The lilting harmonies. The aged war veterans, Salvation Army Band volunteers and balloon-wielding youngsters, meandering down the northern dell to the village centre. The overgelled hair. Those are my memories of "Life in a Northern Town," a wonderful song by Stephen "Tintin" Duffy and the Dream Academy, and a top ten hit in 1986. A real product of 1980s Britpop.
As an economic history nerd, I also saw the song as an homage to the personal experience of a region stereotyped by a several centuries of wrenching industrial development - textile workers, shipyard workers and miners.
Which is why I was confused to see this video on CMT today:
Thankfully, Sugarland, Big Town and Jake Owen don't drift too far from the original ... and didn't make their version too "twangy."
Still, Blake's Jerusalem did not refer to the hills of West Virginia, and neither does Life in a Northern Town.
[tags] Dream Academy, Life in a Northern Town, Sugarland, country music [/tags]