Should I go ahead and say it? Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn? That’s Dame Vera Lynn to you, and unless you’re of the World War II generation then like me you’re probably familiar with The Force’s Sweetheart by way of Pink Floyd’s “Vera.”
I was a huge fan of The Wall as a kid, so when I was digging through a Savannah thrift shop one afternoon and ran across this 78 it was a must-have. “Forget Me Not” went to number 5 in the UK at the end of 1952, and was one of Lynn’s bigger records in the United States. But I didn’t know any of that. All I knew was that I was connecting to some piece of history that was beyond me at that age, and I trusted that eventually I’d catch up.
Like the much better known “We’ll Meet Again,” the song is both beautiful and melancholy. But why am I babbling? Just listen:
This copy is the US edition on London Records and is somewhat rare simply because Lynn was never a huge artist here. The UK version is on Decca, and if you’re on this side of the Atlantic you can find your own copy for a few bucks. I’d imagine that’s true in the UK, too, since there’s much more quantity in circulation.
But if you just want the music, there are several compilations of the great Dame Vera Lynn out there in various formats. Put down your trance and your death metal and your roots revival, pour yourself a shot, and enjoy. Happy hunting.