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Radiohead Release New Song Inspired By WWI Veteran

Song is Available on Band’s Website, With Proceeds Going to Charity

Aug 05, 2009 Radiohead Bookmark and Share

Today Radiohead have made available on their website a brand new song entitled “Harry Patch (In Memory Of),” which was inspired a World War I veteran. Harry Patch passed away on July 25th at the ripe old age of 111 (and 38 days). At the time of his death, Patch was the oldest man in Europe, the last British male to be born in the 1890s, the third oldest man in the world, the last World War I veteran living in Europe, and the last trench veteran of World War I.

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke had heard a radio interview with Patch a few years ago that had touched him. “I had heard a very emotional interview with him a few years ago on the Today program on Radio 4,” Yorke wrote on Radiohead’s website today. “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 [Greenwood]. 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.’”

You can download the song from Radiohead’s website for £1.00. Proceeds will go to the Royal British Legion. The song premiered on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, the very program that broadcast the interview with Patch that inspired Yorke.

The Radiohead website also included the song’s lyrics:

“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”



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