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Elbow — Jesus Is A Rochdale Girl
Album: Build A Rocket Boys!
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 953









Released: 2011
Length: 3:16
Plays (last 30 days): 1
I have a drop-leaf window
With cats and broken yards
Sunflowers and paint cans
And stolen shopping carts

And nothing to be proud of
And nothing to regret
All of that to make as yet
All of that to make as yet

I have a single heartbreak
I celebrate and mourn
A single shining sister
And all the tricks of dawn

A single yellow duvet
A single switch to flick
But a thousand boxes yet to tick
A thousand boxes yet to tick

And Jesus is a Rochdale girl
And forty-five CDs
Got a house that you can smoke in
So all my friends found me

And they found me full of myself
And bloody-minded will
And as yet a box to fill
And as yet a box to fill
Comments (118)add comment
 nicol.stuart wrote:
 

Thanks for posting that - it's nice to hear the background for this song (which I love). Can't help but note how horrible the film editing is on that clip though - so not aligned with the rhythm or mood of the song. 
https://www.theguardian.com/music/video/2011/feb/24/elbow-live-session-jesus-rochdale-girl - what it's about and live recording - enjoy 
 fredriley wrote:

Ooh, I rather doubt it, given Elbow's provenance. This almost certainly refers to Rochdale, Manchester, as dull and dour a town as you're likely to find in that area, and there are no shortage of dull dour towns with dark sandstone buildings and downcast folk, believe me. Consciously or not, this deliberate dirge of a song reflects the nature of Rochdale.

I'm sure that the Toronto Rochdale is considerably livelier and more interesting than the English version.
 

This made me chuckle. Geography (and time) colour so many of our perceptions. I'm from Toronto originally so the first time I heard this I too immediately linked it to Toronto's Rochdale - which was a failed social experiment of the 60s. 

Without googling or wiki for backup, Rochdale was originally an apartment building sized student residence of the University of Toronto. At some point in the late 60s student/hippy turbulence the students took it over for a period of time, declaring it a Free State or some equivalent. I have several friends who were part of it, Tales of Adventure range from parties fueled by acid, golfball sized chunks of hash, and fishbowls of pharmaceuticals knicked from parents medicine cabinets ("tonight I'll just try blue ones"), with naked girls wandering dazed and confused room to room, and more than once motorcycles bursting out of the elevator several floors above ground level. But it also quickly devolved into filth, anarchy, and violence and burned out leaving mixed memories for the survivors and media.
So "dull and dour" doesn't quite fit Toronto's Rochdale... but Jesus could have at least smoked in it.
gotta laugh here.
 alain.brault wrote:



While Jesus could have indeed been a girl, it is rather unlikely she came from Toronto......
 
I'm about 5 chapters into a very compelling read... straightens out misconceptions of Christ's teachings heralded by the Nicea Council and recognizes that women were amongst his disciples (and Mary M was not a prostitute): https://parabola.org/2015/01/29/the-gospel-of-mary-magdalene/
 alain.brault wrote:



While Jesus could have indeed been a girl, it is rather unlikely she came from Toronto......
 
Right on that.


 timelessart wrote:
is this the Toronto Rochdale ?
 


While Jesus could have indeed been a girl, it is rather unlikely she came from Toronto......
I think you may have meant 'no where', but actually they do 'know where' they are going.

 
Ydesign wrote:
Is it just me? Do elbow songs ever get past the intro?
they just seem to go know where and then end?
 

 fredriley wrote:

Ooh, I rather doubt it, given Elbow's provenance. This almost certainly refers to Rochdale, Manchester, as dull and dour a town as you're likely to find in that area, and there are no shortage of dull dour towns with dark sandstone buildings and downcast folk, believe me. Consciously or not, this deliberate dirge of a song reflects the nature of Rochdale.

I'm sure that the Toronto Rochdale is considerably livelier and more interesting than the English version.

 
Yes.  Or at least it certainly was until it gentrified.  
Is it just me? Do elbow songs ever get past the intro?
they just seem to go know where and then end?
 philinnz wrote:
back in the late '60's Rochdale down our way was a rather cheap apple cider. One bottle was not quite enough but two was definitely too much.

 
Surely, you speak from only second-hand knowledge! 

{#Cheers} {#Drunk}{#Wave}
Great song, great band. Love the lyrics, singer, music - all good. Well deserved 8. - 8.5
 timelessart wrote:
is this the Toronto Rochdale ?
 

