Last of the English Roses

Album: Grace/Wastelands (2009)
Charted: 67
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was the lead single from Grace/Wastelands.
  • Blur's Graham Coxon plays guitar on this song and the rest of the album apart from "Broken Love Song." Doherty told the NME January 17, 2009: "I don't know how Graham ended up on the album. I suppose it was jobs for the boys." Producer Stephen Street has also helmed some of Blur's material.
  • Lyrically this song transports the listener to a romanticized world of English roses who "could charm the bees' knees off the bees." However, musically it is an un-Doherty-like take on reggae. Doherty told the NME March 21, 2009: "I never thought people would like this. Stephen (Street) just took a loop from a demo where I had my mobile phone in the vocal booth."
  • This contains the line: "With your famous Auntie Arthur's trousers on." Doherty told Clash Magazine Issue 34 that characters such as the one in this song are based on real people. He explained: "This is the one thing about this album; it's not a fairy story, you know? It's quite descriptive and it's quite honest in its descriptions, even down to "Auntie Arthur's trousers" - the whole thing is dead personal and dead true to life. Maybe we should have a little clause at the front: 'Any resemblance to persons living, past or present, is intentional'."
  • At the end of this song, Doherty recites in French lines from Jean Genet's 1943 poetic novel Our Lady of the Flowers. Other tunes that refer to Genet's novel include The Pogues' 1990 song "Hell's Ditch" and Placebo's 1996 number "Lady of the Flowers."

Comments: 1

  • JesuisgourdeThe French is not from Our Lady Of The Flowers. It’s actually from another work by Jean Genet titled The Miracle Of The Rose. It is paraphrasing a part the main character’s dream at the end of the novel, which contains a symbolic rose nestled in someone’s heart called “La Rose Mystique.”
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

Jon Anderson of Yes

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Classic Metal

Classic MetalFact or Fiction

Ozzy, Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest and even Michael Bolton show up in this Classic Metal quiz.

Glen Ballard

Glen BallardSongwriter Interviews

Glen Ballard talks about co-writing and producing Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill album, and his work with Dave Matthews, Aerosmith and Annie Lennox.

Stephen Christian of Anberlin

Stephen Christian of AnberlinSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist for Anberlin breaks down "Impossible" and covers some tracks from their 2012 album Vital.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.