Remembrance 2022

Today is Remembrance Day, as it has been since the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918, when the Armistice to end World War 1 came into effect, having been signed at 5.45am that morning. I have marked this every year since I began this blog and am doing so again today. I think it is important that we never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our democratic freedoms. I have done so by writing comment pieces and by sharing poetry, but have only once before included some music in my posts: last year, in fact. You will be hearing that one again, but for today’s Remembrance I am also sharing with you some English folk music from recent years, which highlights the importance of our remembering the fallen.

One of my favourite folk bands, who I have seen in concert several times, are Show Of Hands. Back in 2014 they were involved in a project to mark the centenary of the start of WW1, providing some of their own songs, plus the musical backing for an album of poetry read by actors Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton. One of the poems I have regularly quoted is For The Fallen, by Laurence Binyon. Here is their version:

The singer’s voice you can hear on that is Miranda Sykes. To this day I recall turning red as I met her after a show and all I could think to say was “you have a beautiful voice.” I was brought up to tell the truth! [This one doesn’t seem to work in some parts of the world. I’m hoping this alternative link does!]

This next song is one of the band’s own, recorded especially for the album. It is based around the backing music from the previous track, and highlights a sentiment many will have felt through the years:

Same problem with that one, too. Another alternative link – fingers crossed!

There are 34 tracks on that album. It is a very moving listen, and I could play you just about any of them. I’ll share just one more, the album closer, which is based around another Laurence Binyon poem, Requiem, with additional lyrics by the band’s lead vocalist Steve Knightley:

Completing the set of alternative links – – I really hope these work for you!

Another favourite of mine, who I have also seen several times in concert going right back to my uni days, is the wonderful singer-songwriter Ralph McTell. In 2020 he wrote a song called The Unknown Soldier, to commemorate the centenary of the ceremonial funeral that took place on 11.11.1920. The video for this has just been re-released: as he says in the postscript, it is a bit of an epic, but it tells a story that may not be well known now after the passing of 102 years. All proceeds from sales of the record were donated to the Royal British Legion, the leading UK charity providing support for veterans. That story deserves to be remembered, today of all days:

Sunday will see the annual Service and Remembrance Day parades in London and around the country. The main event is televised and I will, as always, be watching – whilst hoping that the World T20 Cricket Cup final finishes in time! The piece of music I played last year and am sharing again is Nimrod, from Sir Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations: it is the one which for me is always the most moving part of that ceremony:

War should never be the answer but, sadly, it often has been throughout history. It is hard to agree that it is the right thing to do, whatever the situation, but that shouldn’t prevent us from giving our thanks to those who have fought for us.


67 thoughts on “Remembrance 2022

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  3. I could only see the last 2 videos but found them moving. In the U.S. we call November 11 Veterans Day and honor all veterans living and deceased, while Memorial Day in May is reserved to honor the deceased. Like others have said here, we should not forget their sacrifice but work to prevent more from having to follow their example.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for watching and commenting. That problem with the first three came up quite quickly, so I added in some links for alternative versions of those songs. They have worked for others so hopefully they will for you too, if you’d like to try. I can promise you they’re worth it – but I would say that, wouldn’t I!

      Your Veterans Day sounds very close to what we do – we remember them on the 11th but our main services are on the nearest weekend: a special memorial concert at the Royal Albert Hall on the Saturday evening, then the official Sunday Remembrance at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, with other events all round the country. You’re so right: we must never forget the sacrifices made for us.

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. Hi Clive, although I wasn’t able to access all of your music clips here I’ve no doubt they were moving. A wonderful tribute to an important date in history. Sad, tragic, senseless wars that took so many innocent lives. Lest we forget. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Ralph McTell song brought tears to my eyes. His voice transports the message straight to the heart.
    When I hear the word war, I instantly think of the saying: Imagine there is war and no one goes. War is the most useless instrument to solve problems. It only creates them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I could only play the last two videos as the others were unavailable here(it)happens sometimes not often…but I loved them both and no we mustn’t forget unfortunately man forgets the horrors of war… time and time again and the innocent suffer the most x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Clive, at some point, someone has to pay for all this stuff. Soldiers and too many civilians pay with their lives. Countries pay with real money and damaged reputation. US debt took off in the first part of this century due to funding war-like actions. Putin could not afford the Ukraine invasion before it started. Now he is looking very inept and foolish. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

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