a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

I've Been To A Marvellous Party

Lyrics & Music: Noel Coward

Published by: Warner/Chappell Music

Originally interpreted by: Noel Coward

Covered by: The Divine Comedy


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




It was recorded for a tribute album to Noel Coward and it was released on a split single with a cover by Shola Ama with Craig Armstrong. A 2x12” with four remixes of the song was also released.

It’s probably the most daring Divine Comedy cover. There was once a debate as to know whether it was the best Divine Comedy song. We’re not gonna deal with such extremes, yet we must admit that the cover is very interesting. To understand it, you’ve got to go back to the time when it was written (around 1938) and try to imagine how critical of its time the song was. There’s in it the same atmosphere as in The Great Gatsby or rather The Razor’s Edge, for it takes place in the south of France. In 1997, it was quite a challenge for Neil Hannon to cover it. Either he did it in a Divine Comedy way, but it might have sounded a bit obvious and too much like Noel Coward. Or he could try and put it in the 1990s context. The marvellous party becomes thus a rave party. The sound was actually very influenced by Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’. It enables Neil to keep the message of the song, for otherwise it would have sounded old.

It’s never been played at concerts but it has been played at The Twentieth Century Blues Gala Evening at the Park Lane Hotel in London (released on the Twentieth-century Blues, The Songs Of Noel Coward video), TFI Friday and maybe Top Of The Pops.

A video was produced for the single, although we do not know who directed it. It features dancers, and television screens showing extracts of Neil Hannon’s performance of the song at the Gala Evening.