a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

A Drinking Song

Lyrics & Music: Neil Hannon

Published by: Damaged Pop Music / BMG Music Publishing Ltd.

Originally interpreted by: The Divine Comedy

Covered by: Pablo Jubany


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




It's regularly played at gigs.

'A Drinking Song' is the 10th song of Promenade. It's more than a song about getting drunk. Its place in the album gives it another dimension, which enables us to understand such little phrases as "back at the house" or "in honour of those who have drowned". In the previous song, 'Neptune's Daughter', the girl protagonist of the album almost gets drowned and is saved by the male protagonist. They are "those who have drowned". In this song, the narrator is a first person, but none of the two heroes of the album. Still, it's very hard not to mistake him with the Hannon-like protagonist (the "earnest young man with an unhealthy tan"). Indeed, he shares Neil's literary knowledge and love of France. In the second verse, he describes a fight by comparing it to a cock-fight and cites Chantecler, the rustler in Reynaud The Fox and in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. He also quotes Horace ("Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori", in English, it is a great and noble thing to die for one's country) as well as the French moto, "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité".