[[quoteright:322:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Divine_Comedy.jpg]]

[floatboxright:Influences:
+ Music/ScottWalker
+ Music/MichaelNyman
+ Music/{{REM}}
+ Music/EdwardElgar
+ Music/IgorStravinsky
+ Music/{{Kraftwerk}}
+ Music/DavidBowie
+ Music/TomLehrer
+ Creator/NoelCoward
+ Music/TheMagneticFields
+ Music/RoxyMusic
+ Music/KateBush
+ Music/{{Pulp}}
+ Music/{{Serge Gainsbourg}}
+ Music/GaryNuman
+ The Human League
+ Music/{{XTC}}
+ Music/ElectricLightOrchestra
+ Music/MilesDavis
+ Music/OrchestralManoeuvresInTheDark
+ Music/TalkTalk
+ Music/FlamingLips
+ Music/SimonAndGarfunkel
]

[[LiteraryAllusionTitle The Divine Comedy]] is a British {{baroque pop}} band fronted by Neil Hannon.

The first incarnation of the band dates from 1989 when Hannon and two other musicians had released an album called ''Fanfare for the Comic Muse''. The album flopped and the band split up. In 1993 Hannon started over with what is considered the official first Divine Comedy album, ''Liberation''. Though sales were modest in Britain, Hannon's quirky, intellectual and gently self-ironic style earned him a fair bit of success abroad, especially in France. This early fame across the Channel resulted in Hannon working on and off throughout the following years for the French music newsmagazine ''Les Inrockuptibles'', conducting interviews of such singers as [[Music/{{Pulp}} Jarvis Cocker]] and [[Music/{{Bjork}} Björk]].

Having received confirmation of his musical abilities, Hannon released ''Promenade'' in 1994, an album that references Music/MichaelNyman and is reminiscent of the films of Peter Greenaway; even more than ''Liberation'', it is replete with artistic and literary allusions (the song "The Booklovers" is simply a long list of writers' names, while the song "When the Lights go out all over Europe" uses elements of the soundtrack from a Godard film).

During this phase Hannon cultivated the persona of a dapper dandy, appearing in public clad in impeccable suits. He toured Europe alongside Music/ToriAmos and, with Björk's encouragements, released ''Casanova''. The album was his greatest commercial success to date, and was followed by the equally successful ''A Short Album about Love'' and ''Fin de Siècle'', the latter gaining a successful single in the form of "National Express".

The Divine Comedy attempted to become more than just Neil Hannon and interchangeable backup musicians with the more mainstream album ''Regeneration'' in 2001, but the experience only convinced Hannon that he could only express his vision by retaining exclusive authorship and control. ''Absent Friends'' was released in 2004, ''Victory for the Comic Muse'' (a wink to the band's first album) in 2007 and ''The Duckworth Lewis Method'' (a cricket-themed collaboration with Pugwash's Thomas Walsh) in 2009. Hannon also provided vocals for the soundtrack releases for the ''Series/DoctorWho'' 2005 and 2006 Christmas special songs "Song for Ten" and "Love Don't Roam", and the soundtrack of the movie adaptation of ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''.

The tenth studio album, ''Bang Goes the Knighthood'', was released in 2010, along with a second Duckworth Lewis Method album ''Sticky Wickets'', in 2013. 2016 saw the release of ''Foreverland'', their eleventh studio album.

----
'''The Divine Comedy provides examples of:'''

