New Radiohead track “Harry Patch (In Memory Of)”

by Jonathan on August 5, 2009

Thom and Jonny

Radiohead have released a new song today in tribute to the late Harry Patch, who was the last living British World War I veteran to fight in the trenches until his death on July 25th at the ripe old age of 111. Thom was moved by an interview Patch gave a couple of years ago and was inspired to write a song. He writes on DAS:

“i am the only one that got through
the others died where ever they fell
it was an ambush
they came up from all sides
give your leaders each a gun and then let them fight it out themselves
i’ve seen devils coming up from the ground
i’ve seen hell upon this earth
the next will be chemical but they will never learn”

Recently the last remaining UK veteran of the 1st world war Harry Patch died at the age of 111.
I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio4.
The way he talked about war had a profound effect on me.
It became the inspiration for a song that we happened to record a few weeks before his death.
It was done live in an abbey. The strings were arranged by Jonny.
I very much hope the song does justice to his memory as the last survivor.

It would be very easy for our generation to forget the true horror of war, without the likes of Harry to remind us.
I hope we do not forget.

As Harry himself said
“Irrespective of the uniforms we wore, we were all victims”.

This morning the Today program played the song for the first time and now it is available to download from our website.

Please click here to download.

The proceeds of this song will go to the British Legion.

To peace and understanding.

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  • pantrus

    i bet you guys were ashame of the comments . . . sometimes its better to make them blup blup blup _no more comments ____

    great beautiful work as RdhD does .

    i’ve seen hell upon this earth
    the next will be chemical but they will never learn” [ i don t think that deserves comments about thom’s voice ] [ wich is of course beautiful as usual . . . you guys please slow down . . .

  • Jude Smith

    Does anyone know how I can get a message to the band? Harry was my great granddad and I’d like to get a message to them…?

  • Jason Murray

    I think this sounds a bit similar to “Melatonin” in some ways.

  • PsychedelicRonin

    Great news.

    And I laughed my brain off because of thom in that pic, just have a look.

  • tricia

    i think the song is beautiful

  • tony piao

    Melatonin????? By Silversun pickups??? WTF

  • dole

    Also here in its entirety but the poor quality is barely worth it. Doing it a disservice, really.

  • giuliana

    um. or “melatonin” by RADIOHEAD

  • h_e_n_r_y

    What an ugly song…

    [I’m in shock. I feel like my dad just lost a fist fight or something…]

  • first impression…not so great. it will take some time to grow on me. oh well, it’s all about the “giving” and not the “receiving”, right? who am I kidding…I got jipped!

  • a

    You people are crazy. This is gorgeous. I’ve been wanting them to do something like this for a while now.

  • geoff

    this song is beautiful, can’t anyone respect some good orchestra strings? and i agree with jason murray (above), it reminds me of melatonin in a lot of ways as well.

  • Tara

    kinda pitchy dawg

  • Dave

    What a perfect song makes you think..johnny can just make anything happen

  • hardeep singh bhachu

    Ethereal, entrancing and exquisite, a fitting tribute to Harry Patch, wonder if he ever had one of Baldrick’s coffees!

  • Mark

    Absolutely beautiful strings, especially around the 2 and a half – 3 minute mark. I would seriously love an entirely string-based album from Radiohead. Jonny is just incredible, there’s no other member of a band out there I can think of who’s capable of writing & arranging like this.

    But why the hell did Thom have to sing it like he’s suffered a stroke? It’s probably the most serious subect he’s ever dealt with but there were a couple of moments in there where he sounded so ridiculous I actually laughed out loud. I don’t think Nigel Godrich or the rest of Radiohead even bother listening to his voice any more. Using Patch’s words was a nice idea but it didn’t work very well with the music IMO.

    Oh well, it was certainly heartfelt and the money’s going to a great cause. So buy this track, don’t download it for free!

  • Steve

    Something that I put together based on this.

  • OK, so some do not like the “strings”…Now I am not comparing to G N’ R, but November Rain was/is beautifully orchestrated song. Done right it works very well, a change of pace is not always bad IMO.

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