a hymn of hate to Amerika

a hymn of hate to Amerika*

I dream that I’ll awake one day
and find Amerika sunk
some bubbles where the oceans meet
Coke cans ticker tape
all that’s left of Uncle Sam

I’d have no pity – no glycerin tears
like the 
the good would go down with the bad
some might be saved
I alone would decide

I hate Amerika all that
free world stuff and liberty
all that moonshine democracy
I weep for The Scottsboro Boys**
I mourn old Sacco and Vanzetti

I wouldn’t fling a line to Nixon***
or launch a raft for any White House gang
given a chance I’d shove the wretches under
screaming that’s for Korea that’s for Vietnam****
and that’s for bubbblegum you bums

I hate Amerika all that pious apple pie
all that poisonous ice cream
all those shootouts – all those cops
all those company strikebreakers
in luxury Florida retirement homes

some Americans I’ve loved
some Americans I’d snatch from the sea
Doris Day Clint Eastwood Sugar Ray
a few musicians the odd poet – Chuck Berry say*****
but the rest can go down singing
my country ’tis of thee******



Jeff Cloves

*this poem was written c.1968
at the height of the war in Vietnam
and may have been a response to
the riotous demo outside the
American Embassy in Grosvenor Square

**Fifty years on Amerika is unchanged:

in 1966 black boxer Ruben ‘Hurricane’
Carter served 20 years for a triple murder
he didn’t commit and in 1989 five young
black and Hispanic teenagers (The Central
Park Five) were falsely accused and wrongly
imprisoned for the rape of a white woman
Jogger in Central Park.

***The text is as best as I can remember.

Gloria Dorothy and Doris are no more
but – as with the rest of the poem – I
decided not to update.

****The tune is the same as

God Save The Queen


This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.