Vera and Kenneth

In one short week – more like a nine day week, now that I think of it, so not very short after all – Offspring have totally re-organised their rooms. It has made the witch who witnessed it all, reminisce about the past, while things have been got rid of in cold blood. Nursery rhymes, for instance.

When Son was a fairly recent arrival, the Resident IT Consultant felt there should be nursery rhymes to listen to. With me offering foreign songs, and himself unable to rise above ‘pom-pom-pom’, and not in tune, it had to be something sung by someone else. He went shopping, and came home with a collection cassette of the standard nursery rhymes, sung by Vera Lynn and Kenneth McKellar. His feeling was that not just anyone should be allowed to sing to important babies.

Son and Daughter were both subjected to this cassette, until they could retaliate with ABBA and Keane and S Club and Athlete. At the time I knew very little about Vera Lynn. More about Kenneth McKellar, since friend Pippi is a big fan, and I had even been to a concert and heard the man live.

Vera Lynn was just a name to me, however, and I strongly suspected that her popularity during the war was more to do with having a pretty face. Just shows what an idiot I am. It may have been only nursery rhymes, but that cassette made me a big fan of hers. Wonderful voice. Absolutely wonderful.

I allowed myself to graduate on to some more grown-up songs, and got to know the most popular songs from the war. Then I moved on to more recent music, and everything Vera sings is great. I just wish she hadn’t decided to retire from singing at the age of eighty. It’s amazing how someone can keep such a powerful voice so long.

And the early cassette brain washing paid off. At least Son knew from a very tender age that those war songs were sung by ‘that lady’.


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