a short site about The Divine Comedy

Incoming.... Lost In Music

Life's Big Moments all come with songs attached, tracks that beam you back in time whenever they're replayed. We all have them. Even popstars. This month: Neil Hannon

Airport by The Motors

"That's actually the first song I remember, largely because it reminds me of one specific family holiday to Kerry. We always took our family holidays in the wettest parts of Ireland. Why? We didn't have much money. We were a humble rector's family, in fact, I think my dad used to do swaps with clergymen from Kerry. I remember this song being connected to enormous spiders in the bedroom, which were always there, and rain. I was about five at the time. How did we amuse ourselves? My dad made this Grand Prix board game, cos he was well into Formula One, as I am now. He made this quite competant board game, with 'oil slicks', and 'you must pit this lap', that sort of thing. So that amused us for a while."

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic by The Police

"For my first 10 years the big priority was drawing stuff. I had a big wie-clean board, which you drew on with pens. I fancied myself as a car designer, actually. I think it had a lot to do with the De Lorean (ludicrous 80's sportscar with daft 'futuristic' gullwing doors) factory that opened down the road. I did ver accurate frontal and side elevations of these incredible cars that would never work, family cars, small cars, the lot. I had my own motor company, too, with a logo and everything. It was called FMI - Foyle Motor Industries - Foyle being the river on which Derry is situated. All very fancy. Anyway, this was the moment when we got back from choir practice and this was Number 1 on Top of the Pops. It was the moment when my artistic inclinations drew me towards music. Did I ever draw The Police? (Laughs) I think I drw something like, the Police Number 1, with lots of crazy artwork, and thought, Ooh, that looks a bit like a record cover."

Run To You by Bryan Adams

"It was the first riff I ever learnt on the guitar, and I spent fuckin' months trying to learn it. And it was also the song me and my mates played at a party in my attic, literlly moments before my first song. there were actually more of us in the band than there was at the party, so it was a bit of a saddo party. Anyway, the parents were away on holiday, I'd convinced them to leave me behind (laughs) and we'd got the ladies from the youth club to come upstairs. Then the lights went out! And suddenly I was snoggin'. Is Bryan Adams an aphrodisiac? I dunno about that. Basically the fact I could play something that was in the charts at the time was the only aphrodisiac girls of a certain age needed. Could I play anything else? I used to wow people in the music room at school by play A-Ha's Take On Me on the piano. I was the only person who could play it."

Finest Worksong by REM

"I'd just about scraped through my O-Levels without doing any work, cos you can kind of bluff them. But by the time of my A-Levels I didn't care because I was completely convinced I was going to be a rock star, largely after seeing REM in Dublin. It was on the Green tour (1989), literally two days before the exams. They opened with this song, and it was so bloody exciting I even get butterflies thinking about it now. From that instant on I knew there was no point me doing anything else. My brainwashing was complete. So it's REMs fault I failed all my A-Levels. I literally went into the exam and sat doodling lyrics on the paper. Were they REM lyrics? No, they were my own lyrics. I'm sure they were awful as well."

Jacky by Scott Walker

"I had actually failed to ever listen to anything by Scott until this point. I kept on seeing the name but never took much notice. It was the arly '90s, I was sitting in our crappy bedsit in Tottenham, with the roof caving in and the baliffs coming round to kick us out and playing this just made so much sense. I was truly fed up with all the indie-schmindie guitar music I'd been weaned on. By that stage I was the ultimate shoe-gazer, listening to Ride, My Bloody Valentine - they were the good bit- and that lot who became Mojave 3. Yeah, Slowdive. Scott was a good antidote to all of that. I relised you could actually do anything you wanted with music."

One by U2

"This is really soppy - it's what we played at our wedding (Hannon married Ă“rla Little in 1999). It's not my favoutire U2 song, but it's certainly the best to play at a wedding. It was a mutual choice, the one thing we could agree upon. Strange when you've heard a song for 10 years and then suddenly it takes on an entirely different meaning. I understood the central purpose of the song (quotes lyrics) We're one, but we're not the same. You're destined to be with each other but you'll not always see eye to eye. We had a Glenn Miller-style band at the wedding, which was great because the young 'uns thought ti was suitably ironic and the old 'uns thought it was class.


Q Magazine 06/2001