The Candidate of No-Hope


This is a piece of unashamed agit-prop, “what’s new?” I hear you cry!

This piece came about by accident.  If you are not familiar with the latest set of songs by P J Harvey, The Hope Six Demolition Project, you really should be, it is a great album.  The opening track The Community of Hope is a tirade against failed efforts in the United States to address inequalities in poor communities.

The song concludes with the line

They’re gonna put a Walmart here

which, on my initial listening I misheard as

They’re gonna build a wall marked fear

thinking it was a reference to the current US presidential campaign.  Undeterred, I thought the misheard line was worth holding onto, although I wasn’t sure quite how to use it.

Eventually I got to the point where I had to do something, so decided to take the entire P J Harvey song structure and work up a different set of words.  The title, The Candidate of No-Hope, came quite quickly and, once started, the rest began to fall into place.

I have made one or two tweaks to the original structure so it does not follow absolutely line for line but follows the basic pattern.  I have one great hope and one nagging fear about this poem.  The hope is that P J Harvey will read it and think it so great  that she will use it too (unlikely), the fear is that P J Harvey will read it and sue for plagiarism (more likely).

Likelier still, P J Harvey will not read it, nor will it have any impact upon the US presidential campaign.  It might get a couple of people to check out The Hope Six Demolition Project though.  That at least would be a positive result.

The Candidate of No-Hope

Here’s the brushed back redneck hopeful
Unspeakably, his lies unfold
At a pace too fast for America
To realise, it is being fooled.

Here’s the test to liberal resistance
Putting all Muslims on ice,
While punishing women for abortion,
It’s God’s work, so why think twice?

The Candidate of No-Hope
Manipulates the down and desperate,
Preying on fears without shame,
While schools and hospitals crumble,
In his cynical political game.

Here’s the man to trump the establishment
Cutting through their political base,
Home of the brave as political monster,
One hand on the nuclear case,
The Candidate of No-Hope.

They are going to build
A wall marked fear.
They are going to build a wall
Marked fear.
They are going to build a wall marked

Steve Bishop


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