Music in WW2
The power of music to move us, to inspire us, to join or divide us, is never more apparent than in wartime. Music was an important tool to maintain morale, among the homesick men facing death and destruction on a daily basis, and among the lonely women, raising children alone, and working or volunteering for the war effort in the home country.
Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields, Glenn Miller and many more, wrote and sung songs that my parents sang to me when I was a child. One of the few times my brother and I had a babysitter, was when Vera Lynn came to Calgary on tour in the 1950s. I never realized that words like, "There'll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover... tomorrow when the world is free," were sung when there was no assurance that the world would be free.
Heartbreak and loss are the stuff of wartime. Songs like, "We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when," helped separated lovers believe survival was possible. My father sang, "I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places..." to my mother. We played it at her funeral.
Troops wanted energy. The sad love songs made them more homesick, so they wanted happy love songs, such as "You'd be so nice to come home to," or Glenn Miller's still amazing hit, "In the Mood," which you can watch if you click the link below: