To mark the sad occasion of the funeral of Dame Vera Lynn this week, a new illustration was projected onto the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to honour the life of the “Forces’ Sweetheart”, who passed away on 18th June 2020, at the age of 103.
Vera Lynn’s name has been so strongly associated with the world-famous cliffs since they were immortalised by her distinctive voice in the song, named after the stunning natural landmark, which became the biggest-selling single in the UK for a month in the summer of 1942, and still resonates today.
The white chalk face of those cliffs once again provided the perfect, and most spectacular, backdrop to a portrait of one of the most recognisable and inspiring singers in British history. The first occasion was to celebrate her 100th birthday in 2017. Now, for the very first time, the poignant lyrics of Dame Vera Lynn’s beloved theme song, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, also appeared on the white cliffs, as the music drifted across the sea and into the night (see video).
The projection onto the 350ft cliffs was visible to ships passing through the channel, as well as passing planes, and on land it could be seen from the main road and the back gardens of local residents.
Famously boosting the nation’s morale during the darkest days of World War II, over the decades Vera Lynn’s popularity has never waned. She remains perhaps the most beloved of all British female vocalists, topping the charts countless times. Having originally recorded for Decca Records over 80 years ago at the age of 22, just 10 years ago, whilst in her early 90s, Dame Vera became the oldest living artist to land a UK No.1 album. This set a new record in the history of music, making the performer the only recording artist in the world to have spanned the pop charts from the 1940s to the 21st century.
It was only weeks ago that Her Majesty The Queen used the very same words “We’ll Meet Again” to reassure the nation with Dame Vera Lynn’s spirit of eternal optimism, sending her totally unique voice back up the charts once again.
Blessed with a pure voice and presence she has come to represent a whole era, and never stopped encouraging people to, in her own words on her recent birthday in March: “Keep smiling and keep singing”.
Thank you, Dame Vera Lynn.