Vera Lynn

From Academic Kids

Dame Vera Lynn, DBE (born March 20, 1917) is a British singer whose career flourished during World War II, when she was nicknamed "The Forces' Sweetheart". She is best known for the popular song We'll Meet Again. She is one of the last surviving major entertainers of the war years.



Lynn was born Vera Margaret Welch (Lynn was her grandmother's maiden name), in East Ham, London. She began singing at the age of seven. Her first radio broadcast, with the Joe Loss Orchestra, was made in 1935. At this point she was being featured on records released by dance bands including Loss's and Charlie Kunz. In 1936 she made her first solo record on the Crown label, Up the Wooden Hill to Bedfordshire. This label was soon swallowed up by Decca.

Lynn married clarinettist and saxophonist Harry Lewis in 1939, the year World War II broke out. In 1940 she began her own radio series, Sincerely Yours, sending messages to British troops stationed abroad. She toured Burma and gave outdoor concerts for soldiers. In 1942 she recorded We'll Meet Again while making the film of the same name. The nostalgic tune and lyrics ("We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day") had a great appeal to the many people separated from loved ones during the war, and it became one of the emblematic songs of the wartime period.

After the war, her Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart became the first record by a British artist to top the US charts, doing so for nine weeks, and she appeared regularly on Tallulah Bankhead's US radio programme The Big Show. Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart, along with The Homing Waltz and Forget-Me-Not gave Lynn a remarkable three entries on the first UK Singles chart, a top 12 (which contained 15 songs due to tied positions).

Lynn's career flourished in the 1950s, peaking with My Son, My Son, a number one hit in 1954. It was co-written by "The Man With the Golden Trumpet," Eddie Calvert. In early 1960, Lynn left Decca Records, who she had been with for nearly 25 years, and joined EMI. There, she recorded for EMI's Columbia, MGM and HMV subsidiaries.

Lynn was appointed an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 1969 and a DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1975. She sang outside Buckingham Palace in 1995 in a ceremony that marked 50 years since VE Day. Lynn, then 78, decided to go out on a high and this is her last known public performance. In 2002 at the age of 85 she became the president of the cerebral palsy charity SOS and hosted a celebrity concert on their behalf at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

In 2004 abstract body artist Joanna Jones received permission and a grant to use the White Cliffs of Dover as the location for one of her body paintings to which Dame Vera spoke out againsts. "I don't see how it can be publicity for Britain - it might be publicity for the artist. People coming to Britain especially for the first time, expect to see the white cliffs of Dover, they don't expect to see an art display do they!" [1] (

England's VE Day ceremonies in 2005 included a concert in Trafalgar Square in which Vera Lynn made a surprise appearance. She made a speech praising the veterans and calling upon the younger generations to always remember their sacrifice.

"These boys gave their lives and some came home badly injured and for some families life would never be the same. We should always remember, we should never forget and we should teach the children to remember."

Recordings by Vera Lynn

  • 1935
  • "The General's Fast Asleep"; "No Regrets"; "When the Poppies Bloom Again"; "I'm in the Mood for Love" (Rex Records); "Sailing Home With The Tide" (Rex Records); "Thanks A Million" (Rex Records)
  • 1936
  • "Heart Of Gold" (Rex Records); "A Star Fell Out Of Heaven" (Rex Records); "Crying My Heart Out For You" (Rex Records); "It's Love Again" (Rex Records); "Did Your Mother Come From Ireland?" (Rex Records): "Have You Forgotten So Soon?" (Rex Records); "Everything Is Rhythm" (Rex Records)
  • 1937
  • "When My Dream Boat Comes Home" (Rex Records); "Goodnight, My Love" (Rex Records); "All Alone In Vienna" (Rex Records)
  • 1940
  • "Careless"; *"Until You Fall in Love"; "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow"; "When You Wish upon a Star"; "Memories Live Longer Than Dreams"; "There'll Come Another Day"; "{There'll Be Bluebirds Over} The White Cliffs of Dover".
  • 1941
  • "Smilin' through"; "When They Sound the Last All Clear"; "Yours"; "My Sister and I"; "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire".
  • 1942
  • "We'll Meet Again" (from the 1942 film of the same name); "You're in my Arms".
  • 1948
  • "You Can't Be True, Dear" (1948); "Again".
  • 1952
  • 1954 onwards
  • "My Son, My Son" (UK number 1, 1954); "The Homing Waltz"; "Forget Me Not"; "Windsor Waltz"; "Who Are We"; "A House With Love In It"; "The Faithful Hussar (Don't Cry My Love)"; "Travellin' Home"; Hits Of The Sixties (album); "By the Time I Get To Phoenix"; "Everybody's Talking"; "The Fool On The Hill".


  • We'll Meet Again (1942)
  • Rhythm Serenade (1943)
  • One Exciting Night (1944)


Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?
Remember how she said that
We would meet again
Some sunny day
Vera! Vera!
What has become of you?
Does anybody else in here
Feel the way I do?

(in the film The Wall, a Christmas song by Vera Lynn is used as the introducing soundtrack)

  • Her song 'We'll Meet Again' is also played outside of The Tower of Terror in Disney World, as of 2001-present.


External link

de:Vera Lynn sv:Vera Lynn


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