a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

Becoming More Like Alfie

Lyrics & Music: Neil Hannon

Published by: Damaged Pop Music / BMG Music Publishing Ltd.

Originally interpreted by: The Divine Comedy

Covered by: Hit Sunfly / Paper Truth


To see the lyrics, click on the name of the version you are interested in (on the left).




The title of this song had a couple of reference. ‘Becoming More Like…’ is a reference to a Jah Wobble song called ‘Becoming More Like God’ released in 1994 [1]. But the main reference, Alfie, is the protagonist of a film of the same name, played by Michael Caine (don’t get confused by the recent remake with Jude Law). The song starts with a sample taken from the movie.
The phrase “Well, are you settled in? Right, we can begin. Once there was a time…” was actually the introduction phrase to a British radio program from the 1940s called ITMA (It's That Man Again). [3]

When asked about the fact that glasses don’t come free anymore on the HS, Neil answers: “I know, but ‘No’ doesn’t necessary mean ‘Yes’.” [1]

Neil Hannon said about the song: “Oh, come on! It's alright to be a laddish, mysogonistic wanker, isn't it? And besides, I can express it in a darling, retro-cockney pastiche just like everybody else...Or can I?” [2]

Within Casanova, it marks a turning point in the story narrated. The character changes radically from romanticism to womanising following what happened in the previous song, ‘Something For The weekend’. The song expresses that change, and the idea of felling guilty about it.

The video of the single is based on the movie Alfie, with various scenes being parioded although Neil being even more cynical. We do not know who actually produced the video. In one of the scenes, a picture on the wall featured is actually the image used for Edwyn Collins’ ‘A Girl Like You’ single cover, a massive hit that helped Setanta to produce the album Casanova.

This song has been regularly played live since 1996. A French version, sang in French, was also produced in 1996 and released under the name ‘Comme Beaucoup De Messieurs’.

[1] Classic Album, BBC Radio Ulster 06/05/2006
[2] Casanova Press release.
[3] Reference needed