One of my favourite bands of the last decade has to be The Divine Comedy. Standing somewhere in the line between The Smiths and Pulp, they are a band with their tongue firmly in their cheek. Well, when I say 'band' basically I mean the work of Neil Hannon - who is just a great songwriter. If you've never heard one of their songs, then think again because if you've seen the great comedy Father Ted and remember the theme tune - that was written by The Divine Comedy.
Not long ago in a small group meeting at our church we all shared a song that helped us to connect with God. It was my friend Nick who played this particular track: 'Absent Friends' (Absent Friends, 2004). I can't actually remember what he said it did for him - but for me the lyrics are clever, quirky and somehow moving. Each verse tells a real-life tale which evokes a cheerfulness that belies the tragedy lurking beneath. There's a feeling of loss about it - an acknowledgement that we miss those who've been and gone. Those who've made us happy amidst the cruelties that life also throws us. So listen to this song and lift a glass to absent friends and thank God for each of them.