English Rose

Album: All Mod Cons (1978)

Songfacts®:

  • Opening with the sounds of a train whistle, a ship's horn, and waves crashing on the shore, this romantic folk ballad was a surprise inclusion on The Jam's third full length album, All Mod Cons.
  • Lyrically, the narrator likens himself to old sailors who would leave their mother country, and their lover, their fair English rose. It was inspired by Weller's homesickness when he was touring America and the absence of his girlfriend at the time, Gill Price. Weller told Mojo magazine May 2010: "It was me emotionally naked, speaking openly about being in love. I was aware it was something that blokes from my background didn't do. They didn't reveal their feelings, their sensitive side." Embarrassed by its honesty, Weller left the track unlisted on the album cover.
  • An inspiration for this song was the unpretentious verse of the '60s Liverpool poets. Weller told Mojo: "A fan had turned me on to Adrian Henri, and I leaned through these poets that you could be open about your thoughts and feelings and you could juxtapose a grand, classical image with a street one."
  • The song later inspired the name of Manchester alternative rock band, the Stone Roses.

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