(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover
"(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.
"The White Cliffs of Dover" is one of many popular songs that use a "Bluebird of Happiness" as a symbol of cheer, although there are no bluebirds in Dover (the bluebird is not indigenous to Britain). Nat Burton, the lyricist of the song, was an American who had never been to the place. But, the song captured the feelings of the Allies about protecting Britain from the planned German invasion.
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, Jim Reeves 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."
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.
- Dame Vera Lynn takes on BNP over White Cliffs of Dover, The Daily Telegraph online, 18 February 2009.
- "Bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover". BBC.
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