(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" is a popular Second World War song made famous by Vera Lynn with her 1942 version – one of her best-known recordings. Written in 1941 by Walter Kent with words by Nat Burton, the song was also among the most popular Second World War tunes. It was written before America had joined, to lift the spirits of the Allies at a time when the Germans had conquered much of Europe and were bombing Britain. The song was written about a year after British and German aircraft had been fighting over the cliffs of Dover in the Battle of Britain: the song's lyrics looked towards a time when the war would be over and peace would rule over the iconic white cliffs of Dover, Britain's de facto border with the European mainland.

The song is the terrace anthem of the supporters of Dover Athletic FC.

Ironically, there will never be bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover as the bluebird is not indigenous to Europe.

The song was sung by the vocal group The Kings Men on a 3 February 1942 episode of the Fibber McGee and Molly Show. The Checkers, an American group, released an R&B version of the song in 1953 which became very popular. Other artists who have recorded the song include Connie Francis, Bing Crosby, Ray Conniff, Jim Reeves, Acker Bilk and The Righteous Brothers. The 1990s pop duo Robson & Jerome recorded the song as the B side of their U.K. No. 1 hit single "Unchained Melody." The Jive Aces released a swing version in 2005 (similar to Acker Bilk's arrangement)

On 18 February 2009, a story in The Daily Telegraph announced that Vera Lynn was suing the British National Party (BNP) for using her version of the "The White Cliffs of Dover" on an anti-immigration album without her permission. Dame Vera's lawyer claimed sales of the song would help boost the BNP's coffers and would link her name to the party's right-wing views by association.[1]

On 12 October 2009 Ian Hislop presented a half-hour BBC Radio 4 programme about the song.[2]