 
Ooh, I rather doubt it, given Elbow's provenance. This almost certainly refers to Rochdale, Manchester, as dull and dour a town as you're likely to find in that area, and there are no shortage of dull dour towns with dark sandstone buildings and downcast folk, believe me. Consciously or not, this deliberate dirge of a song reflects the nature of Rochdale.

I'm sure that the Toronto Rochdale is considerably livelier and more interesting than the English version.
not my taste...
I love this stupid song.
 
 unclehud wrote:
A frequenter of Romeotuma's hotel room / mega-church?
 
She looks familiar, but I would have to see her buck ass naked to be sure...

everybody in my mushrooming multitude of homeless camps loves this song...

hope life is grand for you this autumn in the northern hemisphere, unclehud... 
I love the delicacy of the arrangement.
 zepher wrote:
Rochdale Girl --->
 

A frequenter of Romeotuma's hotel room / mega-church?
And Jesus is a Rochdale girl
And forty-five CDs
Got a house that you can smoke in
So all my friends found me
And they found me full of myself

I like Elbow, but wonder about the lyrics and title. 

Here's a link with Guy Garvey talking about how he wrote the song --->

https://www.theguardian.com/music/video/2011/feb/24/elbow-live-session-jesus-rochdale-girl

Rochdale Girl --->

Pretty smile, let's hope "Jesus is with a Rochdale Girl"
- That would be bloody-brilliant! (but unfortunately inaccurate)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2141930/The-Rochdale-sex-ring-shows-horrific-consequences-Britains-Islamophobia-witch-hunt.html
 ColdMiser wrote:

I also would never have heard any Elbow if it wasn't for RP...I Love their music. very much a Pink Floyd influence
 
Ditto, yet again Bill has introduced me to another excellent grp
This has been an EIGHT imho since the first time I heard it (which was on RP).
 
All of the plants in my greenhouse LOVE this song.........They have very good taste...{#Daisy}

Soporific.

Everybody in my mushrooming multitude of churches loves this song...
 
Please stop playing so good, Bill, it's 2 AM here and I need to sleep already.
back in the late '60's Rochdale down our way was a rather cheap apple cider. One bottle was not quite enough but two was definitely too much.
Love love love Elbow; they're just so good-hearted and musical. How about more from Leaders of the Free World? Not for me, but for everyone who hasn't heard that excellent album... 'Mexican Standoff' would be cool...
 timelessart wrote:
is this the Toronto Rochdale ?
 

 
... noooo - but those were the days...
 captanne wrote:
I "discovered" Elbow through Radioparadise (thank you, forever) and I think "Build a Rocket Boys" is one of the best albums I have ever heard. Especially the title track.  But "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl" is an amazing song in its own right.  I think it's wonderful.  If Elbow ever finds its way to the US, I'll be the first in line to buy a ticket to the show (figuratively speaking, of course.)

 
I also would never have heard any Elbow if it wasn't for RP...I Love their music. very much a Pink Floyd influence
I "discovered" Elbow through Radioparadise (thank you, forever) and I think "Build a Rocket Boys" is one of the best albums I have ever heard. Especially the title track.  But "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl" is an amazing song in its own right.  I think it's wonderful.  If Elbow ever finds its way to the US, I'll be the first in line to buy a ticket to the show (figuratively speaking, of course.)
 timelessart wrote:
is this the Toronto Rochdale ?
 
 
It most certainly isn't. It's Rochdale, Lancashire UK. Just down the road from where Guy Garvey lives/lived.

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
 lily34 wrote:
just to cover that up a bit...

how can one not love elbow? 
 
I'm really starting to dig them...going to have to check out more of their stuff.
 
is this the Toronto Rochdale ?
 
 westslope wrote:

Crude and rude rdo.

 

It is never too late to grow up.


 



Got the pic i wanted..didnt i? I fear i may have created a monster though...darn pic is now on every gd page!!!!!
 michaelgmitchell wrote:
On the fence with this latest effort from the Elbow folks. NIce, yes. But almost too "cute" after their initial splash I was privy to here on RP. 'Jesus Is A..." and "Build a Rocket..."? Hmm. Whatever.
 
i know what you mean.
the seldom seen kid is my favorite (next to from asleep in the back)

but this song in particular grew on me from this album. there are also a couple other noteworthy tunes from this effort. it really took time to grow on me though. 
 romeotuma wrote:


beautiful...  love it...  we be dancing...




finally ! a picture of you and everybody in your hotel room dancin'.....................
 
