The Divine Comedy had been on the go for about seven years before the first whiff of success.  It came via a fabulous single and the opening track from their fourth album, Casanova, which was released in 1996

mp3: The Divine Comedy – Something For The Weekend

It’s got the sort of plot that would make for a great short story.  The reason I’ve not included it within that particular series is that too many of the lyrics get repeated throughout the song, but this is actually one of its strengths as it really is quite a simple premise.

Man tries to woo an attractive woman but isn’t quite sure how to really go about it.  Woman convinces man that she is very interested in him but before it goes any further she needs him to go to an outbuilding in the garden as she’s convinced there’s something strange afoot.  Man goes into the outbuilding whereupon he gets beaten up and robbed, discovering when he comes back into a state of consciousness that his wallet and car keys are gone….as is the teasing and alluring woman.

There’s a superb arrangement on the track, with violins, violas, cellos, flutes, a clarinet, an oboe, a bassoon, a saxophone, a trumpet, a flugelhorn and a trombone all in the mix, alongside the guitars, bass, drums, piano and Hammond organ.

You can actually thank, indirectly, Edwyn Collins for it all.  The unexpected world-wide success of A Girl Like You had brought immense riches to Setanta Records, which meant that all other singers and bands on the label could enjoy bigger budgets for recording their next singles and albums.  The sounds that had been going around inside Neil Hannon‘s head over the previous years could now be fully realised.

Something For The Weekend reached #14 in the UK singles chart, the first of what would prove to be twelve Top 40 singles for The Divine Comedy over the next eight years.

Here’s the three tracks which accompanied the CD single:-

mp3: The Divine Comedy – Birds of Paradise Farm
mp3: The Divine Comedy – Love Is Lighter Than Air
mp3: The Divine Comedy – Songs Of Love (Theme from ‘Father Ted’)

The second of the above songs is a cover of a Magnetic Fields song, from the previous year’s album Get Lost. The third of the above songs will, I’m sure, put a smile on many faces, recalling one of the funniest and most original TV sitcoms with 25 peerless episodes all told. Any overseas readers not familiar with Father Ted should click here.



  1. A mainstay of the Mark and Lard graveyard shift. Love this.
    And I envy anyone being able to discover Father Ted for the first time.
    Great song – Great Show – Great post.

  2. Neil Hannon is a mad and wonderful songwriting genius.It’s laid bare for all to see on Something For The Weekend!

  3. Neil Hannon represents my change in thinking from teen to older middle aged man.
    When I used to see an artist I liked when younger it would frustrate me that they weren’t playing bigger venues and that they weren’t liked by all. As I’ve got older I cherish the fact i can see Neil Hannon in medium sized venues – probably not as good for his bank balance !- and not have to go to some aircraft hangar to see very talented people of his ilk.

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