Tag Archives: vera lynn

She sang for freedom

As any who are liberal minded know, we all of us speak for freedom, it is who we are and what we believe in. But to be free takes work. Some work at it by what is called politics, as if it were separate. They do so on the political stage. Others do it in the area of culture. There are amongst them  some who do it on the theatrical stage. As one involved in both, some get it, they relate to that, they understand it.You can speak for freedom, but you can sing for it too. Dame Vera Lynn, years before and after she was made a Dame, was one of those. And one amongst many, a one in a million, whose charm was, she appeared ordinary. Not as self indulgent affectation, but as individual self reflection.Vera Lynn was not ordinary. She was one of the greatest singers ever, in my opinion and that of any who truly heard her. A voice rich and as natural as was her personality, a strength of tone as was the directness of her character, a vibrato as warm as she was. She may have helped to win a war, but I, as one, fifty years younger than her, loved her, ever since a child, in years of peace, and for the peace of mind she brought, just as she had during those of war.

She may have sang of bluebirds over cliffs, and reassured us that we would meet again, but what she sang for was freedom. Not as a concept, to be thought about, not as a craze to be talked about, but as a cry to be felt. Hers was not a cry of tears streaming down a face, expressed with a style accordingly, but it was a more subtle cry from the heart, in a voice as strong as the content of the message in it, from a woman as strong and as human.

When the BNP used one of her songs on a record, thinking themselves entitled to appropriate the message as if it was for Britain, and thus was theirs for the taking, Dame Vera was not amused. She may have been singing for Britain, but not for the Britain the BNP wanted! She was from the world of show business, but was for a better world. She might have conveyed that she was an ordinary wife and mother, but she was the wife of a Jewish husband, musician  and manager, Harry Lewis! Dame Vera sued the BNP and won! All proceeds from that of course went to charity!

Posted in Op-eds | 8 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 7 June 2009

Welcome to the Sunday outing for our Daily View. As it’s a Sunday, today it comes with a moving, talking, full colour Hugo Chavez.

2 Big Stories

Gordon Brown – too popular for Labour’s own good
Yes, you read that right. In amongst all the speculation and rumour, the one substantive piece of news is the YouGov poll for Channel 4 of Labour Party members. Although the reporting has hyped up how unpopular Gordon Brown is with party members, the real problem for Labour is actually how much popularity he still retains:

Gordon Brown should step down immediately 21%
Gordon Brown should stay for the time being but step down before the general election 26%
Gordon Brown should lead Labour into the next general election 46%

So 46% want him to stay and fight the next general election, and 47% want him to go before the next general election. It’d have been better for Labour if Brown was less popular with members, as that might have given the dithering rebels the prod to dither less and rebel more. But with that split, it’s just a recipe for more dithering.

D-Day anniversay
The other big story in the news is the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings. It’s already been covered extensively elsewhere, so here instead is Vera Lynn singing at the 50th anniversary:

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