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‘Each fantasy chosen begin’: the music of The Divine Comedy

Magennis, Caroline



This article considers the cultural and social context for the music of the Northern Irish band The Divine Comedy. It focuses on three mid-1990s albums – Liberation (1993), Promenade (1994) and Casanova (1996) – and debates the significance of this performance of alternative Ulster masculinity during the peace process. It will detail the lyrical obsession with a very particular type of imagined Anglo-Irishness during the first two of these albums, and then consider the complicated uses of the ‘Britpop’ genre in Casanova. This music is baroque, literary and written by an Anglican bishop's son, Neil Hannon, who grew up in Enniskillen during the Troubles. It will consider how Hannon cobbles together an acceptable identity through the use of literary pretentiousness and a carefully crafted pop persona.


Magennis, C. (2013). ‘Each fantasy chosen begin’: the music of The Divine Comedy. Irish Studies Review, 21(2), 178-187.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 3, 2013
Deposit Date Jul 30, 2023
Journal Irish Studies Review
Print ISSN 0967-0882
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 178-187