Singer dedicates Remembrance Day poem to memory of fallen soldiers

Steve O'Kane, a poet, singer and songwriter, has written a poem named Passing Stranger dedicated to Remembrance Day.

Steve O'Kane, a poet, singer and songwriter, has written a poem named Passing Stranger dedicated to Remembrance Day. - Credit: Steve O'Kane

A Norfolk singer and songwriter has written a poem to honour this country's fallen soldiers.

Steve O'Kane, from Three Holes, near Upwell, wrote a poem called 'Passing Strangers' after being inspired by a young family playing near a war memorial but who were "seemingly oblivious of its presence and significance".

He has since released it as a song, which was recorded in the Fens at Grange Farm Studio, to "make people think” about the significance of those that were lost in the wars.

Steve O'Kane, member of the Downham Market Poets and Songwriters group.

Steve O'Kane, member of the Downham Market Poets and Songwriters group, hopes his song Passing Stranger will make people think after being inspired by seeing a young family playing by a war memorial. - Credit: Steve O'Kane

Mr O'Kane, a member of the Downham Poets and Songwriters group, said: "As time goes by we all tend to become a bit blind to our local landscape and no longer really 'see it' as we walk along.

"I imagined the ghost of one of the soldiers named on the memorial, poignantly watching this little cameo of family life, a family life that had been denied to himself or herself by the war, and yearning to communicate with them.

"The poem was my attempt to give voice to what the soldier would say."

The song has moved many people after Mr O'Kane first shared it to social media two weeks ago, reaching people from as far as South Africa and the US.

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Charity the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SAAFA) also plans to use the poem in a collection of poetry book to help raise funds for the organisation.

Mr O'Kane, who has been unable to perform due to Covid, said the money raised from his song will also be used to help his ex-soldier brother, who is struggling both physically and financially, with things such as monthly bills.

The singer is hoping to finish and publish more poems and songs in 2022 he has written over the years following the response to Passing Stranger.

The poet, singer and songwriter started writing in his teenager years before turning his poems into songs in his 20s.

He has performed at a number of folk clubs in Essex, Kent and London, and also opened music festivals with his wife Fiona.

The song can be purchased at www.steveokane.co.uk

Passing Stranger

Passing stranger...

dancing child,

here in our shadow,

rest... for a while.

You won’t know me,

yet heed me well...

mine was a story

pray you’ll never tell…

scripted by many hands,

but ended

alone…

Written in blood…

carved in stone.

Passing stranger,

dancing child,

here in our shadow...

light up your smile.

Your lips softly

voice our names,

there in your whispering,

we live

again.

See us all marching still,

line after line…

Please to remember us

from time...

to time.

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