Open main menu

"Living Next Door to Alice" is a song co-written by Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Originally released by the Australian vocal harmony trio New World in 1972,[3] the song charted at No. 35 on the Australian chart. The song later became a worldwide hit for British band Smokie.

"Living Next Door to Alice"
New world-living next door to alice.JPG
Single by New World
B-side"Something to Say"
Format7" vinyl
GenrePop, folk
Songwriter(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
New World singles chronology
"Sister Jane"
"Living Next Door to Alice"
"Rooftop Singing"
"Living Next Door to Alice"
Smokie-living next door to alice.jpg
Single by Smokie
from the album Midnight Café
(2007 Remastered Edition)
  • "Run to You" (UK)
  • When My Back was Against the Wall (US & Canada)[1]
Released12 August 1976
Format7" vinyl
GenrePop rock
LabelRAK (UK)
RSO (US & Canada)[2]
Songwriter(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
Producer(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
Smokie singles chronology
"I'll Meet You at Midnight"
"Living Next Door to Alice"
"Lay Back in the Arms of Someone"
Music video
"Living Next Door to Alice" on YouTube
"Living Next Door to Alice"
Single by Johnny Carver
from the album The Best of Johnny Carver
ReleasedFebruary 1977
Format7" vinyl
Songwriter(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
Producer(s)Ron Chancey
Johnny Carver singles chronology
"Afternoon Delight"
"Living Next Door to Alice"
"Down at the Pool"
"Alice, Who the X is Alice?"
Gompie-who the x is alice.jpg
Single by Gompie
from the album Who the X Is Gompie!
  • various versions of "Alice, Who the X is Alice?"
  • "My Brother Is a Rocker"
  • "Slaves on the Run"
Songwriter(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman
Producer(s)Rob Peters, Ono Pelser, John van de Ven
"Living Next Door to Alice"
Single by Smokie featuring Roy 'Chubby' Brown
B-side"Living Next Door to Alice" (Unbleeped)
GenrePop rock, parody
Songwriter(s)Nicky Chinn, Mike Chapman



The song is about a young man's long-standing unrequited love toward the girl next door and his neighbour of 24 years, Alice. The protagonist had seen a limousine parked at Alice's home, learning through mutual friend Sally that she is moving away, and begins to reflect on childhood memories and his friendship with Alice, and becomes heartbroken as he sees Alice get inside the limousine.

As he watches the car drive out of sight, the protagonist feels regret about two things:

  1. Alice leaving without explanation;
  2. That, in 24 years, he never took the opportunity to express his feelings for her.

In the final verse, Sally explains that "Alice is gone, but (she's) still here" and that all the time that the singer had been pining for Alice, Sally herself had been waiting 24 years for her opportunity with him. As the song ends with the singer still hurt and having difficulty getting over his previous crush, the last words of the last verse hint at optimism (and a potential future relationship with Sally) as Alice's limousine disappears down the road.

Later versions of the song insert a profane interjection during a pause in the chorus (from the audience during live performances or from a guest separate from the lead singer): "Alice! Who the fuck is Alice?" (guests will sometimes say "hell" or "heck" for cleaner performances). These performances may also change a line in the chorus so that the singer's affections are as much sexual as they are romantic, and that the singer had hoped "to get inside her pants", instead of "get a second glance."

On the American Top 40 broadcast of 26 May 1979, Casey Kasem reported that Chapman stated that his source of inspiration for "Living Next Door to Alice" was "Sylvia's Mother" by Dr. Hook.

Smokie versionsEdit

In November 1976, the British band Smokie released their version of "Living Next Door to Alice". The single peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart[4] and, in March 1977, reached 25 in the United States. It was a number one hit in Austria, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. Smokie collaborated on a parody version in 1995 with comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown, which peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart, selling almost half a million copies.[5]

Ex-Smokie vocalist Chris Norman included his solo cover of the song on his 2000 studio album Full Circle.[6]

Chart (1976/1977) Peak
Australia 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[7] 1
Canada RPM Top Singles[8] 17
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[10] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 1
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 7
Norway (VG-lista)[13] 1
South Africa (EMA)[14] 2[15]
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[16] 3
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[17] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[18] 5
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 25
Chart (1995)
with Roy 'Chubby' Brown
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 3
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 26
Germany (Official German Charts)[21] 18
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 22

Gompie versionEdit

It spawned a more risqué version in 1995 by the Dutch novelty act Gompie, titled "Alice, Who the Fuck Is Alice?". Their version topped the charts in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders), and reached the top 10 in Austria, Germany, Norway and Switzerland. In the UK, the song peaked at number 17, but its sales topped 150,000 despite its low peak.

