Monday, September 24, 2012

English Rose

Not a song I expected from Paul Weller, but hope you enjoy:

No matter where I roam
I will come back to my English rose
For no bonds can ever tempt me from she
I've sailed the seven seas,
Flown the whole blue sky.
But I've returned with haste to where my
Love does lie.
No matter where I go
I will come back to my English Rose
For nothing can ever tempt me from she.
I've searched the secret mists
I've climbed the highest peaks
Caught the wild wind home
To hear her soft voice speak
No matter where I roam
I will return to my English Rose
For no bonds can ever keep me from she.

I've been to ancient worlds
I've scoured the whole universe
And caught the first train home
To be at her side.
No matter where I roam
I will return to my English Rose
For no bonds, nothing and no-one can ever keep me from she


  1. I did. Thanks, Mr. Richardson.

    It also occurred to me that this kind of a song just isn't possible in a civic nationalist sense.

    "My European Union Rose..." just doesn't make much of an appeal to the heart, though I don't suppose the heart is the sort of thing bureaucrats ponder too often.

  2. Mark --

    Just curious, but why not expected? It's an old song in his repertoire (the Jam -- All Mod Cons -- 1978). I always took it to be a love song, though perhaps you had taken it differently?

    In any case, I think the Jam in particular, and perhaps Weller in a lesser but still significant respect, exemplify a not-uncommon strain in English pop-culture: self-abnegating traditionalism. Weller borrows significantly from 60s acts who wore their Union Jacks on their sleeves, so to speak, especially the Kinks (who were at times more straightforwardly traditionalist).

    But with a lefty like Weller, this element can never be taken straight. Ahh, the hilarious dilemma of liberal patriotism, the constant vacillation of "I love you , no I hate you, no I love you, wait a minute..." Perhaps a more pointed example would be Morrissey, who spends most of his time saying terribly critical things about England, then every once in a while utters something completely sensible on immigration or the value of British culture and history. He is then bewildered and wounded when the snarling leftie hordes tear him to shreds for it. This has happened, it seems, at least a dozen times during his career and he never learns.

    A good cinematic example is Terence Davies. See especially his touching-and-slashing reverie on old Liverpool, "Of time and the City." It is in many ways quite beautiful, but at the same time hateful and filled with spite. It's as if he longs for the people and times of England past, not seeming to recognize that he's simultaneously burning down everything that made that world possible.

    --Aaron S.

  3. why not expected?

    Because as you write he was well-known as a lefty back in the 80s. When I was at uni The Style Council was the favourite band of the Trotskyist left.

    I take your point, though, that the relationship between the left and patriotism can be more complex than we sometimes assume. Billy Bragg is another singer of that era who seems to want to commit (inconsistently) to a liberal nationalism. (see here).

  4. Can't really relate to this song; I'm Scottish.

    Scots are 'supposed' to resent the English. Do I personally? No, not really, but I recognise that there is a 'sense of difference'. To really see what true Scots are like you have to go into working class towns, working class pubs, and hear them rabbiting away. You won't get that 'grittiness' in the middle class. Maybe it's the same everywhere.

    Throughout the West, the middle class and especially those with a university education, it seems, are the most socialist. The far right, throughout the West, seems to draw support mainly from the working class and even the underclass. This is a strange paradox, as it should be the other way around, in theory. Maybe I'm just rambling; this whole post is a diversion from the topic at hand.

    So why am I on a 'traditionalist conservative' site then?


  5. World's best artist ever. Nice post.