It was the old soldiers who made the programme. No matter how much fun it is to hear famous people say lovely things about our Vera Lynn on the occasion of her 100th birthday (Wow!), it was the men who fought in WWII, and who are still with us, like Vera, who started the waterworks, both on me and on themselves.
Hearing Vera discuss the past with her daughter was almost like hearing any mother and daughter pair hark back in time. And that’s good in itself, as it proves how normal she still manages to be. Dame and the forces’ sweetheart she may be, but deep down Vera Lynn comes across like that aunt from east London I never had.
The music specialists had much nice to say, as did those famous people dug up to talk. Odd in a way to have Paul McCartney sit there as though he personally remembered listening to Vera on the radio during the war. Maybe he did.
But as I said, the old soldiers, reminiscing about hearing Vera live somewhere in Burma, or on the radio, and crying at the memories; that’s what made this programme. Telling their own stories, and singing along to We’ll Meet Again, before finally wishing their star a happy 100th. There’s not many of them left.
(Photo © BBC)
What can I say? It’s fantastic that we still have Vera Lynn, even though she gave up singing at 80. Personally I wish that she would have continued, if only to show the world that older people can. But we have the recordings to enjoy.
Happy Birthday! And may there be many more.
Posted in Music
Tagged Vera Lynn
What is the world coming to? As I went out for my Saturday afternoon walk I left Daughter at the kitchen table finishing off her Art coursework while listening to my old Vera Lynn cassette. The fact that it’s a cassette tells you it was a while since I got it. But she wanted to hear more music like We’ll Meet Again, so I reckoned Vera was the place to start.
Not sure where she can go from there, but I did get Glenn Miller out of his box.
I was clearly on the right track earlier this year when I started going on about Vera Lynn. It’s absolutely amazing news that she is beating everything else in the charts. I hope her album is being bought by new fans as well as those who have known Vera’s singing for many years.
Seeing and hearing her being interviewed about her new success I was struck by how young and with it she still is. Vera’s beautiful voice sounds as young as it did decades ago, and she looks marvellous.
The next logical step would be for her to sing again. Please?
Posted in Music
Tagged Vera Lynn
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’.