Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again has soared 674 places to number 37 in the iTunes download charts after the Queen made a reference to the famous WWII anthem during her coronavirus address.
The song struck a chord with Britons who had been separated from their loved ones during the chaos of war and has gained a new resonance as millions remain apart during the current lockdown.
A version of YouTube has racked up thousands of comments from viewers referencing the Queen’s speech, as leading bookmaker Coral put it two to one to become the UK’s most popular single of 2020.
Yesterday, in a stirring address watched by 22 million Britons, the Queen alluded to the tune as she delivered a message of hope to the nation, saying if we ‘remain united and resolute’ in the face of coronavirus ‘we will overcome it’.
Dame Vera Lynn’s WWII anthem We’ll Meet Again has rocketed up the iTunes charts after it was mentioned by the Queen yesterday (pictured right is Dame Vera with the monarch)
We’ll Meet Again was the 37th most streamed song among British iTunes users at around midnight, according to a music data website.
It came after the Queen warned Britons, who have been in lockdown for almost two weeks with thousands dead after contracting Covid-19, ‘may have more still to endure’.
But she echoed the words of Forces’ Sweetheart, who turned 103 last month, as she said: ‘We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.’
‘50% chance’ We’ll Meet Again will be the most popular UK single of 2020
Leading bookmaker Coral makes it 2-1 for Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ to top the UK single charts in 2020 following the Queen’s address to the nation last night.
‘After the Queen quoted lyrics from Vera Lynn’s iconic World War 2 song in her address to the nation, we think there is a strong chance We’ll Meet Again will top the UK singles charts in 2020,’ said the bookmaker’s John Hill.
Turning to her own experiences, the Queen sympathised with those feeling a ‘painful sense of separation from their loved ones’ and described how during the Blitz in 1940 she gave her first radio broadcast to evacuated children.
The then 14-year-old Princess Elizabeth had been sent for safety to Windsor Castle with her sister Princess Margaret, and she called on evacuated youngsters to have courage – telling them she and Margaret knew what it was like to be separated from those they loved.
She said: ‘It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister. We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety.
‘Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.’
The Queen alluded to the tune yesterday as she delivered a message of hope to the nation, saying if we ‘remain united and resolute’ in the face of coronavirus ‘we will overcome it’
In a rare televised address to the country and Commonwealth, the Queen sounded a positive note after what has been an unsettling period, saying: ‘We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us.’
The broadcast featured footage of NHS frontline staff, workers making deliveries and military personnel helping to construct the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre in east London.
In her own video message, Dame Vera called on the nation to pull together and overcome Covid-19.
‘All around the world, people are facing extremely difficult times,’ she said. ‘It is likely that we will all have to make hard decisions in the coming months.
‘I am reminded of World War Two, when our country faced the darkest of times and yet, despite our struggles, pulled together for the common good and we faced the common threat together as a country, and as a community of countries that joined as one right across the world.’
Dame Vera, born in East Ham, east London, rose to popularity while performing for troops during the war in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.
Her best-known songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There’ll Always Be An England.
The Queen’s address was only the fourth time the monarch had addressed the nation during troubled periods.
Speeches were broadcast after the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, ahead of Diana, Princess of Wales’s funeral in 1997 and about the First Gulf War in 1991.
Amid celebratory times, the Queen made a televised address to mark her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Last night, the number of UK coronavirus-related deaths climbed by 621 to 4,934 and infections rose by 5,903 to 47,806.
Dame Vera Lynn: Forces’ Sweetheart who boosted Britons’ morale in WWII
Dame Vera was born on March 20, 1917 in London and her singing career was already flourishing when war broke out in 1939.
She was awarded the title Forces’ Sweetheart following a poll in the Daily Express, and travelled thousands of miles – often at great personal risk – to entertain the troops.
She also had a BBC radio show on which she performed songs such as We’ll Meet Again, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing, and If Only I Had Wings.
Dame Vera became known as the Forces’ Sweetheart during WWII (she is pictured with a cardboard cut-out of her as a young woman
Dame Vera famously visited the Forgotten Fourteenth Army which was fighting the bitter Burma campaign, and in 1985 was awarded the Burma Star for her contribution to the war effort there.
When the war was over she retired from the stage and microphone to bring up her daughter, Virginia, at their home in Sussex, but she remained in demand.
She toured throughout the world, visiting the US, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Dame Vera once said: ‘I have never been terribly ambitious. I never wanted to be a Judy Garland or anything, and I wouldn’t change the way I used to sing.
‘If work came along I liked, I would do it. If it interfered with home life for too long or took me away, I wouldn’t.’
Dame Vera’s hits included We’ll Meet Again, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings (she is pictured in 1955)
In 2002, she founded cerebral palsy charity the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity, based in Billingshurst, West Sussex, which provides support and education for affected families.
She is involved with many other charities throughout the UK and beyond.
She has received accolades throughout her life, including an OBE in 1969, a DBE in 1975, and in 1978 she was given the Freedom of the City of London.