a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

The Frog Princess

Lyrics & Music: Neil Hannon

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

Originally interpreted by: The Divine Comedy


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




The song is regularly played live since 1996.

The promo version is actually an abridged version of the single taken from the album Casanova. It's cut at the second chorus, after "time", leaving out part of the whistles and the last line, to jump to the middle section. Moreover, the end is cut as well.

The drums, played by Darren Allison, were actually slowed down after recording to create an effect.

Even Neil declared that ""I met a girl, she was a frog princess, and yes, I do regret it now. But how was I supposed to know that just one kiss could turn my frog into a cow?" All lies, of course, but it sounds quite cool. I think this song better than any illustrates the complete futility of trying to somehow explain a song. I could give you the lyrics, but I'd prefer you to hear them in context. And everything that lies beyond that is...well, beyond that. The whole may be greater than the sum of it's parts, but that unaccountable difference can only be found in the imagination of the listener; the creator is much too close to the nuts and bolts to lend any particular insight, at least, not yet." I think that the song is worth a few explanations.

It's a parody of a fairy tale, where princesses would come across a frog, kiss it and it would turn into a charming prince. Here the protagonist meets a frog (meaning French as well) princess, kisses her, but realises she doesn't love him and he finds himself taken in his own trap. The song is full of references to France: the parody of the French anthem La Marseillaise at the beginning and the guillotine, which effect was actually achieved by means of a pair of old gardens sheers.

Within the album, this love story is just another of the many the hero has.

The video, using the radio edit, plays on the cliché of France, set in a restaurant / cabaret called ‘Les Pattes De Grenouilles’. We do not know who actually directed it. The video ends with Neil and the band inside a small boat called ‘Valérie’, probably as a reference to Valérie Lemercier.