Image copyrightPA MediaLegend
Dame Vera recorded the song several times, the most famous version from the film of the same name in 1943
We will see each other has become Dame Vera Lynn's flagship song. He was also one of the first singles to use a synth, was accused of being too "slushy" for the troops, and was featured in Dr Strangelove and Stranger Things.
No song has captured the sorrow and optimism of Britain at war better than We will see each other again.
Recorded in 1939 by Vera Lynn, who died at the age of 103, her words comforted those who were separated from their loved ones.
” We will meet again, I don’t know where, I don’t know when / but I know we will meet again, on a sunny day. ”
The song has since been cited by the Queen and revived by Johnny Cash. He even entered the UK chart earlier this year, offering a message of hope during the coronavirus lockout.
“Her lyrics seemed to me to be a perfect example of what you might call the greeting card song,” wrote Dame Vera in her 1975 Vocal Refrain autobiography.
“A very basic human message of the kind that people want to say but find it embarrassing to put into words.” ”
The singer was only 22 years old when she recorded the song for the first time. It was during the first year of the conflict – during the so-called “phony war”, when troops were recruited but very little fighting took place – that Lynn found the song while shopping in the Denmark street music publishers in London for new items.
Hughie Charles, who had refused the opportunity to open the Lancashire County Cricket Club, was seeking his fortune as a composer.
Having assessed Lynn as “a very beautiful child”, he encouraged her to record two patriotic songs he had written with Ross Parker in anticipation of hostilities to come – the shrill, optimistic There will always be an England and the most melancholy We will meet again.
She played for the first time, we will meet again this summer with Bert Ambrose and his orchestra. “When I think back to the critics, I notice that the newspapers immediately picked it up,” she told The Guardian in 1995.
“It was the perfect song to sign, and I started to use it more and more. “
Pioneer of synth-pop
With a melody loosely based on Anton Rubinstein’s F-melody, it was the singer’s performance that touched people’s hearts – her typically low tone and emotional delivery resonated with the mood of the moment.
His first recording of the song took place later that year, accompanied by Arthur Young on a new instrument called Hammond Novachord, the first commercially available polyphonic synthesizer.
“The instrument that reproduces the sound of a dozen instruments” only made its debut at the New York World Fair in April, making Lynn’s single one of the first pop records (perhaps be the very first) to present a synth.
However, it was a later recording, supported by a full orchestra, that became more famous.
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