 31 Minutes), 1993
Sunday Times CD, 2002
Selections From Armed Forces - Imperial Bedroom - Mighty Like A Rose, 2002
Length3:18
Armed ForcesArmed Forces Rykodisc album cover.jpg

Armed ForcesArmed Forces Rhino album cover.jpg

Single: Live At Hollywood HighAflhh.jpg

Accidents Will Happen singleAccidents Will Happen UK 7" single (version 2) front sleeve.jpg

Almost NewAlmost New album cover.jpg

The Best Of Elvis Costello & The AttractionsBOEC album cover 200.jpg

The Man (The Best Of Elvis Costello)TMBOEC album cover 170.jpg

Girls Girls GirlsGGG album cover 300.jpg

2½ Years2½ Years album cover.jpg

The Very Best Of Elvis Costello & The Attractions, 1994The Very Best Of Elvis Costello And The Attractions album cover.jpg

The Very Best Of Elvis Costello, 1999The Very Best Of Elvis Costello (2CD) album cover.jpg

Singles, Volume 1Singles Volume 1 album cover.jpg

The Right Spectacle: The Very Best Of Elvis Costello - The VideosTRS dvd cover.jpg

The Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 YearsThe Best Of Elvis Costello The First 10 Years album cover.jpg

In Motion PicturesIn Motion Pictures album cover.jpg

Unfaithful Music & Soundtrack AlbumUnfaithful Music & Soundtrack Album album cover.jpg

Covers

Jason Berk Live At High St. Station 2011 Bandcamp.com
The Bleeding Archives Punk Chartbusters, Vol. 5Various Artists 2005 AllmusicAmazon
The Bobs performed live, February 1984, Cotati Cabaret, Cotati, CA 1984 info
Jeff Buckley snippet during radio interview, 1995-06-11, WHFS-FM, Rockville, MD 1995 website
The Buddhas Nightlife 1997 websitereview
Julian Coryell Undercovers 2006 AllmusicAmazoncdbaby
Lou Dalgleish performed live 2000 info needed
Adam Franklin recording posted on Soundcloud 2013 soundcloud.com
Guy Finley The Loser's Lounge Tribute to Elvis CostelloVarious Artists 2002 LosersLounge
Kyosuke Himuro b-side of single Misty 1989 infoYouTube
Derek Huston performed live, 2010-10-01, RDSHP benefit, San Francisco, CA 2010 Richard de Lone Special Housing Project
Lifeboy unreleased 1999 link
Marillion Friends 2007 websiteDiscogs
Marillion This Strange ConventionDVD 2009 website
Oliver's Army (Dallas) performed live, Dallas-area Costello tribute band 2003 - OliversArmyBand
Oliver's Army (San Diego) studio recording by San Diego-area tribute band ~1999 info needed
Erich Sellheim home studio production, sung in German 2013 YouTube
Melissa Ungar Checkered Past 2006 websiteAllmusicAmazoncdbaby

Chords

D/C#      D/B     D/A     G/F#   F#m7-5/C  F#m7-5/A    Em/D      A/C#     D/F#    Bb/D    Dsus2/F#
--2--    --2--   --2--   --3--    --2--      --2--     --0--    --0--    --x--    --1--    --0--
--3--    --3--   --3--   --0--    --5--      --1--     --0--    --x--    --3--    --2--    --3--
--2--    --2--   --2--   --0--    --2--      --2--     --0--    --2--    --2--    --2--    --2--
--x--    --x--   --x--   --0--    --x--      --2--     --0--    --x--    --0--    --0--    --0--
--4--    --2--   --0--   --x--    --3--      --0--     --x--    --4--    --x--    --x--    --x--
--x--    --x--   --x--   --2--    --x--      --x--     --x--    --x--    --2--    --x--    --2--


D                              D/C#           D/B	D/A 
Oh, I just don't know where to begin.
G                            G/F#             
Though he says he'll wait forever, 
Em7          A
It's now or never,
            D
But she keeps him hanging on.
F#m7-5/C  F#m7-5/A	G
The           silly champion, 
G/F#	Em		Em/D
She 	says she can't go home 
        A/C#   A     D/F#	 
Without a chaperone.
  
Chorus: 
Dm
Accidents will happen. 
      F                 G
We only hit and run. 
      C                     F
He used to be your victim,
                 Bb                C
Now you're not the only one.
Dm
Accidents will happen.
F                 G 
We only hit and run. 
C                     F
I don't want to hear it 
Bb        C	          Bb/D	Bb
'Cause I know what I've done.

There's so many fish in the sea 
That only rise up in the sweat and smoke like mercury.
But they keep you hanging on.
They say you're so young.
Your mind is made up but your mouth is undone.

(Chorus) 

G | D | D/F#

Bm
And it's the damage that we do
       Em
And never know.
                   Bm
It's the words that we don't say 
        Asus4  A     A6	A
That scare  me   so.

There's so many people to see,
So many people you can check up on 
And add to your collection.
But they keep you hanging on
Until you're well hung.
Your mouth is made up but your mind is undone.

(Chorus)  

Bb  C	
I     know what I’ve,
Bb  C		    D  Dsus2  D  Dsus2
I     know what I’ve done.
F6  Fmaj7  F6  Fmaj7  D/F#  Dsus2/F#  D/F#  Dsus/F#	
I     know,   I     know,  I         know,       I        know

(repeat to fade)

Internal links

External links