 


On the fence with this latest effort from the Elbow folks. NIce, yes. But almost too "cute" after their initial splash I was privy to here on RP. 'Jesus Is A..." and "Build a Rocket..."? Hmm. Whatever.
 rdo wrote:

Quit backsliding again with the hotel, ears, dancin', nipples, etc.. remarks.  You are a good writer.  Below you wrote a nice little bit.  Your knowledge of music is quite impressive, among other things.  Quit being the opposite of troll - the non-troll, the anti-troll.  What is that?  The fairy godmother?  I don't know.  Put your talents to better use.  Also, please post a picture of your chicks in that room.
 

Crude and rude rdo.

 

It is never too late to grow up.


just to cover that up a bit...

how can one not love elbow? 


beautiful...  love it...  we be dancing...





 


very cool song...  love it...

 
 Ag3nt0rang3 wrote:

it's just another troll. And you've just fed it. But I do agree, Romeotuma can write a fair stick when (s)he wants to.
 


Jesus, what a jerk...  does not even comment on the song...  everybody in my hotel room loves this song...


 
 rdo wrote:

Quit being the opposite of troll - the non-troll, the anti-troll.  What is that?  The fairy godmother?  I don't know.  
 
it's just another troll. And you've just fed it. But I do agree, Romeotuma can write a fair stick when (s)he wants to.
 romeotuma wrote:


marvelous...  love it...  aging sux...

 
 
Quit backsliding again with the hotel, ears, dancin', nipples, etc.. remarks.  You are a good writer.  Below you wrote a nice little bit.  Your knowledge of music is quite impressive, among other things.  Quit being the opposite of troll - the non-troll, the anti-troll.  What is that?  The fairy godmother?  I don't know.  Put your talents to better use.  Also, please post a picture of your chicks in that room.
{#Bounce}


marvelous...  love it...  aging sux...

 
The noodling on the organ (pardon?) make this song interesting. It's a laid back 8 to my ears.


This song is soooo good my nipples get hard when I hear it...

 
 Sasha2001 wrote:


What the h, e, double hockey sticks is going on in that hotel room all the time?
 


We be having fun fun fun!  And we love this song...
 
 romeotuma wrote:


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...
 
 



What the h, e, double hockey sticks is going on in that hotel room all the time?
I like the idea of a guy stuck in a hotel room with a bunch of women—his women—listening to Radio Paradise all day and all night long.


soooo profound...  this really is from a cool album...

 


The meaning of this song is that youth is paradise...  sigh...
 


Me and my womens agree that this song is cool...
 
 romeotuma wrote:


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...
 
 
Does no one in your hotel room have a mind of their own.."they " always all like something hmmm ...Surly one of them disagrees once in a while?



Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...
 
 toomanyollys wrote:
Sorry, for all their sophistication, clever chord progression and deep, meaningful lyrics (which I'm not saying they don't have), I find Elbow really, really boring. 
 
Tru dat!

Jesus is a Rochdale girl??

This song is depressing just like Rochdale, which is filled with the unemployed and heroin addicts.
 Baby_M wrote:
Sounds like Mumford & Sons without the banjo—which is a vast improvement over Mumford & Sons with the banjo.
 
Comment of the Month Award Winner!

Pleasing...8
{#Sleep}
 Xstar wrote:

Exactly.  Don't you get it?  {#Ask}
 
Probably not. I've had to mute the song halfway through before I was claimed by the arms of Morpheus {#Sleep}. I'll have a look at the lyrics to see if there's owt revealing.

Elbow are definitely flavour of the year in the UK with rave reviews and big spreads in the quality Press, and kudos to them for sticking it out in the doldrums for so long before hitting the bigtime, but I've just never 'got' their sound :(


The soft acoustic guitar and the mellow melody match the soft nostalgia of the the lyrics....
Sounds like Mumford & Sons without the banjo—which is a vast improvement over Mumford & Sons with the banjo.
I hear what sounds like a slot machine sound fx in this.

Maybe that is what they were going for...?
The album title reminds me of these guys:
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3271649

 ambrebalte wrote:

How beautifully put! I love this song. Thank you
 
Thanks!  I love this song, too...

 
 romeotuma wrote:


Yup...  the intended meaning of this song is definitely about the existential reality of getting older...  it is a wistful expression of the carefree days of youth, when a teenager has little to worry about, compared to an older adult...

this sort of expression is common in art...  for example, in the movie American Beauty, an older adult tries to recapture his carefree days of youth, and he winds up dying as a result of it...  the theme of the movie is that there's no going back...

of course, a plebe who is unfamiliar with art might miss the meaning in this song that paradise is youth—  "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl"...  for an unsophisticated plebe, the meaning of this song might go WHOOSH right over his head...


