Though not a few album covers have been inspired by or based on songs, "Victims Of Circumstance" was actually based on the design of the album sleeve which was chosen before recording started. According to Keith Damone of the band's fan club and website, their management commissioned an artist to design some album covers, and he came back with the design and the title "Victim Of Circumstance". David Walker suggested to John Lees and Les Holroyd that they should try to write a song with that title, and, as John told the Friends Of Barclay James Harvest
newsletter in March 1985, 'Strangely enough I had written a song ["Rebel Woman
"] when the Korean plane was shot down by the Russians and the chorus was 'Victims Of Circumstance'. It was funny because I hadn't mentioned this and then this guy came up with it.'
Then Les wrote a song around the title, as suggested, penning an anti-war song, with some very bitter words for the politicians and leaders who keep their people in the dark and ignore their wishes.