a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

Generation Sex

Lyrics & Music: Neil Hannon

Published by: BMG Music Publishing Ltd.

Originally interpreted by: The Divine Comedy

Covered by: Hit Sunfly / Bastien Lucas / Alek Novak


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




It is regularly played since 1998, with all sorts of orchestration from band to orchestra, via solo.

‘Generation Sex’ as well as ‘The Certainty Of Chance’ were recorded for Fin De Siècle, yet a very first version was released on the promo album. It included samples from Fellini’s La Dolce Vita which – in the risk of being banned – were replaced by a sample of a Katie Puckrick (former presenter of The Word) show [1]. The version with La Dolce Vita samples is played more and more often during lives since 2004, though.

It’s a very ironic song about the 90s and our society, which is governed by sex. From the emancipation of women to genetic modification via the death of Lady Diana and people’s reaction to it, Neil Hannon doesn’t miss an opportunity to criticise us, including himself. The song finishes with the statement that we are this generation. Yet we cannot do much against the current times because whatever protestation you will raise won’t be listened to, either because the majority of the people don’t want to listen to it or because the governments won’t, or again for other reasons. We don’t know as Neil Hannon doesn’t tell why “It doesn’t really matter what [we] say”.

The title of the song is an open reference to the book Generation X, by Douglas Coupland. The phrase also refers to the people born in the 1960s and 1970s. Please note as well that worms don’t have sperm.

A video for the single was directed by Zowie Broach and produced by Sam Gainsbury for Freedom Music Videos Ltd. It is set up in a hotel room where the band performs blindfolded and get arrested.

[1] Reference needed