Harry Patch (In Memory Of)

Album: Not Released on an Album (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is a tribute to Harry Patch, who was the last surviving World War I veteran to fight in the trenches until his death on July 25, 2009, aged 111 years, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day.
  • Frontman Thom Yorke wrote on Radiohead's Dead Air Space website that the song was inspired by "a very emotional interview with him" in 2005 on the Today program on BBC Radio 4. He added: "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."
  • The song was recorded live in an abbey and the strings were arranged by guitarist and keyboard player Jonny Greenwood. It is similar to Greenwood's score for the movie There Will Be Blood, except it features Yorke singing lyrics either inspired by or previously spoken by Harry Patch himself.
  • The song was sold through Radiohead's online store for the price of £1 (about $1.70), with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion.

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