a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version


Lyrics & Music: Neil Hannon

Published by: BMG Music Publishing Ltd.

Originally interpreted by: The Divine Comedy

Covered by: The Divine Cabaret


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




The song was played essentially during the promos for Fin De Si├Ęcle, obviously, and for Regeneration. It doesn't seem to have been played since 2001.

The very first notes remind us of the famous series and films Mission: Impossible and it is likely that the first line refer to the moment in the film when Tom Cruise is hanging by a thread over a magnetic floor. The dead Oriental is the Chinese philosopher Confucius. All this sets the tone. The song is about the fashion of pleasures which put your life in danger. Of course the notion of danger is quite subjective, but haven't you noticed that thrills are more and more fashionable (and already were at the time of the song)? The way I understand it, Neil seems to suggest that this fashion raises an existential question. If people want to experience a sense of danger, and put their lives on danger, how close are we to suicide?

The song starts with the narrator making a reference to 'Something For The weekend' and wondering what fell on the head of the male character of the song.

"He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword" is taken from the "New Testament".

The very end of the song might be an echo to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I don't have the book here with me and I read it long ago, but, as far as I remember, the novel is about a dystopia (the contrary of a utopia) where children are made artificially. At one passage, a girl has an orgasm during some sort of spiritual experience and screams something like what Neil says at the end of this song.

Neil says that he had had the idea of this for a long time, but he finished writing in Los Angeles, in April 1997.