Gompie is a project of Peter Koelewijn and Rob Peters. Peters, while visiting a bar called Gompie in Nijmegen, heard "Living Next Door to Alice" by Smokie. After the name Alice in the song, the disc jockey Onno Pelser turned down the volume and the crowd sang 'Alice, who the fuck is Alice?'. Peters realized it could become a hit record, contacted Koelewijn and a day later the song was recorded and released under the name Gompie.[23]

The success of this version resulted in various similar versions, including a new recording by Smokie with blue comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown. A dance version of "Alice, Who the Fuck Is Alice?" was released by The Steppers, reaching No. 2 on the Australian charts in September 1995.[24] Actor Alan Fletcher, who plays doctor Karl Kennedy in the soap opera Neighbours, took up the song as "Who the Fuck Is Susan?" at fan events, in reference to his erstwhile fictional wife.

Chart (1995) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[25] 54
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[26] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[27] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[28] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[29] 36
Germany (Official German Charts)[30] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[31] 29
Norway (VG-lista)[32] 4
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 2
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[34] 17

Other cover versionsEdit

Concurrent with Smokie's American success with the song, country music singer Johnny Carver released his own version of "Living Next Door to Alice". Carver's version peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in April 1977.[35]

In 1985, The Australian musician Kevin Bloody Wilson released "Living Next Door to Alan", a parody of "Living Next Door to Alice" imagining an Aborigine family living next door to Alan Bond, a famous Australian entrepreneur.

In 1996, Jimmy Sturr recorded the song under the title "Alice" on his album Polka! All Night Long.[36]

The 1996 album The Smurfs Go Pop! by The Smurfs included a song to the same tune, titled "Smurfland".[37]

Members of the British far-right anti-Muslim group the English Defence League reportedly chanted "Allah, Allah, who the fuck is Allah?" at a rally in Luton in 2011.[38]

The Danish singer Flemming "Bamse" Jørgensen covered the song as 'Alice' on his 1977 solo debut Din Sang.[39]

In 2016, to celebrate their team's success in qualifying for the finals of the 2016 European Championships in France, a group of London-based Northern Ireland football fans released their own cover version, as "Making Our Way To Paris" by The London Green And White Army, featuring Jinski.[40]


In 1981 South Korean band Oxen 80 (옥슨80) recorded cover of the song with title "In A Lonely Night" (그대 떠난 이 밤에).

In Finnish, the song was recorded in 1977 by Kari Tapio, with the title "Viisitoista kesää" (Fifteen summers).[41] The arrangement is by Veikko Samuli and the Finnish lyrics by Juha Vainio.

In Norwegian, there is a translation, "I 24 år har jeg bodd i samme gård som Anne". There are also other songs to the same tune. "Storholt, Stensen, Stenshjemmet, Sjøbrend åsså'n Hjallis" deals about the famous Norwegian speed skating team known as The Four Aces. The single was released in 1977 by Stein Ingebrigtsen & Store Stå and peaked at No. 3 in the Norwegian VG-lista.[42]

A German version of the song, titled "Tür an Tür mit Alice", was a hit for Howard Carpendale in 1977. The single peaked at No. 8 in Germany[43] and Switzerland[44] and at No. 11 in Austria.[45]

In Czechoslovakia the song was released on 21 February 1973 under the title "Alenka v říši divů" (Alice in Wonderland), performed by Karel Zich. There has also been a parody under the name Denis in Czech Republic.[46]

A Hungarian version was performed by István Torontáli with the title 'Drága Alice' ('Dear Alice')[47], including lyrics translated by Tibor Bornai[48]

In former Yugoslavia, Toni Montano made a song based on original tune and named it '10 godina' ('10 years').

