Dame Vera Lynn calls for VE Day style celebration when Britain finally conquers coronavirus pandemic


Wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn today likened the current battle against coronavirus to World War Two – and called for a VE Day-style national party when we’ve finally beaten the deadly disease.

Dame Vera, who celebrated her 103rd birthday in March and is famous for the wartime classic We’ll Meet Again, compared COVID-19 to the ‘ruthless, deadly’ Nazis and remembered the ‘sense of national rejoicing’ on May 8 1945.

She recalls: ‘It was a day when we could finally laugh, let our hair down and be ourselves again, in the knowledge that the Nazi threat to our homeland had forever been extinguished.

‘All of us – mothers, fathers, wives and children – knew someone who had been killed or injured in battle or in the terrible bombing raids.

Dame Vera, who celebrated her 103rd birthday in March and is famous for the wartime classic We’ll Meet Again, compared COVID-19 to the ‘ruthless, deadly’ Nazis and remembered the ‘sense of national rejoicing’ on May 8 1945 (pictured from a video celebrating her 103rd birthday)

‘But we knew that, on this oh-so-special-day, those we had lost would have wanted us to celebrate the long-awaited moment of victory when life would finally return to normal.’

Speaking in The Oldie magazine, she recalls listening to Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s ‘stirring voice’ on her parents’ wireless as he broadcast to the nation and opines: ‘If only Winston could be with us today to help us see off today’s terrible coronavirus threat!’

She adds: ‘The country deserved its VE Day party in 1945 after we had all pulled together to see off a ruthless, deadly enemy.

‘I sense we are again pulling together as a nation now, and drawing on that wartime spirit of solidarity, in the face of a very different but similarly deadly modern enemy, coronavirus: the biggest threat to our way of life in decades.

‘When we’ve finally emerged triumphant from the current crisis – as we surely will, although right now it might be hard to glimpse much light at the end of the tunnel – perhaps we can throw a similar victory party.’

People dancing in the streets of London during the celebrations for VE Day

People dancing in the streets of London during the celebrations for VE Day

Dame Vera, who last performed in public at the 50th-anniversary VE Day celebration at Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace in 1995, said she was moved that the Queen quoted her iconic song in her recent public address.

‘I was so touched that last month the Queen echoed the words of my wartime hit in her address to the nation, when she declared ‘We will meet again’.’

The song is expected to play an especially big part in this year’s VE Day celebrations as it chimes with the times during lockdown.

However, Dame Vera confessed that, after playing such a big part in keeping up morale during World War Two, she actually enjoyed a relatively quiet VE Day.

British singer Vera Lynn, nicknamed the 'Forces' sweetheart' in 1945

British singer Vera Lynn, nicknamed the ‘Forces’ sweetheart’ in 1945

She said: ‘After sunset there were fireworks, searchlights danced a merry jig in the night sky and children in the East End celebrated victory round bonfires made with timber from bomb-blasted buildings.

‘I had a comparatively quiet VE Day. I’d had a busy war and no great desire to join the revellers in the fountains in Trafalgar Square. I was happy just being with my family in my parents’ back garden after spending so much time apart from them during the war years.

‘I’d been ‘singing for my supper’, so to speak, ever since I was a girl and first went on stage. Then, in September 1939, the month the war began I recorded We’ll Meet Again, which topped the hit parade.

Speaking in The Oldie magazine, she recalls listening to Prime Minister Winston Churchill's 'stirring voice' on her parents' wireless as he broadcast to the nation and opines: 'If only Winston could be with us today to help us see off today's terrible coronavirus threat!'

Speaking in The Oldie magazine, she recalls listening to Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s ‘stirring voice’ on her parents’ wireless as he broadcast to the nation and opines: ‘If only Winston could be with us today to help us see off today’s terrible coronavirus threat!’

‘My life was never quite the same again.’     

The ‘We’ll Meet Again’ duet between Katherine Jenkins and Dame Vera has reached number one on iTunes’ top songs earlier this month.

The pair joined forces to re-release Dame Lynn’s famous wartime song in support of NHS workers and their families. All money raised from the sales of the duet are going to NHS Charities Together.

The popularity of the song was given a boost after the Queen made reference to it in her historic address to the nation on April 5. 

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