“Dreams Never End” by New Order

First off, let it be known that the lyrics of “Dreams Never End” are very poetic, to the point of being indiscernible even by some fans of New Order. Arguably, the easiest part of the song to understand is the second verse, where the vocalist, at least in part, appears to be referring to marriage. 

And based on that understanding and associated lyrics, what it seems he may be speaking to is a concept like the prevalence of marital discontent.

Our theory is that he is likening marriage to selling your soul – so to speak – or an idea like it being commitment which necessitates a very high level of personal sacrifice. And if such is the case, what the first verse seems to be saying is that making such a commitment is something people will do nonetheless, since getting married is a societal norm. 

But more to the point is a spouse being representative of an “end to your dreams”, i.e. a manifestation of a fantasy, if you will, which is having someone to love who also loves you unconditionally, etc. But again, as illustrated in the second verse, the reality doesn’t live up to that fantasy. Thus the title is sort of mocking, i.e. indicating that at the end of the day there is not end of fantasies, or, put differently, dreams are not fulfilled, which is why they “never end”.

In Conclusion

Or, at least the above understanding marks our best attempt out of making comprehensive sense out of this track. Obviously, given the ambiguity of the statements being made, Peter Hook and co. knew that this song would be subject to various interpretations. 

But perhaps the reason they worded it so is because it is based on an idea which goes against the mainstream. And that, based on our analysis, would be that whereas getting married may be a dream come true, the reality of the situation most often doesn’t live up to the ideology.

Lyrics of New Order's "Dreams Never End"

New Order

New Order is a band from Manchester, England. Their discography dates back to 1981 (having formed the year prior), and they experienced their greatest success later in the century. This track is from their debut album, Movement, which was released on 13 November 1981.

Dreams Never End

And accordingly, “Dreams Never End” is known as being one of the first songs the band put together and even ’til now one that they play during live performance. However, it was never issued as a single.

“Dreams Never End” is the opening track on Movement.

The label that originally put this song out is Factory Records, which itself is based in Manchester.

New Order is still extant as of the writing of this post, though they’ve taken a couple of breaks from activity since the 1980s. Three of the four founders of the crew (i.e. the ones who participated in the making of Movement), Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner, are still members of the band. 

Meanwhile former bassist Peter Hook (who actually sang “Dreams Never End”) parted ways with the group upon New Order’s second period of hiatus, which commenced in 2007.

The four aforementioned individuals are credited as the writers of this song. And it was produced by the late Martin Hannett (1948-1991).

Song’s Title

The title of this song was inspired by the opening line from another track, by Joy Division, named Insight (1979). In fact all the original members of New Order were former members of Joy Division, another band from England which itself dated back to the mid-1970s. In other words, New Order was founded in the aftermath of Joy Division dissolution, which was caused by the suicide of its lead singer, Ian Curtis, in 1980.

Dreams Never End

To note, New Order band members Stephen Morris (drummer) and Gillian Gilbert (keyboardist) have been husband and wife since 1993.

1 Response

  1. Tom 23rd says:

    The song is about Ian Curtis’ suicide, his toxic marriage and rejecting the temptation to ruminate on events that can’t be changed

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