 
 
How beautifully put! I love this song. Thank you
 fredriley wrote:
This is duller than Rochdale on a wet Sunday afternoon, and believe me that's dull! For those outwith England, Rochdale is a declining mill town in the North famous as the birthplace of the Cooperative movement, so that's one interesting thing about it. I'm pretty sure that this song won't put it on the map, though.
 
Exactly.  Don't you get it?  {#Ask}
This is duller than Rochdale on a wet Sunday afternoon, and believe me that's dull! For those outwith England, Rochdale is a declining mill town in the North famous as the birthplace of the Cooperative movement, so that's one interesting thing about it. I'm pretty sure that this song won't put it on the map, though.
 romeotuma wrote:


Yup...  the intended meaning of this song is definitely about the existential reality of getting older...  it is a wistful expression of the carefree days of youth, when a teenager has little to worry about, compared to an older adult...

this sort of expression is common in art...  for example, in the movie American Beauty, an older adult tries to recapture his carefree days of youth, and he winds up dying as a result of it...  the theme of the movie is that there's no going back...

of course, a plebe who is unfamiliar with art might miss the meaning in this song that paradise is youth—  "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl"...  for an unsophisticated plebe, the meaning of this song might go WHOOSH right over his head...


 
 

Great post Romeo.  More like this.
 Misterfixit wrote:
Wonder if Garvey is any kin to Marcus?

 
...or not

 labjohn wrote:

A wonderful album and captures life like a painting.  


 

I agree...  and that is a succinct description...  love this song...



A wonderful album and captures life like a painting.  


 lemmoth wrote:
Better song with same repeating sung melody line

Bowie's I have not been to "Oxford Town."

Yes very Bowie!
 


I find myself liking this. One has to appreciate sparse music that has impact.



This song is cool...  love it...


Better song with same repeating sung melody line

Bowie's I have not been to "Oxford Town."
 ziakut wrote:
My 10 year old daughter wrote this song title and artist on the desk calendar near my computer. A few days later it had a few stars next to the title...then a few days after that...it said..."Dad, please get this song...ok?" I'm gonna have to do this...if I wanna be a good dad. Besides, I like this too. I guess it's pretty obvious that my daughter and I listen to RP regularly.

 

That is so cool!   {#Sunny}   You should listen to your daughter more often!!    
Their album The Seldom Seen Kid is one of my favorite albums of all time.

I can understand why some people just don't get these guys. They can be very restrained and understated, but there is amazing power lurking just below the surface.

I find them fascinating.


Keyboard sounds remind me of Mr. Rogers neighborhood and that is not a good thing....
Smooth,...just perfect for sitting on the flybridge watching the sun set into the mangroves.
Well, I like the song title.
Tender, sweet and gorgeous. If this song was a pastry, I would eat it in one bite.
Sorry, for all their sophistication, clever chord progression and deep, meaningful lyrics (which I'm not saying they don't have), I find Elbow really, really boring. 
Wonder if Garvey is any kin to Marcus?

I think what I like best about Elbow and Guy Garvey is there wide range of their arrangements and Mr Garvey sometimes holding back on that strong voice of his and just telling a tale(like he does here).
Beautiful......build a rocket boys!!!!
 malvey254 wrote:

Hmmm... not what I would call dancing music.  Maybe if you said you were sipping tea on a rocking chair on a porch....
 


We be slow-dancing...  love it...

 

 Dave_Mack wrote:
Either that or a Jersey girl.

I like that delay effect on the electric piano.

 

Yes. I couldn't figure out how to describe it...  makes trying to tap your toes with the beat a little strange... very refreshing and surprising.
Damn, I just realized I'd nodded off at my desk.
Either that or a Jersey girl.

I like that delay effect on the electric piano.

Yay, I'm from Rochdale!
Elbow are from the town about 6 mile down the road
That is all
My 10 year old daughter wrote this song title and artist on the desk calendar near my computer. A few days later it had a few stars next to the title...then a few days after that...it said..."Dad, please get this song...ok?" I'm gonna have to do this...if I wanna be a good dad. Besides, I like this too. I guess it's pretty obvious that my daughter and I listen to RP regularly.

 romeotuma wrote:


We be dancing...  love it...

