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the Divine Comedy

Thanks to Lawrence Campbell of Indulgence: The Divine Comedy for this list of lyrics and notes, etc.

You will recognise the next song if you watch Father Ted. Ted (Dermot Morgan) played this at the Eurovision.

My Lovely Horse

My lovely horse, running through the field
Where are you going, with your fetlocks blowing in the wind?

I want to shower you with sugar lumps, and ride you over fences
Polish your hooves every single day, and bring you to the horse dentist

My lovely horse, you're a pony no more
Running around with a man on your back, like a train in the night...

Motorway To Damascus

Daybreak on the motorway to Damascus
A heavenly angel flagged me down and asked for a ride into town
For God's sake, on the motorway to Damascus
This heavenly angel, wise and pure, proceeded with a guided tour:
"Behold! A shining city of silver grey and white,
Of solar-panelled rooftops glinting in the light
And wind-power generators turning soundlessly through the night"

Mid-day on the motorway to Damascus
The heavenly angel flapped its wings and told me more exciting things
Like how one day this motorway to Damascus
Would disappear without trace, the unsustainable replaced
"Behold! The new New Forest in four hundred shades of green
Stretching out before us where it always should have been
A botanical thesaurus for as far as the eye can see"

Nightfall on the motorway to Damascus
The heavenly angel looked at me and said "Well, what's it gonna be?
The long haul, or the shorter way to Damascus?
Choose with care and you will find that one day there will come a time
When the silhouetted ruins of the crumbling cooling towers
Are but ivy-clad reminders of a long-forgotten power"
Must the monkeys leave Gibraltar's rock and ravens flee the Tower
Before we look and see ourselves for what we really are?

Birds Of Paradise Farm

My parents knew these people who
For all their faults were very nice;
They owned a farm whose "Olde Worlde" charm
Earned it the name of "Paradise".

We came to stay one holiday,
We played croquet and burned our arms;
But I was charmed and lost for words,
When first I heard the birds of Paradise Farm.

Singing gay songs all the day long,
Making love to the dinner gong,
Wondering when their human friend
Would come to feed them.

I looked in the trees and in the air,
I searched the eaves of disused barns
Till finally, to my despair,
I found the caged birds in Paradise Farm.

Singing gay songs all the day long,
Making love to the dinner gong,
Wondering why their tiny lives
Should be spent behind iron bars.

Now "Leonardo da Vinci",
"St. Francis of Assisi"...
But "Neil Hannon of The See House, Fivemiletown"-
Well, it doesn't sound quite right somehow!

Singing gay songs all summer long,
Making love to the dinner gong,
Wondering when their human friend
Would come to free them.

When the last day came, I took my time.
They called my name, and revved the car;
"When nature calls you must reply", they laughed,
Waving goodbye to Paradise Farm.

Comme Beaucoup De Messieurs (With French humourist Valerie Lemercier)

N: Quand je t'ai connu
V: Tu citais Boris Vian, Camus
V: Le nez dans tes songbooks
N: Et toi qui te prenais pour Zouc
N+V: Ensuite on a vielli
V: Tu t'es durci
N: J'ai vu Alfie
N: Je sais c'est quelque brutal
N: Mais la nature est animale...
N: Et pourtant

N+V: Qui ne dit mot consent a la chair
N+V: Comme ces couverts offerts dans les Stations Shell
N: Et plus je les caresse plus je me dis que
V: Tu es comme beaucoup de messieurs

V: Neil, t'en souvient-il?
V: Tu disais savoir faire la cour
V: Mais moi
N: Quoi toujours toi?
V: Tu m'enivrais de mots d'amour
N: Plus maintenant car j'ai cede
N: Au style de vie je lassais
V: A d'qautres hommes moins chic que toi
N: Ce genres de types qui suscitent chez filles des emois
N: Et pourtant

N+V: Comme beaucoup de messieurs.

London Irish

They sit, and watch the clouds go by
And make believe it's Irish skies

They love the sun, but pray for rain
They drink to take away the pain
The London streets are paved with gold
For the London Irish

You gain the world and you lose your soul
Well if your picture is seen on the cover of every magazine
And every TV screen, will there be anything left
Of the London Irish?

They say they will return again,
But they won't say exactly when...

