We'll Meet Again
|"We'll Meet Again"|
Cover of sheet music
|Song by Dame Vera Lynn|
|Writer||Ross Parker, Hughie Charles (lyrics)|
|Composer||Ross Parker, Hughie Charles (music)|
|Joe Henry, Johnny Cash, Sandy Coast, She & Him, The Byrds, The Chordettes, The Ink Spots, The Turtles|
The song is one of the most famous songs of the Second World War era, and resonated with soldiers going off to fight and their families and sweethearts. The assertion that "we'll meet again" is optimistic, as many soldiers did not survive to see their loved ones again.
The song gave its name to the 1943 musical film We'll Meet Again in which Dame Vera Lynn played the lead role (see 1943 in music). Lynn's recording is featured in the final scene of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, and was also used in the closing scenes of the 1986 BBC television serial The Singing Detective. British director John Schlesinger used the song in his 1979 WWII film, Yanks, which is about British citizens and American soldiers during the military buildup in the UK as the Allies prepared for the D-Day Invasion.
During the Cold War, Lynn's recording was included in the package of music and programmes held in 20 underground radio stations of the BBC's Wartime Broadcasting Service (WTBS), designed to provide public information and morale-boosting broadcasts for 100 days after a nuclear attack. Lynn sang the song in London on the 60th Anniversary of VE Day in 2005.
In popular culture
- Traditionally, this song is played on May 5 as a closure to the Liberation Day Concert in Amsterdam, to mark the end of World War II in the Netherlands, as the monarch leaves the concert on a canal boat.
- Benny Goodman covered this song with Peggy Lee in 1942.
- In the 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, the song closes out the final scenes while showing a montage of atomic explosions.
- The Byrds recorded the song as the closing track on their debut album Mr. Tambourine Man in 1965, inspired by the song's use in the film Dr. Strangelove.
- In 1966 the Turtles performed it on the Lloyd Thaxton show, a Los Angeles teen dance show.
- In 1972, P. J. Proby recorded a power-ballad rendition of the song. It was released by the EMI Group as Proby's last single for his recording contract.
- Jim Capaldi recorded a brief selection of the song in 1974, which appears as a hidden track on his album Whale Meat Again.
- Pink Floyd makes reference to this song and the performer in "Vera", in a song from their album The Wall: "Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?/Remember how she said that we would meet again some sunny day?". A short clip of "We'll Meet Again" can also be heard at the beginning of the first track on the Pink Floyd album Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980–81.
- The Kinks reference the song and performer in "Mr. Churchill says" which appeared on their 1969 album Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire) in context to The Blitz.
- In The Muppets Go to the Movies, The Muppets, Dudley Moore and Lily Tomlin sing the song at the end.
- Barry Manilow covered this song on his Barry Live in Britain album.
- Rod Stewart and his group Faces would sing an a capella version of the song as the closer to most of their concerts between 1971 and 1974.
- The song plays as part of the music loop of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attractions at numerous Disney parks.
- The song appears on the first episode of the documentary The Beatles Anthology, during the footage of The Beatles members when they were children.
- In The Simpsons episode "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", Sideshow Bob whistles the song as he sets up a Cold War-era nuclear bomb in a US airbase. The song is also used at the end of the episode "At Long Last Leave".
- The final scene of the last episode of the 1997 animated superhero comedy Freakazoid features the cast singing this song at the Hollywood Bowl.
- Joe Henry covered the song on his 1999 album Fuse.
- A part of the song plays at the end of the Futurama episode "A Big Piece of Garbage", when the credits are being shown.
- In the movie Hellboy, during Professor Broom's confrontation with Rasputin, a recording of the song plays in the background (according to the closed-captioning).
- Jim Keats sings the song in the series finale of Ashes to Ashes.
- Johnny Cash covered this song in his 2002 album American IV: The Man Comes Around (it was the closing track of the album, which was the final album released during his lifetime). This version is used in the beginning of the 2010 remake of The Crazies. After Cash's death in the fall of 2003, family and friends performed "We'll Meet Again" at the conclusion of a TV special celebrating the singer's life.
- Early in the movie The Ides of March, Bob Mervak is briefly shown singing the song at Cliff Bell’s, a Detroit jazz club.
- On her last radio show, NPR host Liane Hansen quoted the song in her farewell address to listeners.
- Franka Potente sings this song in The Sinking of the Laconia.
