31 December 2014

We'll Meet Again (Vera Lynn, 1939)

For New Year's Eve, instead of embedding fireworks I've chosen a classic song. "We'll Meet Again" was a signature tune of World War II:
The song... 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.
There have been many versions as modern performers have covered the piece, but Vera Lynn is the obvious choice, since she popularized the song during the war, and it became one of her signature pieces. The video of this song most often seen is the one using the final moments of Dr. Strangelove, but those images of nuclear blasts were a little too dismal for tonight; I thought this one employing stills from WWII was at least a bit more upbeat.

The message of the song is for all TYWKIWDBI readers, especially the old-timers. It has been an interesting year; I've enjoyed having your company for this curious adventure. We'll meet again - tomorrow...

Addendum: The Guardian has a story about Vera Lynn at age 92, and about the upcoming publication of her autobiography.
...at the age of 92, she has done it again, hitting No 1 in the album charts last night with her offering We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn and usurping Bob Dylan, 68, as the oldest artist to grace the top spot... Her album fought off stiff competition from the Beatles, who occupied the 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 21st, 24th, 29th, 31st, 33rd, 37th and 38th spots...

It is 70 years to the month since Lynn, then 22, first recorded We'll Meet Again, which became a symbolic song of the second world war... Last night's No 1 made her the only artist to feature in the UK single and album charts in the 20th and 21st centuries.
Update 2010:  I needed some music to post on New Year's Eve, so this repost finds life once more.  See you guys next year...

Update 2014:  Familiarity with this song skyrocketed in the U.S. this year when it was chosen by Stephen Colbert for the concuding segment of his farewell program.  I'll leave the original version embedded at the top; the Colbert version is a bit too celebrity-centered for my taste.

Meanwhile, in England Vera Lynn reached her 97th birthday in March.
She is the oldest living person to have a top 20 UK album after Vera Lynn: National Treasure - The Ultimate Collection reached number 13.


  1. A short side note:

    The Byrds recorded "We'll Meet Again" on their first album, Mr. Tambourine Man, in 1965.

  2. Vera Lynn is also the subject of Pink Floyd's "Vera" from "The Wall"

  3. "Whale Meat Again" was the title of Jim Capaldi (ex-Traffic)'s second album in 1974.

  4. Whale meat was eaten in Britain during and soon after the war years, as, unlike other meats, when available, it was not rationed, However, it had a reputation as being somewhat unpalatable..
    soldiers, in particular, and schoolchildren, being served whale meat would parody Vera's song.. "Whale meat again".
    Capaldi was a schoolboy in those days.

  5. This isnt the original 1939 song. This has to be either 40's or 1960.

  6. I'm home nursing a bad cold, so Mr. Robitussin and Ms. Kleenex will be cuddling up with me later, but happy new year to all!

  7. Happy New Year to all the kindred spirits out there...
    And to the author, I love your choice. I may only be 36, but I can remember my grandparents singing this and it still brings tears to my eyes and memories of family reunions to my mind. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for the repost. I love so many of the songs from the WWII era. It must come from seeing so many of the old movies on TV during my childhood.

    Wishing everyone a good 2015.

  9. Thank you for including this song, with appropriate video clips. Have a good year in 2015.

  10. The Byrds also did a version of this song, on their first album, Mr. Tambourine Man."
    Happy New Year!


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