Postcard To Rosie

There's a young lady called Rosie;
She is my West Country girl.
I promised her that no matter
Where I should go in the world,
I'd send a postcard to her...

I'll send a postcard from Paris,
Paraguay, Prague and Peru -
I'd even send one from Liverpool
If Rosie wanted me to...
If Baghdad or Beirut won't do...

Most of the time I remember,
But once in a while I forget.
If you see fit to forgive me,
I'll always be in your debt...
And I'll make you proud of me yet...

Little Acts Of Kindness

Little acts of kindness
Make us all feel better
Unexpected flowers
Unrequested letter

So when somebody calls you
Give a friendly answer
And when somebody fails to call
Remember that we've all been there before

Little acts of kindness
Ill-conceived and reckless
Stay in bed this morning
Let me make you breakfast

So when somebody needs you
Do your best to help them
Cos when somebody needs your help
Remember - well, we've all been there before

Little acts of kindness
Little things you can do
Helping those with blindness
Saying "please" and "thank-you"
Making cups of coffee
Giving friends your Rolo
Going to the offy
Feeding horses Polos
Keeping your bedroom neat
Giving children Dairylea
Putting down the loo seat
Doing work for charity

Cover Versions

Hate My Way (Throwing Muses)

I could be a smack freak
And hate society
I could hate God
And blame Dad
I might be in a Holocaust
Hate Hitler
Might not have a child
And hate school
I could be a sad lover
And hate death
I could be a neuro
And hate sweat
I hate my way

I make you in to some
I can't rise above the church
I'm caught in a jungle
Vines tangle my hands
I'm always so hot and it's hot in here
I say it's all right

My pillow screams too
But so does my kitchen
And water
And my shoes
And the road
I have a gun in my head
I'm invisible
I can't find the ice

A slug
I'm TV
I hate

A boy was tangled in his bike forever
A girl was missing two fingers
Gerry Ann was confused
Mr. Huberty
Had a gun in his head

So I sit up late in the morning
And ask myself again
How do they kill children?
And why do I want to die?
They can no longer move,
I can no longer be still...

Life's What You Make It (Talk Talk)

Baby, life's what you make it - can't escape it
Baby, yesterday's favourite; don't you hate it?
Everything's all right... life's what you make it
Baby, life's what you make it - don't backdate it
Baby, don't try to shame it; beauty's naked
Everything's all right... life's what you make it
Baby, life's what you make it - celebrate it, anticipate it
Yesterday's faded; nothing can change it
Life's what you make it
Everything's all right... life's what you make it

Make It Easy On Yourself (Scott Walker)

If you really love him and there's nothing that I can do
Don't try to spare my feelings, just tell me that we're through

And make it easy on yourself, 'cos breaking up is so very hard to do

If the way I hold you can't compare to his caress
No words of consolation will make me miss you less,

My darling.. if this is goodbye, I just know I'm gonna cry,
So run to him before you start crying too...

Johnny Mathis' Feet (American Music Club)

I laid all my songs at Johnny Mathis' Feet
I said "Johnny, Johnny tell me, won't you tell me how to live?
All my hopes are unravelling and I just lost my lease
On a house without love, doors or windows -
Without peace..."

And with a wave of his jewel-encrusted hand
Across a glittering Las Vegas scene,
He said: "You've got to learn how to disappear
In the silk and amphetamines."

Johnny looked at my songs, and he said:
"Well, at first guess,
Never in my life have I ever seen such a mess;
Why do you say everything as if you were a thief?
Like what you stole has no value,
And like what you preach is far from belief?"

And with a wave of his red, white and blue hand
Across a glittering Hollywood scene,
He said: "You've got to learn how to disappear
In the silk and amphetamines."

Johnny looked at my collection of old punk rock posters -
Anonymous scenes of disaffection, chaos and torture -
And he said: "You are on the right track,
But you are a lamb jumping for the knife;
A real showman knows how to disappear in the spotlight..."

Love Is Lighter Than Air (The Magnetic Fields)

Summer, summer, summer slowly turned into fall
Me and my baby doll never went to the beach
Somewhere, somewhere, somewhere was a place we could run
On the sand with the sun always just out of reach

Somewhere sunny summer's marching to a different drummer, singing
"Summer, summer, summer's gonna turn into fall,
you and your baby doll better go to the beach"

'Cos love is lighter than air
it floats away if you let go
Love is lighter than air
Rising through the falling snow.

