a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

New Wave

Lyrics & Music: Neil Hannon

Published by: Copyright Control / 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).



This Europop B-side is sung by John Allen.

It mainly deals with the idea of being young (18-20) and, as such, careless, revolted and so on. Many phrases lead me to state this: “suicide, velvet revolution, student demonstration”. There is also a parallelism between this thirst for rebellion and the political background of the time. The National Coal Board was the governmental organisation which had control of the mines in Northern England from 1947 to 1994. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the British government had started getting rid of the mines, and the miners quickly found themselves jobless. But the song also refers to the situation in Northern Ireland. The lines “From the nation’s separation/To its reunification” are an obvious allusion to Neil’s credo of the time that Ireland should be reunited.

“Forgive our foolish ways” may be a reference to Neil’s favourite hymn, ‘Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind’.