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March 1995, Week 3


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
edwin jahiel <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 20 Mar 1995 15:24:50 CST
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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DR. STRANGELOVE, which I have not seen in donkey's years, ends with the
song (which lists apparently are arguing about) "We'll Meet Again" ('don't
know when, don't know where....'). It was sung by Vera Lynn and now that I
think of it, it is, in addition to all its other virtues of irony and
beauty,  a wonderful homage of Kubrick to his adopted Great Britain.
This particular song was a colossal World War II hit that,especially for
the Brits in uniform (and many of those who fought alongside them) was even
more popular than Lili Marlene (which was,to start with, a German item
appropriated by the Allies) or the Beer Barrel Polka (which was a Czech
song). Oddly, the Lambeth Walk was also sung by the Tommies!
There are big differences however in the mood of those songs (and many
others) and in the mood in which they were sung. And of all of them, I
daresay that Vera Lynn's "Well Meet Again" was the most beloved by far.
The blend of lyricism, melancholy, morale-boosting and hope was a
mega-zapper. British troops in North Africa, for example, would listen to
it on the BBC's short wave and get totally involved in it. I think Vera
Lynn was made Dame Vera, for good reason.
Her other hit was "Red Sails in the Sunset" which she warbled deliciously.
Edwin Jahiel,Cinema Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
"and there is throats to be cut, and works to be done" (Capt.Macmorris in
Shakespeare's HENRY V, act III sc.II)