Hoping for a Miracle

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2020
Original album - Hotspot
Producer - Stuart Price
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

The Boys present here a stark portrait of virtual hopelessness, including assorted situations that cause it and assorted reactions to it. Yet there remains one final thing to grasp onto, one final hope: for a miracle.

In what seems at first a somewhat challenging lyric, but one that clarifies itself with repeated reading/hearing, Neil paints a portrait of a person (or multiple portraits of several people) for whom life has not gone as planned. He sings of how this can leave you feeling "disqualified, with no room for manoeuvre," with nowhere to turn and nowhere to go. Only there's still the possibility of a "miracle"—a positive turn of circumstances and events that can't be explained except through divine intervention, or at least what seems like it.

Neil's lyric alludes in turn to loneliness, lack of love, joblessness (or at least a bad job), professional failure, obscurity, poverty, and homelessness, all situations that can very easily lead one to a sense of hopelessness:

When nobody loves you
Nobody needs you
You're out here on your own
Who can you turn to?
Where can you run to?

After all other avenues are exhausted, all you're left with is the possibility of that miracle to turn your life around:

Everyone loves you
Everyone needs you
You've got what it takes
You're everywhere now
You have the know-how
And all the money it makes

In a spoken aside at the end of the song, Neil asserts, "It's been this way since life began / The child lives on inside the man," suggesting bleakly—though perhaps wisely as constructive criticism—that such miracle-longing is ultimately childish.

At least, that's my interpretation. Neil, however, had other ideas in mind. Although he has said that the lyrics were initially triggered by the sight of a homeless man on a bridge in London, it evolved into something else. "It's about Tony Blair," Neil told interviewer Will Hodgkinson for The Sunday Times. "He won three elections and yet he has become reviled for making a mistake over the Iraq war. He puts a brave face on it, but he must hope for a miracle that perceptions will change." So it thereby joins "I Get Along," "I'm with Stupid," and "Legacy" in the list of PSB songs avowedly inspired by the former Prime Minister and Labour Party leader.


Mind you, these are just guesses. But until we hear from Neil and/or Chris about it, guesses are all we have.


Officially released

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