A Russian version of the song, titled "Элис" (Alice) was released by Конец фильма (Movie End) rock band in 2001 as the closing song of their studio album Soundtracks (Goodbye, innocence).[49] Lyrics is by Mikhail Bashakov. The humorous lyrics are driven by "А кто такая Элис?" ("But who is actually Alice?") interjection (thus, no profanity in Russian version) and are about some company considering crashing at Alice's place, indeed answering to the ever repeated question in form of a long list of her virtues ("she is well dressed, she speaks beautifully, she is fluent in English and Hebrew" etc.) There is also an animation cartoon by Dmitry Rezchikov based on this version.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Living Next Door To Alice – NEW WORLD (1972) – Pop Archives – Sources of Australian Pop Records from the 50s, 60s and 70s". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  4. ^ "Chart Stats – Smokie – Living Next Door To Alice". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  5. ^ "Chart Stats – Smokie Featuring Roy 'Chubby' Brown – Living Next Door to Alice (Who the Fuck is Alice)". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  6. ^ " - Chris Norman - Full Circle". Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  7. ^ " – Smokie – Living Next Door to Alice" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  8. ^ "RPM Top Singles – Volume 26, No. 24, March 12, 1977". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 6, 1977" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  10. ^ " – Smokie Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  11. ^ a b " search results". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  12. ^ " – Smokie – Living Next Door to Alice". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  13. ^ " – Smokie – Living Next Door to Alice". VG-lista. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  14. ^ "EMA Top 10 Airplay: Week Ending {{{date}}}". Entertainment Monitoring Africa. Retrieved 2019-07-03.
  15. ^ "Smokie > South African Rock Lists". South African Rock Lists. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  16. ^ " – Smokie – Living Next Door to Alice". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  17. ^ " – Smokie – Living Next Door to Alice". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  18. ^ "Smokie: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  19. ^ "Smokie > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  20. ^ "Smokie featuring Roy 'Chubby' Brown: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  21. ^ " – Smokie featuring Roy 'Chubby' Brown Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2015-01-31.
  22. ^ " – Smokie – WHO THE F... IS ALICE?". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2015-01-31.
  23. ^ "Muziekencyclopedie – Gompie (1995–2000)" (in Dutch). Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  24. ^ " – The Steppers – Who The F..k Is Alice?". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  25. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 08 Oct 1995". (original document published by ARIA). Retrieved 6 July 2017. N.B. The HP column displays the highest peak reached.
  26. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 10, 1995" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  27. ^ " – Gompie – Alice, Who The X Is Alice?" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  28. ^ " – Gompie – Alice, Who the X is Alice?" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  29. ^ " – Gompie – Alice, Who the X is Alice?" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  30. ^ " – Gompie Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  31. ^ " – Gompie – Alice, Who the X is Alice?". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  32. ^ " – Gompie – Alice, Who the X is Alice?". VG-lista. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  33. ^ " – Gompie – Alice, Who the X is Alice?". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  34. ^ "Gompie: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2010-04-30.
  35. ^ "Johnny Carver > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  36. ^ Bob Tarte. "Polka! All Night Long - Jimmy Sturr | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  37. ^ "Smurfland - The Smurfs | Song Info". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  38. ^ Toby Helm; Matthew Taylor; Rowenna Davis. "David Cameron sparks fury from critics who say attack on multiculturalism has boosted English Defence League | Politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  39. ^ "Bamses Venner". 3 November 1980. Retrieved 26 January 2016.
  40. ^ "Making Our Way To Paris - The London Green And White Army featuring Jinski".
  41. ^ "Hakutulos kappaleelle Viisitoista kesää" (in Finnish). Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  42. ^ " – Stein Ingebrigtsen & Store Stå – Storholt, Stensen, Stenshjemmet og Sjøbrend åsså'n Hjallis". Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  43. ^ " – Chartverfolgung – CARPENDALE,HOWARD" (in German). Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  44. ^ "Howard Carpendale – Tür an Tür mit Alice –" (in German). Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  45. ^ "Howard Carpendale – Tür an Tür mit Alice –" (in German). Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  46. ^ "Těžkej Pokondr - Denis" (in Czech). Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  47. ^ "Torontáli István - Drága Alice" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  48. ^ "Torontáli István - Drága Alice" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  49. ^ "САУНДТРЕКИ (До свидания, невинность!) | CD | Дискография | Конец Фильма | Официальный Сайт". Retrieved 26 January 2016.