a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

A Seafood Song

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).




This song is one of the few never to have been played live.

It's the 4th song on Promenade. It deals with a very unusual theme for a song: seafood and fish. Promenade is actually about Neil Hannon's favourite things, among which can be listed seafood. It's the first song of the album where the two protagonists –a boy and a girl- are seen together. They are taking their meal –actually lunch- in a seafood restaurant and, on this occasion, both make a speech in honour of this sort of food and the men who seek them. The song has a very rhetoric structure, based on symmetry. It starts and ends with a passage from the traditional children song 'When The Boat Comes In'. Then, in their speeches –both starting the same way- the characters thank the seamen who have been fishing the seafood and call them "those in peril on the sea", in echo to a hymn by William Whiting and John Bacchus Dyke, "Eternal Father, strong to save". These speeches paint us what their lives must be like, from the village from which they depart, John O'Groats, located at the northernmost point of the Scottish mainland, to the state their socks are in. Another interesting thing in this song is the quantity of alliterations. The list of fish is actually written in phonic logic. According to the characters, there's more than taste and smell in seafood. The 5 senses are awakened.