Harry Patch (In Memory Of)

As I get my head in the right place for my second Radiohead gig of the week this evening, it occurred to me that the band has played an astonishing number of songs in the first four gigs of the tour so far – something like 40 in total. There have been surprises, from Creep on Monday’s gig (watch the video and hear the gasps of astonishment in the audience in the opening bars), to Climbing Up The Walls the night after.

So I started wondering what song they could play that would really surprise and enthral me.

I think it might be this …



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.


Just to add some context, Harry Patch was the last surviving combat soldier from the First World War. Thom Yorke wrote the song after hearing an interview with him, and the band posted the recording on their website just after his death on 25 July 2009, aged 111 years.

They also posted this:


harry patch


More background on the song is available here and here.

It’s stunning, isn’t it?

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