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Music / Vera Lynn

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♫ We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day ♫

"There'll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover, tomorrow - just you wait and see."

Dame Vera Margaret Lynn CH DBE OStJ (née Welch; 20 March 1917 18 June 2020) was, quite simply, the original, iconic British Glamorous Wartime Singer.

Known as "The Forces' Sweetheart", she hosted a radio programme, Sincerely Yours, during World War II, and songs like "There'll Always Be An England" and "The White Cliffs of Dover" still evoke The Home Front all over the world. Her hopeful, yearning ballads perfectly captured the spirit of the boys overseas, and she became a symbol of what those lonely men on the fronts were fighting for. She did extensive tours to entertain and comfort soldiers on several of said fronts, no matter how remote they were from Britain (she went as far as Burma, to the delight of the Commonwealth troops there).

She starred in three musical films, One Exciting Night, Rhythm Serenade and We'll Meet Again — the latter being named after what's probably her best known song (which was somehow used to score a nuclear apocalypse). She announced her retirement just months after the end of the war, but eventually returned to music and topped the charts multiple times during subsequent decades. When she passed away at age 103 on June 18, 2020, she was one of the last living wartime legends.

She is familiar to many rock fans from Pink Floyd's classic Rock Opera, The Wall, with the song "Vera" "Anybody here remember Vera Lynn?..." and the line "What has become of you?". Well, it turned out Vera was still a recording artist at that time (she retired five years after The Wall was released) and in 2009, four years after Pink Floyd's very last gasp at Live 8, a compilation album made her the oldest living artist ever to chart at #1. In short, she outlasted Pink Floyd.

Her music contains examples of:

  • Glamorous Wartime Singer: Her ubiquitous songs in Britain had gotten her the sobriquet "The Forces' Sweetheart", where "The White Cliffs of Dover" and "We'll Meet Again" were written during and associated with World War II.
  • Location Song: "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" was written in 1941, where fighting between the RAF and the Luftwaffe had taken place over the namesake cliffs not long before.
  • Reunion Vow: There is a reason why "We'll Meet Again" provides the quote for the trope page, given that the premise of the song is the singer promising to meet her loved one again some other day.