* BaitAndSwitch: In "The Frog Princess", after spending much of the track expressing his distaste for the subject's behaviour, the singer leads one to think that, after letting her go, he actually misses her:
-->''And now I'm rid of her, I must confess\\
To thinkin' 'bout what might have been,\\
And I can visualise my Frog Princess...\\
Beneath a shining... [[spoiler:[[OffWithHisHead guillotine]]]]!''
* BeachCombing: The inspiration for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV-kiCEYKtU Eric the Gardener]] is likely to have been the discovery of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoxne_Hoard Hoxne Hoard]] in 1992, by a retired gardener who dabbled in metal detecting as a hobby. The situation was imagined as UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar arriving on the British Isles, not finding [[UsefulNotes/BritishWeather the weather]] to his liking, and deciding to leave some knick-knacks buried there for posterity before leaving.
* BoldExplorer: The focus of the title track of ''Foreverland'', in which a captain of a ship tries to keep his disillusioned crew motivated for their voyage to the land that he has long sought.
* CanonDiscontinuity: ''Fanfare For The Comic Muse'' has been completely disowned.
* CaughtInTheRain: "Geronimo".
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: The narrator's girlfriend in "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" is apparently one of these, at least from his perspective. He's madly in love with her anyway.
-->''She's a mass of contradictions;\\
A pick-and-mix of strange convictions.\\
It can be a source of friction,\\
But there are worse afflictions;\\
Love doesn't make distinctions.''
* {{Defictionalisation}}: "My Lovely Horse" from ''Series/FatherTed'' is a b-side on one the their singles, sung by Neil.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt[=/=]AllLoveIsUnrequited: "Everybody Knows (Except You)"
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: The glorious segue from "Ten Seconds To Midnight" into "Tonight We Fly" on ''Promenade''
* FrenchJerk: A female version is the subject of "[[StealthPun The Frog Princess]]".
* HammyHerald: The concept of ''The Booklovers'' runs on this, as he announces a long list of writers that way.
* IAmTheBand: Neil Hannon very much ''is'' The Divine Comedy.
* IncrediblyLongNote: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kro27B8eXeE&t=2m35s The end of "Can You Stand Upon One Leg?"]]
** He's got the skill to do it in a couple of others too; "Our Mutual Friend" and "The Summerhouse" come to mind.
* InTheStyleOf: "I've Been To A Marvelous Party". Only The Divine Comedy could even think of taking a NoelCoward song and laying on some thumping techno, never mind actually making it work.
* LargeHam
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: The name of the band is (obviously) inspired by Dante's eponymous masterpiece... which Neil didn't actually read until a few years into his career.
* LyricalDissonance: A recurring trope in their songs:
** "Something for the Weekend" is a very jaunty number about a man being attacked and robbed by his girlfriend.
** [[IncrediblyLamePun "The Complete Banker"]] is an upbeat tune about the malpractice of the financial sector leading up to the global recession.
** "The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count," a catchy, cheerful track about the effects of hayfever (though it ''is'' about how he takes it in his stride).
** "National Express" is one of their most upbeat songs, and ostensibly it's about a man viewing sights outside the window of the titular bus, but the music video and some of the lyrics strongly suggest that it's about a man who fakes insanity to get himself thrown into a mental asylum in order to escape his stressful life. The ending implies that he starts [[BecomingTheMask doing his act a bit too well]] and ends up getting himself lobotomized.
* MustNotDieAVirgin: "To Die a Virgin" from ''Victory for the Comic Muse''. [[SpokenWordInMusic Complete with that trope's page quote.]]
* UsefulNotes/NorthernIreland: "Sunrise"
* OdeToIntoxication: "A Drinking Song".
-->''Back at the house, a bottle is found,\\
And opened in honour of those who have drowned,\\
While we who have not are stricken with guilt,\\
And dutifully see that not one drop is spilt!\\
We're drinking to life, we're drinking to death,\\
We're drinking 'til none of our livers are left!\\
We're wending our way down to the spirit store;\\
We'll drink 'til we just can't drink anymore!''
* PerkyGoth: "The Happy Goth".
* TeenageDeathSong: "Your Daddy's Car" is about a couple who go on a drunken joyride and end up crashing the vehicle into a tree.
* TruckDriversGearChange: "Generation Sex", "The Summerhouse", "Can You Stand Upon One Leg?".
** "Absent Friends" does it twice before reverting back to its original key by the last verse.
* UnmanlySecret - Deconstructed in "Freedom Road", where the singer feels that he can't open up about the beauty he sees on his travels as it would ostracise him from his other trucker friends.
-->''Well I've seen the power of the lightning storm.\\
I've seen the endless ears of corn.\\
I've seen the lakes at the break of day;\\
That shit takes my breath away.\\
But if I were to even start\\
To tell them how it melts my heart,\\
Never more would my truck-stop friends\\
Look me in the eye again.''