 
 
Hmmm... not what I would call dancing music.  Maybe if you said you were sipping tea on a rocking chair on a porch....
I could probably listen to this song about five times. Unfortunately, this is the tenth time.
 romeotuma wrote:

Yup...  a list of the priorities of youth...  his youth was paradise...  bingo...  thanks for posting this...

 
  He's wrong...that's not what the song is about!


 ptooey wrote:
RE: the lyrics.  Let's ask Guy, shall we?

Amazing song, amazing lyrics, amazing band.
 


Yup...  a list of the priorities of youth...  his youth was paradise...  bingo...  thanks for posting this...



 
RE: the lyrics.  Let's ask Guy, shall we?

Amazing song, amazing lyrics, amazing band.




We be dancing...  love it...

 
this was a great read, everyone. thanks!
After a few playings, I have grown to love the album. Initially I thought this was one of the "weaker" songs but now I can't get it out of my head. One question somebody may be able to answer.
Why is just about every song on the album built on either a pedal bass or a pedal point?
Thanks


Yup...  the intended meaning of this song is definitely about the existential reality of getting older...  it is a wistful expression of the carefree days of youth, when a teenager has little to worry about, compared to an older adult...

this sort of expression is common in art...  for example, in the movie American Beauty, an older adult tries to recapture his carefree days of youth, and he winds up dying as a result of it...  the theme of the movie is that there's no going back...

of course, a plebe who is unfamiliar with art might miss the meaning in this song that paradise is youth—  "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl"...  for an unsophisticated plebe, the meaning of this song might go WHOOSH right over his head...


 


I rather think that you commenters trying to pick out the hidden meaning of this song have missed the point.

It goes like this. . .

When he was young he had a girl. She lived in a run down area. They had 45 cd's to play. They shagged under a single yellow dovet. The room only had one light. His 'religion' was shagging his Rochdale girl (which is a grim northern England town) and was thus his Jesus. He was allowed to smoke in the house. . . which means he invited his mates around because when he was young - finding somewhere to smoke is a luxury as generally you could not smoke in your own home. This was the first of many boxes (of life) that needed ticking. . . 

Job done.  

 unclehud wrote:

And they found me full of myself / And bloody-minded will
And as yet a box to fill / And as yet a box to fill
 
The headstrong youth with an unyielding will for the first couplet of the last verse.  And the final couplet indciates he hasn't completed his checklist.  (As a young man, he hasn't yet come to grips with the concept that every desirable goal will not be achieved.)

"They found me."  Does that signify the supposed opinion of all his friends that came to visit?  Or perhaps something more morbid?

 
Oh, I think it's just Garvey commenting on his younger self in that first line. I know that I was quite definitely full of myself at that point in my life and I'm pretty sure that. I guess the second line could be considered a bit morbid. The "box to fill" here is, I think, different than the "boxes to tick" - i.e. it's a coffin. A box all here have yet to fill ;-)

—MDG 

Interesting interpretations, all.
  
I can easily see the Rochdale girl representing Jesus, as there were two or three girls/women that represented "salvation" during the ten years it took me to get out of college.

A single yellow duvet / A single switch to flick
But a thousand boxes yet to tick / A thousand boxes yet to tick
 
This probably represents the simplicity of his life - one bed, one light switch, perhaps only one room - but with so many things left on the list of things to accomplish.
 
And they found me full of myself / And bloody-minded will
And as yet a box to fill / And as yet a box to fill
 
The headstrong youth with an unyielding will for the first couplet of the last verse.  And the final couplet indciates he hasn't completed his checklist.  (As a young man, he hasn't yet come to grips with the concept that every desirable goal will not be achieved.)

"They found me."  Does that signify the supposed opinion of all his friends that came to visit?  Or perhaps something more morbid?

Personally, I don't see religion in this at all.


Nice tune.  Interesting take, here, on the lyrics.
 scmerriam wrote:
And Jesus is a Rochdale girl
And forty-five CDs
Got a house that you can smoke in
So all my friends found me

As much as I have been able to gather, the songwriter had lost his Christian faith and was generally depressed.

