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Harry Patch and Radiohead
August 5, 2009 11:21 AM   Subscribe

We've covered Harry Patch before but as you might know he died recently. Now Radiohead have released a track in tribute to him and the fallen others.
posted by A189Nut (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for this. Beautiful song.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:35 AM on August 5, 2009


Not a Radiohead fan by any stretch, but that was lovely.
posted by jbickers at 11:49 AM on August 5, 2009


darn, i thought this thread was about harry PARTCH. and then i kept going and saw that word "Radiohead" and knew i was in the wrong thread. i do not think harry partch would have enjoyed radiohead (i know i don't)... more pretentious AAA radio... enjoy fb
posted by frankbooth at 12:06 PM on August 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's a video of Harry Patch, 109, at Passchendaele. Asking really old war vets to relive the horrors of war reminds me of an SNL skit with Doug Flutie recounting his Hail Mary pass, except the retelling isn't just repetitive, but painful. The fact he wanted to visit a German graveyard to leave his regards makes it less of a crass news story to pull the heartstrings, but revisiting war sites with survivors still squirks me out.

Here are Thom Yorke's comments on Harry Patch, war in general, and the track:
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".
Interesting to hear piece string music from Radiohead. Thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM on August 5, 2009


Here is the interview that inspired the song. Be warned that it is in RealMedia format.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:45 PM on August 5, 2009


Was coming to post about this on the blue. I heard this this morning, and while not a huge Radiohead fan, thought this was lovely.
Bonus points for the fact Tom Yorke was once a guest producer for BBC Radio 4's Today programme, where this song got its world première. Not sure of the US equivalent, but Today is like ABC Radio's Breakfast programme in Australia.
posted by Megami at 12:50 PM on August 5, 2009


darn, i thought this thread was about harry PARTCH. and then i kept going and saw that word "Radiohead" and knew i was in the wrong thread. i do not think harry partch would have enjoyed radiohead (i know i don't)... more pretentious AAA radio... enjoy fb

Yeah...a composer who built his own instruments and wrote really progressive music would never like a composer who builds his own instruments and writes really progressive music...
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:23 PM on August 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


"... roadsides of poor rotting horses just before apricot sunrise ... the twelve spokes of a stranded artillery piece--a mud clock, a mud zodiac, clogged and crusted as it stood in the sun its many shades of brown. The mud of Flanders gathered into the curd-clumped mildly jellied textures of human shit, piled, duckboarded, trenched and shell-pocked leagues of shit in all directions, not even the poor blackened stump of a tree ..."

lovely tune
posted by mrgrimm at 3:25 PM on August 5, 2009


Harry Patch's death leaves five veterans of WWI in the world. Only three are verified by military records.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_surviving_veterans_of_World_War_I
posted by jefficator at 7:27 AM on August 6, 2009


Not sure of the US equivalent

Morning Edition, though the interviewers are softer, there's no Thought For The Day, only an amusing vignette at the bottom of both hours.

I finally realized what about the song was catching me -- it reminds me a bit of "Sailing By," which seems appropriate since it's so associated with the end of the day on Radio 4.

Beautiful piece.
posted by dw at 3:29 PM on August 7, 2009


So apparently a new radiohead track leaked yesterday: These Are My Twisted Words.
It kinda looks like the band may have leaked it themselves directly to the torrent site.
posted by robinhoudt at 3:08 PM on August 13, 2009


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