‘English Rose’ The Jam (All Mod Cons, Polydor, 1978) & ‘Ghosts’ – live, 1982

So in love with the underwater production sound of this song, and the unexpected chord changes that subtly mark a change in emotional direction even if the vocalist’s performance remains hidden; as if everything is at the same level, at all times.

It’s one of those songs to play to the disheartened, those confronted by the confines of their psychology; alongside this wonderfully over the top performance of ‘A Plea for Tenderness’ – so funny, sweet and urgent, as only a youthful Jonathan Richman knows how. 

Found this great information from a very useful website, Songfacts, so I’ll just cut/paste (rather than fake authorship): 

· 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.

And here’s a live performance of that beautiful, beautiful song ‘Ghosts’ (from the 1982 Birmingham concert, I’m pretty sure).    

Why are you frightened - can’t you see that it’s you
That ain’t no ghost - it’s a reflection of you
Why do you turn away - an’ keep it out of sight
Oh - don’t live up to your given roles
There’s more inside you that you won’t show

But you keep it hidden just like everyone
You’re scared to show you care - it’ll make you vulnerable
So you wear that ghost around you for disguise

But there’s no need just ‘cos it’s all we’ve known
There’s more inside you that you haven’t shown

So keep on moving, moving, moving your feet
Keep on shuf-shuf-shuffling to this ghost dance beat
Just keep on walking down never ending streets

One day you’ll walk right out of this life
And then you’ll wonder why you didn’t try

To spread some loving all around
Old fashioned causes like that still stand
Gotta rid this prejudice that ties you down

How do you feel at the end of the day
Just like you’ve walked over your own grave

So why are you frightened - can’t you see that it’s you
At the moment there’s nothing - so there’s nothing to lose
Lift up your lonely heart and walk right on through