Select Page

Dream Academy and Life In A Northern Town

Life In A Northern Town

Life In A Northern Town | Hebden Bridge Rooftops

A Salvation Army band played
And the children drank lemonade
And the morning lasted all day,
All day
–From Life in a Northern Town

I was looking up songs the other day that were popular in 1986. I wanted to find something to put with the presentation I did for the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (see post below). I came across the song Life in a Northern Town by the English folk rock band The Dream Academy.

The Dream Academy AlbumI always liked this song – the lyrics, the melody, the African chanting. And, I really like this video even if some of the videography would now be considered goofy. Those split puzzle-piece screens are interesting to say the least.

I don’t recall ever having seen this video. It features Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, which means this is the video The Dream Academy made in 1984 — two years before the song reached #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in February 1986. They made another video of the song in 1985, which was filmed around Newcastle on Tyne. Like a lot of Xers in the 80s, I really loved my English bands. (My Irish ones, too.)

Life In A Northern Town and Nick Drake

According to Wikipedia lyrics to Life in a Northern Town refers to Nick Drake, one of England’s most influential singer-songwriters of the last 50 years. Drake, who was born in 1948, died of a drug overdose in 1974. Until today, I had never heard of Nick Drake.

The Dream Academy had three members: Nick Laird-Clowes, Gilbert Gabriel and Kate St. John. Gabriel and St. John both have current websites highlighting their work in music. In 1999, Laird-Clowes began releasing music under the name Trashmonk. He is working on his second album using that name. Also, he last tweeted on January 5, so you can follow him if you like.

The Dream Academy had its run from 1983 to 1991.

Remember when the morning lasted all day?

Be sure to check out my post Generation X Rock Music Documentary.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

Thank you for subscribing. Posts are delivered ONCE A WEEK on Sundays at 6 p.m. You can unsubscribe anytime with one click. Also, we will not share your email address with anyone.
Posted in:


  1. Friar

    My 80s faves are also still cranking: U2, Social Distortion and Jason and the Scorchers.

    As much as I like “our” tunes, I’m also hoping we don’t strangle radio formats the way the Big Chill-dren did when we were in our 20s and they were in their 40s 😉

  2. le@thirdontheright

    love this song too :)how are you jen …. all well enough here. I loved spandeau ballet, human league,style council and various other new wave english stuff 🙂 hugs le xox

  3. Jennifer K

    Nick Drake sang the song “Pink Moon.”

    My fave 1980s bands are still making music-U2, Duran Duran, REM. And I loved the Smiths, the Cure, the Police. It’s funny how so many Millenials I’ve met have glommed onto our Gen X favorites. Last summer I read a book about a Gen X-er who loved the Smiths and tried desperately to reunite them. I showed one of my co-workers the book (she’s only 25), and she said, “I love the Smiths!” Wow! I was listening to “Meat is Murder” (on vinyl) when she was in diapers!

    Oh, on a blogging note, I’ve decided to put my blog on hiatus for the next few months. Pop culture is just not exciting me right now, and I have other things going on in my life.


Share Your Thoughts

Pin It on Pinterest