A crime, crime, crime, sin and illness is time
Neither reason nor rhyme can obstruct his bad dance
The nasty little swine slipped us mickeys in wine
Wove his hair into twine and then tied up our hands
We're forced to watch him wriggle
And endure his fulsome giggle
And his mime, mime, mime,
Unforgivable mime -
Our one chance is to climb into blimps of romance...

Untitled Melody (Edwyn Collins)

You're so transparent, I can guess without question
You need something or other to cover your expression
I bought you some sunspecs from the local hipsters' store
I need you more or less, you need me more and more

I'm so transparent, you can guess without question
I need something or other to cover my expression
Buy me some sunspecs, the kind of ones you wore
From the local hipsters' store
You need me more or less, I need you more and more

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths)

Take me out tonight
Where there's music and there's people who are young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home, because I haven't got one anymore
Take me out tonight
Because I want to see people and I want to see lights
Driving in your car
Oh please don't drop me home, because it's not my home
It's their home, and I'm welcome no more

And if a double-decker bus crashes into us
To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten tonne truck kills the both of us
To die by your side, well, the pleasure and the privilege is mine

Take me out tonight
Oh take me anywhere, I don't care
And in a darkened underpass I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
(but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask)
Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don't care
Just driving in your car
I never never want to go home, because I haven't got one
I haven't got one...

I've Been To A Marvellous Party (Nol Coward)

(Thanks to Alison Mable)

You know, quite for no reason
I'm here for the season
And high as a kite -
Living in error
With Maud at Cap Ferret
(Which couldn't be right)...
Everyone's here, and frightfully gay;
Nobody cares what people say,
Though the Riviera
Seems really much queerer
Than Rome at its height!
On Wednesday night
I went to a marvellous party
With Noonoo, and Nada, and Nell -
It was in the fresh air,
And we went as we were,
And we stayed as we were,
(Which was hell)
Poor Grace started singing at midnight,
And she didn't stop singing 'til four -
We knew the excitement was bound to begin
When Laura got blind on Dubonnet and gin
And scratched her veneer with a Cartier pin!
I couldn't have liked it more!

I've been to a marvellous party
We played a wonderful game:
Maureen disappeared
And came back in a beard,
And we all had to guess at her name...
Cecil arrived wearing armour,
Some shells and a black feather boa -
Poor Millicent wore a surrealist comb
Made of bits of mosaic from St. Peter's in Rome,
But the weight was so great that she had to go home!
And I couldn't have liked it more!

I've been to a marvellous party
I must say the fun was intense;
We all had to do
What the people we knew
Might be doing a hundred years hence...
We talked about growing old gracefully,
And Elsie - who's seventy-four -
Said, "A) It's a question of being sincere,
And B) If you're supple you've got nothing to fear" -
Then she swung upside-down from a chandelier!
And I couldn't have liked it more!

It was the most fabulous excitement
I've never seen such a carry-on!
Obviously, it couldn't happen
Anywhere else but on the Riviera...
It was most peculiar -
You know, people's behaviour
Away from Belgravia
Would make you aghast!
So much variety,
Watching society
Scampering past...
You know, if you have any mind at all,
Gibbon's divine "Decline And Fall" -
Well, it sounds pretty flimsy
No more than a whimsy...
By way of contrast,
On Wednesday last

I went to a marvellous party
We didn't sit down 'til ten
You know, young Bobby Carr
Did a stunt at the bar
With a lot of extraordinary men!
And then Freda arrived with a turtle,
(Which shattered us all to the core)
And then the duchess passed out at a quarter to three
And suddenly Cyril cried "Fiddle-de-dee!",
Then he ripped off his trousers
And jumped in the sea!
And I couldn't have liked it more!

I've been to a marvellous party
Elyse made an entrance with May
You'd never have guessed
From her fisherman's vest
That her bust had been whittled away...
Poor Lulu got fried on Chianti
And talked about esprit de corps;
Louise made a couple of passes at Gus,
And Freddie - who hates any kind of a fuss -
Did half the Big Apple and twisted his truss - ha ha!
I couldn't have liked it more!


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David Brookes 1999