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4 - 04/06/2019

World War II veteran Jim Radford makes a buzz on the Amazon platform with his folk ballad "The Shores of Normandy"

World War II veteran Jim Radford makes a buzz on the Amazon platform with his folk ballad "The Shores of Normandy"

Nothing to do with "The Ballade de Jim" by French singer Alain Souchon. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the ballad of singer Jim Radford, British folk composer, is a tidal wave on the Internet.



"You who enter, leave all hope"

He is 90 today but his memory is intact and his hell was very real on June 6, 1944. At 15, he sailed on a merchant ship called Empire Larch. He is one of the youngest soldiers to land on the beaches of Normandy. "I became a man the day I saw Normandy for the first time." Together with the crew, he helped build Mulberry Harbor off Arromanches, allowing the Royal Navy to ferry troops, vehicles and supplies for the landing. Shots, shells, rockets. He remembers "brave men who died in the swirling tide of the Normandy coast." He remembers Gold Beach, whose red gold still haunts him today. He remembers sons, brothers, men who will not come back ... all those comrades who stormed the gates of hell on June 6, 1944.


Back to the roots

In the 70's, Jim Radford returns to Arromanches. When he sees the beach in peace under the onslaught of children and sandcastles, the emotion is intense and he decides to write his song. The memories come out, the experience is painful but the duty of memory imposes itself in a nostalgic and proud ballad. And the public is overwhelmed by the sober words of this intimate story that testifies to the universal. A new version was recorded to raise funds for a Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, supported by the Normandy Memorial Trust, Nationwide Bank and the funds will be fully donated to the future British Normandy Memorial, inaugurated on June 6 by Emmanuel Macron and Theresa May.


Band of brothers

Jim Radford had already sung his song for the BBC at the Royal Albert Hall in 2004 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the landing. This father of three is proud today to be able to reinterpret this ballad that made the news! His title is one of the most downloaded on Amazon, ahead of Justin Bieber or Ed Sheeran. A success that makes him very happy even if he admits he does not know pop music! He is moved to be able to honor those good men who have struggled with courage for freedom. And who knows ... His song could serve the soundtrack of a film about the Battle of Normandy. It would be just right in the credits of a Spielberg movie, and why not with Tom Hanks!

Photo: Normandy National Trust


Related reading:

- D-1: from June 5th to 6th, D-Day celebrations will set Calvados abuzz

- Norman Rockwell is the very special guest of the Caen Memorial from June 4th to October 27th, 2019

- The city of Caen pulls out all the stops for D-Day


The housing solution in Caen

The Smartappart residential hotel has just inaugurated a new residence of appart-hotels in the very center of Caen. From studios to one-bedrooms, its furnished apartments have all the comforts for your short, medium or long stays. With its convenient and economical services, you will be able to comfortably relive history with a capital H during the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The celebrations will be numerous all summer in the Normandy region.

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