The Voice of an Angel

Three years ago on Vera Lynn’s 100th Birthday and the release of her last album, I wrote this>

Yesterday we regretted the loss of Chuck Berry, whom so many of us loved and enjoyed. Today is a happier occasion for today is the 100th birthday of Dame Vera Lynn, DBE, OStJ, CH, honorary citizen of Nashville Tennessee, holder of the British War medal, and the Burma Star. She is known worldwide as the British Forces Sweetheart. Quite a career for a girl from Wales.

And besides, all here know of my weakness for British, especially Welsh, redheads, so any excuse to feature one is welcome.

Her first recording was Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire, recorded on Crown Records in 1936.

 

Her greatest fame came during the Second World War when she became the Force’s Sweetheart with songs such as these

No doubt some purist will miss the point, saying that so many of those pictures were of American soldiers, and indeed they were. And yet, while Dame Vera was the British Forces Sweetheart, our musical tastes became so entwined together that we still haven’t sorted them out.

Many of you know that my normal music here is a couple of British stations that mostly broadcast music from the forties, and indeed that is my favorite popular music. So yes, I hear a good bit of Vera Lynn and other British singers and bands, but I hear an awful lot of the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Major Miller, and other Americans, too. Strikes me that we finally got to know each other and we found rather liked each other. It’s still true.

Yes, sometimes we despair of each other, but we’ve been there before, and we muddled through. I think and pray we shall again.

To me, this always brings back the British North African campaign culminating at El Alamein, with the Tommies and Germans romancing the same B-girls in Tobruk in their turn. I think it originally a German song, but hey, when haven’t Brits and Yanks stolen a good tune.

And this

This

For me, this song has to be accompanied by the sound of the Rolls Royce powered Spitfire, for it is the sound of those few that saved us all. Truly a

This is interesting

This is the only footage I’ve found of her during the war

 

Eventually, it was over

But she kept right on singing, this was the very first #1 on the American charts, in 1952, by a British artist.

Welcoming the troops home from the Falklands.

And still, she pressed on, Decca released a new album,  Vera Lynn 100, just three years ago. Here is the trailer

 

So, how do we end this glorious retrospective? There is only one possible way, in my mind.

And there will truly always be:

Even if sometimes we fear it will only be in our hearts. But I doubt that –

But maybe we best learn to teach our history better.

The band of The Coldstream Guards remember.

The b side of her smash hit Auf Wiedersehen, Sweetheart on both sides of the pond rather says it all, I think.

Till we all meet again, rest in peace, Dame Vera.

 

 

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

11 Responses to The Voice of an Angel

  1. boudicabpi says:

    Reblogged this on Boudica BPI Weblog and commented:

    Videos

    Like

  2. audremyers says:

    You ol’ softy, you. And I guess I am, too; your last line brought tears to my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    Fabulous videos!
    As old as I am I don’t remember her. Shame on me.
    Not long ago you had a tribute blog on Petula. She did some singing during the war as well, and according to Wiki did mimicry, impersonating Vera Lynn, then of course came into her own. Wasn’t she ginger too? Half Welsh.
    Well, what we got? Antifa Chicks (likely renamed). 🙂
    We got some good’n ones though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      I don’t either really, although the guys I worked with talked about her enough to intrigue me. There’s a bit of film out there of a rehearsal with Vera and Petula, they were good together. Yep, another Ginger, don’t know about the Welsh though. 🙂

      Yeah, somehow blue hair just doesn’t do it for me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Wiki says mom was Welsh.
        As to hair color, when I was half the age I am now… women the age I am now were ‘purple heads’. I guess to mention that, I’m hairrist. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Not much surprise in that, seem to all be great singers.

          Yeah, I remember the blue haired church ladies too. Them I rather liked! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          I remember Mrs. McGee (Purple Head) was very nice. Old time Minneapolis nice.
          Hey what? Brits want another statue to be defaced and pulled down?
          “MPs from across the political divide have joined to call for a statue to be erected to the inspirational singer Dame Vera Lynn who died aged 103 on Thursday.”
          P.S. The video that shows Prince Charles, as a young’en, no Churchill is he or even up to his antagonists I’m reading about in ‘Darkest Hour’. 60% through the book. And it ain’t even particularly favorable for Churchill throughout. So far. Well, nobodies perfect. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Nope, Winnie had his weaknesses, just like us all, but he charged on through. A statue of Dame Vera, well OK, but I think the British musical establishment should pay for it. Without her, it might have all turned American. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • the unit says:

          Maybe there is a little Marshall aid money left over…the rainbow, they can use. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yeah, or misuse! 🙂

          Like

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