Happy Crimbo! Life in a Northern Town

Yes, Crimbo is nearly at an end, though the spirit of the day should remain with us at all times. Respect for our fellow humans [Remember: People deserve some amount of respect as a human being; ideas (like religion) do not deserve my respect.], treating others as you would be treated, and generally not being an asshole. There’s nothing inherently religious in any of that.

During the winter months, as at other time of the year, my musical tastes gravitate toward certain music that I associate with the season. That association may not mean anything to others, nor would it be easy to explain in some cases.

This song, though not a Crimbo song, is one that I enjoy listening to during the winter months in particular. It is a tribute to singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who died of an antidepressant overdose in 1974.

Here is The Dream Academy with their song Life in a Northern Town, on the December 21, 1985 airing of Saturday Night Live.


Life in a Northern Town

A Salvation Army band played
And the children drank lemonade
And the morning lasted all day,
All day
And through an open window came
Like Sinatra in a younger day,
Pushing the town away
Ah –

Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.

They sat on the stoney ground
And he took a cigarette out
And everyone else came down
To listen.
He said “In winter 1963
It felt like the world would freeze
With John F. Kennedy
And the Beatles.”

Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.
Ah hey ma ma ma
All the work shut down.

The evening had turned to rain
Watch the water roll down the drain,
As we followed him down
To the station
And though he never would wave goodbye,
You could see it written in his eyes
As the train rolled out of sight

Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.
Ah hey ma ma ma
Life in a northern town.


  1. I had no idea that this was about Drake. Thanks, Dan.

  2. I love that song “life in a northern town” as I can relate to it after havingsurvived growing up in a northern town in the 1980’s !! Great taste as ever Dan !!

    Hope you and Mrs Chaosagent had a fun filled Saturnalia !!

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