- Episode 4 of the fifth season of True Blood is entitled "We'll Meet Again". A cover of the song plays during the end credits.
- In the week of "The Rovers Return Inn" fire on Coronation Street in 2013, Rita Sullivan, Dennis Tanner and Emily Bishop sing this song before the fire breaks out next episode.
- In the underground series Salad Fingers, created by animator David Firth, the song is referenced at the end of the seventh episode entitled, "Shore Leave."
- The movie Second World War uses the song We'll Meet Again sung by actress Evelyn Rei. Footballer Chris Todd plays the role of Thomas and singer Keedie Green set to star in the film
- Episode 9 of the sixth season of Castle, titled "Disciple", plays the song at the end of the episode as a way to suggest a recurring villain has returned. The theme returns in episode 14 of season 7, "Resurrection", foreshadowing the actions of the same villain.
- My Morning Jacket plays "We'll Meet Again" from their speakers at the end of shows as their fans depart.
- Mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins reprised the song at her appearance alongside Lynn in London on the 60th Anniversary of VE Day in 2005, and has retained it as an occasional item in her repertoire.
- In the television show Midsomer Murders, actress June Whitfield sings the song as her character Peggy Alder.
- This song was played on the closing night of the Willow disco in York.
- In the Round the Twist episode Radio Da Da, the song is played everytoime Pete and Linda get transported to World War II (where the song was released at the time) through an old radio given by Nell.
- On the final episode of The Colbert Report, the song was sung by Stephen Colbert in a more upbeat tempo with members of his family and an assembled crowd of many of his most prominent guest consisting of Jon Stewart, Randy Newman, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Keith Olbermann, David Remnick, Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric, Charlie Rose, Ken Burns, Lil Buck, Ric Ocasek, David Hallberg, Trevor Potter, Senator Cory Booker, Senator Claire McCaskill, Bryan Cranston, Tim Meadows, Alexi Lalas, Jonathan Batiste, Big Bird (performed by Matt Vogel), Cookie Monster (performed by David Rudman), James Franco, George Saunders, Dean Kamen, Toby Keith, Lesley Stahl, Jake Tapper, Jeffrey Toobin, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Peter Frampton, Andy Cohen, Christiane Amanpour, General Raymond T. Odierno, Grover Norquist, David Gregory, Willie Nelson, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Matt Taibbi, Bing West, Brian Greene, Mandy Patinkin, Cyndi Lauper, Yo-Yo Ma, Andrew Young, Andrew Sullivan, Michael Stipe, Francis Collins, Samantha Power, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Barry Manilow, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Jeff Tweedy, Patrick Stewart, Stone Phillips, Joe Quesada, Cass Sunstein, Arianna Huffington, Garrett Reisman, Jimmy Wales, Maureen Dowd, Richard A. Clarke, Alan Alda, George Lucas, Henry Kissinger, Mark Hamill, Elijah Wood, Terry Gross, Norm Ornstein, Jim Kramer, Ed Viesturs, Shepard Fairey, Emily Bazelon, David Leonhardt, Bo Dietl, Mike Huckabee, Robert Pinsky, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Bob Costas, Nate Silver, Dan Savage, Eliot Spitzer, Thomas Friedman, Mark Cuban, Paul Krugman, Steven Pinker, James Martin, and Jonathan Alter.
- Snowing references it in their song "I think We're in Minsk". "Play Vera Lynn at my funeral, though I don't think we will meet again. I'm not morbid. I'm just forgetful and I think it'd be a funny way to end."
- The song was sung by Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins during the final performance at VE Day 70: A Party to Remember at Horse Guards Parade in London in 2015.
We'll meet again,
Don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through,
Just like you always do,
Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds, far away.
So will you please say hello,
To the folks that I know,
Tell them I won't be long,
They'll be happy to know that as you saw me go
I was singing this song.
We'll meet again,
Don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
- Hellen, Nicholas (1999-07-11). "Julie Andrews to sing to Brits during nuclear attack". Sunday Times.
- Hansen, Liane. "Farewell From Host Liane Hansen". NPR. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "Stephen & Friends: "We'll Meet Again"". Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- Thompson, Catherine (19 December 2014). "Here's Every Cameo In The Epic Finale Of 'The Colbert Report'". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
- VE Day Concert Katherine Jenkins, Pixie Lott, Status Quo Lead Party at The Standard Retrieved 11 May 2015