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It's like a particularly pretentiouis and rubbish 15 year old's contribution to a poetry contest:
I'm going to start using "pretentiouis" from now on.
makes this whole thread look pretty silly.
But there's still been a conscious creative decision of how to arrange them - I think the words are nowhere near as powerful as they do in the context of the original interview.
The way they're arranged they've basically become a collection of slogans and soundbites which I think weakens them significantly.
Given that it's something I'm actually interested in and read upon a lot on, and have heard and read various accounts from the frontline, the fact they looked more to me like Radiohead lyrics than memories and anecdotes does show to me that they've been arranged in a certain way that fits more in with Thom Yorke as an artist than Harry Patch as an ex-soldier.
I mean I know it's meant as a tribute and I know most people, on DiS or elsewhere won't see it this way, but I find something a bit unsettling about cutting up the words of a recently-dead man and arranging them in a way that makes your own point about what you believe was important about his memories, so that a lot of people will remember his words in the context which you've decided to put them in rather than the context in which he said them.
I mean alright if people think it's a lovely tribute but it's paying tribute to someone on your own terms rather than their own terms and making your own political decision about what standpoint you think his personal views on the war should convey.
I mean I know Patch obviously said them, and I don't think the context Yorke's put them in is radically different to the context in which Patch meant them but it's still an edited view of someone's opinions suited to the point of view of the person who wrote them. There's something about that I'm honestly a bit uncomfortable with.
"but it's still an edited view of someone's opinions suited to the point of view of the person who wrote them."
This is just what every historian does when using evidence to back up a point.
I haven't heard it yet, no. I might listen later - can't say I'm enthused though.
a limmerick goes down better when paying tribute to a fallen hero
he's a west country lad, none of that mild rubbish here. Cider all the way.
Those are some dodgy lyrics. Maybe they sound deep with the music over them, I dunno...
with 'War is Over' and 'Imagine' under his lyrical belt.
That said Macca DID write the Frog Chorus so maybe people are just grateful for how bad it could have been.
poets and song writers are different things.
A horrible self-indulgent hour-long mess of a multi-millionare rock star whining about shit his life is. Apart from Working-Class Hero the whole things horrific.
The thing with Lennon though is he writes protest songs quite well - he keeps them simple, to the point and understandable. When Yorke wrote his anti-Iraq war song (Harrowdown Hill) you needed to have a knowledge of the geography of Oxfordshire to know what the hell he was on about. Which sort of deflated the impact a bit.
A lot of people seem to see it as him proclaiming and celebrating his "working class hero" status whereas its absolutely anything but.
It was a song about something that happened.
I don't think it really mattered that you had to have a clue what he was on about. Thom Yorke's hardly the peoples' hero, is he? I think that album had an audience and that song played to them.
I don't think you need to know that much about Oxford to realise Harrowdown Hill is a political song: Harrowdown was where the body of David Kelly was found, init?
But my point was unless you know Harrowdown Hill was where the body was found (I'm guessing most don't, and those that do only do so because they really really follow news o rbecause it was explained in reviews of the song) you'd lose what the rest of the song was about.
a 'protest song' doesn't need a formula does it?
it doesn't need to have a catchy melody for the masses or nursery rhyme lyrics.
it's making a point, whether you feel it's conveyed in an elitist way or not is entirely irrelevant.
I mean I accept Theo's point that it might not be a protest song per se, which is fine. But if you actually do want to protest about something you do sort of need to tell people what it is.
whether or not the protest is veiled or not is beside the point.
it doesn't need to be blatant. if a little bit of work is needed from the listener then it doesn't diffuse the final statement. if anything i think it makes it stronger.
A protest song actually does have to be clear in its message, otherwise it isn't a protest song.
It might be a political song but it isn't a protest song. A protest song is highlighting a cause and bringing attention to it, in order to raise awareness.
Imagine a demo where nobody actually made clear what the demo was about. It wouldn't work would it?
"What's this all about?"
"I don't know. Someone smash up that bank!"
but awareness is subjective isn't it?
thom yorke is in the privileged position whereby he has sold millions of records. if he released a series of hand-claps with spoken word on literary programmes in honduras, it would sell and therefore raise awareness. just because harrowdown hill is slightly elitist in it's methods doesn't make it any weaker as a protest.
also, the line between a protest song and a political song is extremely thin i feel. if you decide to write a song and take a certain political stance, surely that is a protest?
The lyrics might not be particularly great, but it works as a whole. The string arrangement is beautiful.
Still, I prefer Radiohead when they're a bit more 'punchy'. I'm going to listen to Down is the New Up.
my point was more, your bored and posting random shit to provoke. But then its a forum, thats your MO and you're fully entitled to !
