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.

 

 

Over the Parapet

While the Kavanaugh nomination hangs fire till we can reassure the lily-livered enough to not listen to those who wish the Republic ill, to do their plain duty. Perhaps we should pop our heads over the parapet enough to see what the cousins are saying.

You all know that I deal with conservative Britons every day. Their support, even with all their own troubles, which are immense, is steadfast. They understand, perhaps because our system is based on theirs, our travails completely, and they see the issues as clearly as we do. I find it most heartening. Old England is still there, although, like us, they have in large measure lost control of their government.

In the same way that we took heart from Brexit, they have taken heart from President Trump, and we will find, if we can drain our swamp, they will be doing their doughty best to resume their honored place amongst sovereign nations.

Dame Vera Lynn long ago, in a very dark place, while the Empire guarded Liberty alone, sang that “There will always be an England”. And indeed there always shall be.

“There’ll always be an England
And England shall be free”

And I’m convinced the Great Republic will also survive, to advance the cause of freedom and justice in concert with the cousins. No better outcome is possible under heaven. No other outcome is acceptable.

Another who completely understands what is going on right now is Melanie Phillips who wrote about America’s Revolutionary Moment.

Finally – finally! – a Republican has expressed appropriate fury, disgust and contempt for the way in which the Democratic Party turned Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court into a political lynching.

Christine Blasey Ford had accused Kavanaugh of having sexually assaulted her when they were both teenagers in high school. She had taken her allegation, made for the first time after 36 years, to Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Feinstein sat on it for six weeks until virtually the last moment in the Senate’s consideration of Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Having heard both Ford’s accusation and Kavanaugh’s emotional and angry response at yesterday’s hearing, a scarcely less emotional and angry Senator Lyndsey Graham could contain himself no longer and denounced the whole circus as “the most unethical sham” during his entire time in politics (view this here).

He accused the Democrats of having boasted they would destroy Kavanaugh’s life in order to hold his Supreme Court seat open in the hope they would win the presidency in 2020.

“If you really wanted to know the truth”, he erupted at the Democrats, “you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy. Boy, y’all want power. God, I hope you never get it. I hope the American people can see through this sham. That you knew about it and you held it! You had no intention of protecting Dr Ford! None! She’s as much of a victim as you are [pointing at Kavanaugh]. God I hate to say it ’cause these have been my friends. But let me tell you, when it comes to this: you’re looking for fair process? You came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend… Would you say you’ve been through hell?”

KAVANAUGH: “I’ve been through hell and then some”.

GRAHAM:”This is not a job interview. This is hell.”

Ford’s testimony garnered widespread sympathy. Many have concluded she was sincere and that she probably did experience a traumatic sexual encounter. The question, though, is whether her assailant was Brett Kavanaugh or someone else, especially given the many contradictions and lacunae in her account. Those concerned about this affair are not seeking to judge Ford herself. The concerns, and they could hardly be more grave, are about an abuse of process by the Democratic party which has been engaged in character assassination on the basis of wholly uncorroborated and flaky claims.

To this travesty of justice and decency must also be added a travesty of journalism. The New Yorker decided to say #MeToo to this lynching. Its reporters, Ronan Farrow and Jane Meyer, suddenly produced one Deborah Ramirez, who claimed Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her at a drunken party in their freshman year at Yale. Kavanaugh says forcefully that this didn’t happen and that the claim is a smear.

Barring something very unlikely, Kavanaugh will be confirmed. And if we, the people of the United States are worthy of the title, November 6, 2018, will mark the continued and markéd decline of what has become an obscene parody of a political party. You all know, I’m no particular fan of the Republican party, I find it an often distasteful collection of people mostly interested in their own wallets.

But at this juncture, that is a minor matter. The Democratic Party has sold itself to gain power and completely disrupt the governing scheme that the founders bequeathed us. Ben Franklin at the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention told a person inquiring what they had come up with:

“A Republic,

If you can keep it”

A few years before, in a dark time, another patriot wrote some words that are again applicable.

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.

Two days later, the Continental Army took Trenton, starting the American tradition of killing our enemies on Christmas day. This is not a time when we need to kill our enemies, but it is time to decisively defeat them. That is what the midterm elections this year are for.

Happy 100th Birthday to Dame Vera Lynn

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 East Ham, Essex.

And besides, all here know of my weakness for British 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

And this

This

And tonight her image will b projected on those very same white cliffs, by the country she served so well.

This is interesting

But it wasn’t all about loneliness either, especially before the war got so grim, the humour showed itself.

Eventually, it was over

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

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

And yes, amazon.co.uk says they will send it out to us Yanks, as well, if we want.

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

And it will truly always be a:

Happy Birthday, Dame Vera!

 

 

 

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