September 16, 2009

"We'll Meet Again"

In honor of 92-year-old Dame Vera Lynn getting back to the top of the British charts, I repost the follwing. According to the linked article in the previous sentence, she has even beaten out Britain's own Beatles for the top spot. Coincidentally, "We'll Meet Again" is used very effectively and poignantly near the beginning of episode one of The Beatles Anthology (04:04).

Wikipedia entry:

"We'll Meet Again" is a 1939 song made famous by British singer Vera Lynn with music written by Ross Parker and words by Hughie Charles.

The song is one of the most famous songs of the Second World War era, and resonated with soldiers going off to fight and their families and sweethearts. The assertion that "we'll meet again" is optimistic, as many soldiers did not survive to see their loved ones again. Indeed, the meeting place at some unspecified time in the future would have been seen by many who lost loved ones to be heaven.

Vera Lynn performance from 1942

The song gave its name to the 1943 musical film We'll Meet Again in which Vera Lynn played the lead role. Lynn's recording is featured in Stanley Kubrick's 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Pink Floyd makes reference to this song and the performer in "Vera," a song from the Pink Floyd album The Wall: "Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?/Remember how she said that we would meet again some sunny day?". A short clip of "We'll Meet Again" can be heard at the beginning of the first track on the Pink Floyd album Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81.


Anonymous said...

Joe Henry has a great cover of this on an album called Fuse. Good stuff. jemison

Chris said...

Thank you, sir. I wish I'd known about that - I'd have included it in this post.

Leigh said...

This song touches me . . . it sums up the way the British stood, for too long almost alone, (thank God for the Canadians and the displaced Poles) against Hitler's juggernaut. I've been watching too much Foyle's War, I guess, but my admiration for their resolution is boundless.

Day by day, we're losing the last of the Greatest Generation. That makes me very sad.

Blognor Regis said...

I've always wondered whether that "some sunny day" might be when both parties are in Heaven rather than at war's end. What does the team think?

The American equivalent in terms of its place in time and cultural importance must surely be White Christmas.

Blognor Regis said...

"it sums up the way the British stood, for too long almost alone"

It goes without saying that all British "know" that the war started on the 3rd of September 1939. The Poles obviously think differently and the Chinese likewise.

A confession, as we're amongst friends.

Some years back my wife and I visted the enormous Soviet war memorial in Berlin's Treptower Park, as opposed to the merely incredibly large one out front of the Reichstag. On the mighty Mother Russia monument amongst the indecipherale Cyrillic characters was inscribed the dates 1941-1945. That takes a moment of brain gear cranking to break of out one's engrained cultural certainties. It's obvious when you think about it. (Of course they don't like to mention the fact that the Soviets joined the war in September 1939 too; just on the other side.)

So I said, "1941, what a bunch of Johnny come latelys". "Still, not as bad the Americans" said my wife. And then we overheard some American accents. Oops. Discretely wander off... "Er thanks for the Liberty Ships and aircraft dragged over the Canadian border though ahem."