Do your worst.
I hate this argument.
Thom Yorke puts himself forward as a singer/songwriter and puts himself in the public domain to be judged on this. Bamnan does not (though he does admittedly put himself in the public domain to be judged on his internet posts). Therefore there is absolutely no reason why Bamnam should need to prove to be better at singing/songwriting than Thom Yorke in order to criticise him.
That's not to say I agree with Bamnam's criticism (I'd say "decent but over-rated" rather than "talentless") but I don't understand why people would believe he'd need to produce a better piece of work to be entitled to an opinion.
I was trying to highlight how levelling a criticism such as 'talentless' is pretty weak coming from some who hasn't achieved anything when directed as someone who is one of the most celebrated musicians of the last 20 years.
It make Bamnan seem jelous and childish, and that his opinion is based on his constant need to be noticed rather than his actual subjective opinion on radiohead songs. I'd bet that if Radiohead were some obscure indie-label band he'd love them.
in much the same way as, say, nothing would make pocketmouse believe that frozen bread is not SICK AND WRONG and for MORONS.
but it doesn't take into account the fact that people who make the effort to create something deserve a little respect, not for the work but for the effort they have put in. bamnan's criticisms go beyond an appraisal of the man's work and actually get quite personal, and once you get to the level of personal insults the charatcer of the person making the criticisms definitely comes into question. bamnan has every right to offer an assessment of piece of art, but personal insults are going to be answered in kind.
People take their down decision to create things, and good for them if they want to do it. But they don't deserve any praise or respect for it at all.
If they're good they deserve praise and respect but the idea that people deserve respect for indulging their own egos by releasing music and doing gigs is nonsense.
thom yorke does not deserve to be privilaged anything simply because he's chosen to put work out into the world, but neither does he deserve to personally attacked for that same reason. it is not reasonable to conflate a persons art and their character, unless they are overtly political which thom yorke's work isn't it speaks.
more than that, if someone launches a personal attack on someone then they can expect to have their character and lifestyle scrutinised in return. it doesn't take away their right to hold an opinion, but they should accept that it opens them up to criticism in return.
but you must accept that by voicing them you are opening yourself up to attack in exactly the same way. once you stray away from reviewing his records and start offering views on him as a person then you make the issue personal.
in fact, you are encouraging someone else, like guttersnip to ask what the hell have you ever done with your life. you're very keen to throw stones at others, and to whine all over these forums that you're lonely and no one fancies you, and to peddle a brand of humour that borders on the grossly offensive - what on earth makes you think that someones assement of your character and behaviour wouldn't be ten times more damning?
because frankly it's kind of pathetic. sean always comments about how negative these forums are but i generally don't find that. critical discussion of a musicina or a band is basically always beneficial in my view, even if it tends towards the negative, but i do have a problem with someone personally criticising an artist in blanket terms. it's shallow and cheap and a genuine music fan should be capable of better.
charming. and again we come back to the issue of who the fuck are you to start throwing vile generalisations at, well, whole groups of people now.
you are a whiny snivelling little child who likes to throw swear words and crass opinions around to make himself appear more macho. you are transparent and quite entirely unlikeable, and i suggest you take a long hard look at yourself.
one minute you're saying you prefer hugs to sex, the next you're making decidedly off colour rape jokes. either you've got a borderline personality disorder or you're putting on a pretty rubbish front. either way you're a pathetic excuse for a human being as far as i can see.
and i'll calm down when you stop taking cheap shots at people, get some basic manners, and ideally a decent critical vocabulary.
or at least take it to PMs/another thread? This is like having two kids squabbling during a funeral service. Poor Harry Patch did not deserve this kind of treatment.
"nobody loves me..." whatever.
They're Harry Patch's own words if I recall correctly, taken from the interview that moved Yorke to write the song.
And chosen which sentences to use etc. In the original context I'm sure they were fine, interesting and insightful. It's just arranged into vague fragments in a way that makes it look a bit pretentious and doesn't really work, for me at least.
is the "give the leaders a gun" line.
other than that i really like the simplicity of it all.
The some of the most awful, pretentious, mis-anthropic shit ever uttered. No balance what so ever, just a bunch of numpties moaning about the horrors of wars they've never come anywhere near experiencing. Some of them really wind me up, especially since I feel the war in Afganistan is morally pretty legitimate.
In particular the one by claire shaw that plays uses imagary of dead iraqi children is disgusting. These people are prepared to play on anything when they can call it art...
And I do agree with you. Even with Iraq, which I didn't agree with, the argument's constantly over-simplified to imply it's just these nasty bullying Americans who wander in and start killing little Iraqi children and overlook the fact that
a) Even without a War, some of those kids would have grown up to be tortured, raped or killed by the Baath'ist regime for saying or doing the wrong thing, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
b) Most civilian deaths in Iraq have been at the hands of militants, not American soldiers.
