Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Radiohead Has a New Song: "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)"

(Photo courtesy the BBC.)

Stop the (metaphorical) presses — there's a new Radiohead song this morning. "Harry Patch (In Memory Of)" is a tribute the namesake, the last surviving British World War 1 veteran, who died recently at age 111.

Thom Yorke — who's been all about new music lately, see: his Mark Mulchay cover, "All For the Best," and "The Present Tense," which he premiered during a surprise set at last month's Latitude festival — was inspired to write the song after hearing a radio interview with Patch. Yorke took to deadairspace and wrote:

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.

Fittingly, "Harry Patch" is a somber tune, with a lush Jonny Greenwood string arrangement, and Yorke's desperate vocals. Take a listen here:

Then, go purchase the song at for £1. It's for a good cause, as all proceeds benefit the British Legion.

With all this new material from Yorke, does this mean a new Radiohead album could be closer than we expect? We're not sure, but remember, we had no idea In Rainbows was coming out. Then, on Oct. 1, Radiohead made a surprise announcement — 10 days later, it was on our hard drives.

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