The English Language Roses and Overturned Ashtrays Cover Art

Roses and Overturned Ashtrays

Single by The English Language • August 25, 2005

This title has since been deleted from online streaming and store catalogs.

  1. Roses and Overturned Ashtrays 2:23

Produced by Alan Lastufka and Robert Randolph

“Roses and Overturned Ashtrays” is the only single released by my band The English Language. The English Language was a two-piece band featuring Robert Randolph and myself.

“Roses and Overturned Ashtrays” is a spoken word poem that I wrote and performed. Accompanying the reading are my guitar and piano and Robert Randolph’s found object percussion and electric sounds.

This short song is significant for two reasons.

First, the instrumental was used as the score for my first short film, Five Stories.

And second, while initially distributed for free via our website, the single was re-released as DFTBA Records‘ first release in 2008, available at the time on iTunes, AmazonMP3, and other digital outlets.

This was my first commercial music release.


“I think this is great, Alan – I get so many scrappy / lousy demos these days. I like that it’s a big study in texture as focus, or style as substance, or something like that. Really cool. Send more, if there’s more! Thanks for sharing.”

– Chris Walla, producer, songwriter, and former Death Cab for Cutie guitarist


  • “Roses and Overturned Ashtrays” by The English Language (2:23) – This is the original home studio recording, released independently on October 25, 2005.
  • “Roses and Overturned Ashtrays (Instrumental)” – This is an instrumental version of the original home studio recording, with an alternate mix. While not released publicly, it was utilized as the score for my Five Stories short film.
  • “Roses and Overturned Ashtrays” by Alan Lastufka & Robert Randolph (2:28) – This is the DFTBA Records version of the song, released in December of 2008. The band name was dropped and the individual member names were credited instead. The base recording is the same original home studio recording from 2005, but this version featured newly recorded string overdubs.