But it's much easier and more emotive to keep to America as the sole bad guy so we can shake our heads in liberal guilt about what terrible Imperialist bastards our leads are.
although you articulated better than I could manage. Thanks.
'you had to be there' type arrangement.
something dead clunky about those
I do think you have to have something to say beyond "ooh, isn't war awful? Aren't all those deaths terrible? Wouldn't it be nice if people didn't fight wars" 'Cos that sort of stuff's already been covered ad nauseum.
before making a judgment. I think it's an honourable thing to do and a lovely tribute.
This forum is depressing sometimes.
if it's true those were the mans own words and yorke has just shuffled them around...didn't realise that.....and the thirty second clip of the music sounds quite beautiful
sounded like a pretty impromptu thing after hearing the interview. Then he probably thought, 'I'll put that on the website'.
and as a poem I don't think it's that good. OK it's Patch's words shuffled round but I don't think their arranged that well and I think, whilst the simplicity's good, I think it could have been done far better - I'm sure Patch's words speak for themselves and dont' really need to rearranged into soundbites. And in my defence it does seem that there've been a lot of poems about Harry Patch in the last week or so so I'm not sure another voice doing that is needed.
I now accept it's a song, which I can't listen to the music on my work computer, so I perhaps could have waited 'til tomorrow before starting this thread. But the fact that something's a honourable thing to do, and a tribute, does not actually invalidate it from criticism.
Yes, I was premature in judging it on lyrics alone but everybody means well - it doesn't always mean their art is particularly good.
You were so keen to criticise it, you didn't even bother to read the story or listen to the song. You know, sometimes it's fun to bag things out but it's also nice, once in a while to give credit where it's due too.
Personally, the string arrangement is beautiful but the vocals aren't quite as successful. I love the sentiment though.
I didn't so much not bother to listen to the song but fail to spot its existence.
I sometimes give credit where it's due. I'm yet to be convinced in this case it is due. OK, I've waded in with my opinion without knowing the facts but the facts I now know are yet to convince me of the invalidity of my opinion.
Even without hearing the song (with its beautiful string arrangement), Radiohead have used Harry Patch's own words to make a respectful tribute song to him, which they're selling for £1 and giving the profits to the British Legion. Harry Patch deffo didn't deserve that kind of treatment.
I'm not disputing the validity of the gesture, just whether the piece of art in question is any good. I still think the words are clumsily arranged - maybe when I hear the string arrangement I'll change my midn.
Maybe repeated listens will change that, though.
Hale and Pace? what has that got to do with the price of eggs?
Misdirection won't help here. You've been a bit of a boob so just pipe down and think if it's all been worth your blustering for.
I'd have thought that was a fairly straigthforward point.
that's a completely different context with an entirely different sentiment. don't be such a bonehead.
Please do listen to the interview that's linked to on that page, and perhaps you'll feel differently about this all.
The one with Harry Patch I think I've heard before - obviously not recently enough to immediately recgonise the words as being his words but I'm familiar with the sentiment - and can't see how it'd make me feel differently. I'm obviously familiar with what went on in World War I and do recognise the value of being making tributes to people who fought and keeping the memory of what happened alive - I just don't particularly like the way Yorke's arranged the words together.
If there's an interview with Thom Yorke explaining his intent which you're referring to but I can't see then I might listen to it later along with the song. I'd be surprised if I changed my mind but I don't mind giving it a go.
it's primarily a tribute, and a very respectful one at that. Yes, the proceeds are going to charity but that doesn't make it comparable.
Nobody at any point said it was a comedy fundraising song.
has always been a bit rubbish though, with the odd exception
The music tends to be good enough to detract from the flaws but I've always found him a bit vague and suspected he writes in quite a non-direct way because he's not entirely clear on what he wants to say.
I actually think a lot of the more direct Pablo Honey stuff (Creep, Thinking About You etc.) is way more interesting and powerful lyrically than his later output.
'I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo'
someone give him the nobel prize!
He has the odd evocative phrase and that's all
I think it's a pretty great lyric about self-loathing in the face of desire and I think most people would agree about that.
He said years earlier (implying pre-Pablo Honey days I think) that he'd been told by someone who really liked their music that his lyrics were far too obvious or something and that lyrics were better if people could attach their own meanings to them.
I can't really understand how anyone could object to his lyrics in general. In Kid A and Amnesiac there are certainly songs that don't have really any coherent lyrics but that is generally strongly tied to the sort of music that was being created.
My Iron Lung is a particularly brilliant piece of lyrical work as (in my opinion) is Lucky, because it's evocative but doesn't hit you on the head with just telling you things. I think he's still a great lyricist.
