Radiohead download tribute to late WWI veteran Harry Patch

Posted: 6th August 2009

Today saw the launch of a brand new track as a download by Radiohead, their first new material for some time. The song has been released to co-incide with the passing away of the last remaining First World War veteran and is entitled "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" and is available only from their WASTE website for just £1.

Thom Yorke was inspired to instigate the song's inception after hearing an emotional interview with Patch on Radio 4 and was so moved by the experience that he conjured up some lyrics to go with some Jonny Greenwood strings.

I can reveal that it is a very pretty, swirling soundtrack that befits the man's courage and emotions felt during such a cataclysmic war. At 111 years old, he represented longevity and this has obviously appealed to Yorke and Greenwood with, what is, a very moving orchestral piece with evocative yet respectful words - "I have seen hell upon this Earth, the next will be chemical but will they learn?". It tugs the heart like Gavin Bryars' "Jesus Blood......" epic some 25 years previous.

It is unlikely this track will appear on any subsequent album so be quick. All proceeds go to the Foreign Legion fund.

Paul Pledger