Sunday, September 13, 2015
"Dame Vera Lynn, DBE (born Vera Margaret Welch on 20 March 1917) is an English singer and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during World War II. During the war she toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for the troops. She was called "The Forces' Sweetheart"; the songs most associated with her are "We'll Meet Again" and "The White Cliffs of Dover". She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the UK and the United States and recording such hits as "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart" and "My Son, My Son". In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to make it to No. 1 on the British album chart, at the age of 92. She has devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer. She is still held in great affection by veterans of the Second World War and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the twentieth century"
All of that means nothing unless you enjoy her singing. And I do. With her emotional voice who would not? Her most famous song is "We'll Meet Again" but also try "When I Grow too Old to Dream".
She even sings a German song effectively here: "Lili Marlene". It's the voice that does it. It transforms a German prostitute into a romantic wonder. It's a great song so it is a wonder that an English singer does what is probably the best version of it. Marlene Dietrich also has claims, of course.
Perhaps most amazing of all, we have here her singing wonderfully that great British patriotic song "Land of hope and glory" -- apparently at age 98!
She looks so wonderfully English -- which she was and what she stood for -- much of which now seems to be lost.