X is a good lyric.
no it is not.
yes it is.
no it's not.
am i right?
and think long and hard about what you have done
"yes brusma, you're right" then, with absolutely no sarcasm.
thanks, knew i was right.
from every rebuttal...:P
and for the record you'd be right if theo had replied...maybe.
I don't think writing a lot is the same as being a strong lyricist (and the ones I know from those are good). As meths pointed out above, poetry and lyrics aren't the same thing. I don't really think a song like Lithium would really have been as good if the chorus had been actual words instead of 'yeahs'.
Bad lyricists are, of course, annoying but we're not in the field of rhyming toast with ghost here...
quite possibly the worst song on Nevermind.
Yorke isn't the worst by a long way of course, I still do think his songwriting helps cover up some clunkers for the most part, with the odd phrase being good.
I like singing the chorus of Karma Police loudly cos it's ace and unadorned. The rest...ouch.
The main exception is The Bends. Most of his lyrics are okish on that
I actually think there's a real skill in writing direct lyrics and that "letting people attach their own meanings" often means being obscure to the pont of being meaningless.
I don't object to his lyrics per se but I also don't think he's a strong lyricist either - I certainly don't think he's so bad as to ruin the songs but I do think music, rather than lyrics, are tha band's strongpoint. I also think he's inspired a lot of people to write obscure lyrics, quite badly. Ev
*Wonder if it was Michael Stipe?
It kind of depends on what you're comparing him to lyrically, though.
For example someone like Nick Cave is a very dense lyricist but I don't think Radiohead's music would ever suit that because it's not so 'groove' based. And equally there are singer-songwriters who've written stuff that is pretty boring musically because they're thinking more about the lyrics. Thom manages to be in an area between the two.
And yeah, any successful band is responsible for a host of crappy imitators but that doesn't mean the original isn't good.
And I do agree that Yorke's lyrics to for the Radiohead songs and a different approach might not be so successful. I just disagree when he's seen as a deep and complex brilliant lyricist when basically what he does is evocative and unobtrusive, which is appropriate, but not spectacular. I think a lot of the time the strength of Radiohead's music means Yorke's lyrics get more praise than they're really due.
I think he can be deep and he can be complex and brilliant but I wouldn't just pull any song out of the hat for that, you'd have to look at specific ones.
I think otherwise there's also nothing wrong with evocative, which I'd say is a lot of what poetry should be about. (Even if it wasn't meant to be, e.g. I don't understand Shakespeare on a literal level at lot of the time because his use of English is so weird but equally it's very clear what he means.)
You fuckers always find something to moan about. About ANYTHING.
You've got the power. Make it so!
mahone has gone this crazy! I want his surname.
If you read the thread Theo linked to you'll see that I posted in it.
I doubt you would be persisting with your critisism of the lyrics. For a start you can't hardly even make them out in the song, and also, as lyrics, I think there's no problem with them at all. In fact, I like them.
I think it's a moving tribute and a very worthwile thing to do.
Nice idea/sentiment though.
but not as good as that Miracle Legion cover he does.
but replace 'sentiment' with 'pr stunt'
Why are you all so cynical?
It's so depressing on here the majority of the time.
It got them the number 2 place on the BBC website.
/life does that!
If its a PR stunt at all it is to get some money to a worthwhile charity that alot of people wouldn't have otherwise given.
I have no problem with that at all.
The fact that you take issue with that idea is even fucking sadder.
I'm still not hugely comfortable with it for various reasons I've put on this thread but, as people, say Radiohead don't really need to do a PR stunt - they're hardly desperate for some good press...
don't be a chump
of ONE RADIOHEAD STORY PER HOUR OR YOUR MONEY BACK?
No, me neither.
man writes song in tribute, sells to raise money for worthwhile cause, someone doesnt liek the words used, person then claims man in question "did not deserve this"
quite right, the abject horror of what has been perpetrated in his name is too much to bear!
someone go get this yorke character before he causes further distress
It's a fitting tribute, and a lovely song, even if Thom's vocals are slightly 'screechy'
Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet. You might be right.
Any criticism like that above welcome. Do your worst ;-)
I received this email today from waste.co.uk.
Harry Patch (In Memory Of)
'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'
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".
Recently the Today program played the song for the first time and now it is available to download from our website.
Please go to http://download.waste.uk.com to download the song
The proceeds of this song will go to the British Legion.
To peace and understanding.
They could have written songs about any kind of fashionable causes which would endear them to all you hipsters however they sing in tribute to an elderly war vet and donate the cash to the British Legion. People this takes great big swinging balls and is exactly what you should do if you're the most popular rock band on the planet.