 
I don't know Garvey's faith, but I don't think you can really infer a loss of it. I think he is using Christ in a metaphorical sense as is common in songs nowadays.The singer is reminiscing in a slightly maudlin way about his youth. When you're just out of school, have your own place, a girl, some good music, and friends around, that is your everything, your "all-sufficiency". Looking back he can see a little more objectively the stolen shopping carts and general squalor of the place. But there is still, and will always be, the nostalgia of being that "brand new adult" with nothing holding you in place, no reason to look back, always facing forward to the future wondering what it will hold.

The 21yr old that is still left in me can truly relate - been there, done that!  However, the 38yr old now very much prefers my wonderful wife, always-surprising toddler son, good job, and comfortable house. 


 scmerriam wrote:

As much as I have been able to gather, the songwriter had lost his Christian faith and was generally depressed. His girlfriend, who may have been "a Rochdale girl" (Rochdale apparently being a nearby girls school), became his "savior" or, put it a little differently, his "Jesus." Apparently he was living in a rather squalid house, and not doing very well. His girlfriend would come over and play music, as in "forty-five CDs," for him, and so became a saving bright spot in his life.

Nice tribute, but there are other interpretations possible.

 


I see this song as thematically existential...  almost everything described in the lyrics is empty materialism...  the man is lonely, and trapped in his existential solitude...  I think this is great writing— very poetic— and the great music matches the mood...

EDIT—  A spokesman for the band said— "The girl is a friend from the past who Guy used to know, and whose house the band used to go to. The song is about Guy's memory of his teenage years in Bury and Rochdale and the girl was a friend of his. When he was 17 or 18 they used to hang around together."

I still see the existential meaning...  the song was written at his current age—  not during his youth—  and his present perception of his youth in the past displays current existential theme for the emotive impact of the song's meaning...

the repetition of the first person pronouns in the lyrics characterizes existential isolation...  the description of youth is wistful...  the music is soft and sad to match—  the music is not rock music power chords that celebrate the joy and energy of youth...  the dude has got the existential blues in his middle age...

just my opinion...  I like this song a lot...
 



Lyrics first and then my conjecture on their meaning.

I have a drop-leaf window
With cats and broken yards
Sunflowers and paint cans
And stolen shopping carts

And nothing to be proud of
And nothing to regret
All of that to make as yet
All of that to make as yet

I have a single heartbreak
I celebrate and mourn
A single shining sister
And all the tricks of dawn

A single yellow duvet
A single switch to flick
But a thousand boxes yet to tick
A thousand boxes yet to tick

And Jesus is a Rochdale girl
And forty-five CDs
Got a house that you can smoke in
So all my friends found me

And they found me full of myself
And bloody-minded will
And as yet a box to fill
And as yet a box to fill

As much as I have been able to gather, the songwriter had lost his Christian faith and was generally depressed. His girlfriend, who may have been "a Rochdale girl" (Rochdale apparently being a nearby girls school), became his "savior" or, put it a little differently, his "Jesus." Apparently he was living in a rather squalid house, and not doing very well. His girlfriend would come over and play music, as in "forty-five CDs," for him, and so became a saving bright spot in his life.

Nice tribute, but there are other interpretations possible.



I really loved Elbow's "Seldom Seen Kid" and was excited to get this new album.  "Build a Rocket, Boys!", the title track, is amazing.  I can't say that "Jesus is a Rochdale Girl" is indicative of the entire album but I love it.  The whole thing.  Elbow is fantastic.  I've found a lot of good groups by listening to Radio Paradise and Elbow is certainly one of 'em.  If I had to list my top faves that I found here, they'd have to be Elbow, Tom Baxter, Snow Patrol, The Decemberists and the crew from Gomez.  Of those, I have to agree with the previous poster that Elbow is the most sophisticated — it's also the most melancholy (wistful?)  Maybe there is a connection there somewhere.
Because I'm curious, I did a little Googling:  Rochdale is an independent Muslim day school for girls in suburban Manchester.  {edit: in agreement with fredriley's comment below.}  And that's the extent of my understanding these lyrics.

Any help?


Sophisticated stuff...  I am in awe...  love it...

 
...hey, i like this!..
I've never really 'got' Elbow.I know that this album was very well reviewed in the UK Press and is considered to be the dog's bollox, but it's just aural sedative to these ears. I do like the song title, though :o) (for non-UK folk, Rochdale is a declining mill town in Greater Manchester, and pretty, erm, 'down to earth'.

I liked the last CD, looking forward to this one.
Didn't know they had a new album.  Song just started but I want to be the first to post as I never have been....and I love Elbow by the way.  They are great live!