We’ll Meet Again, in production for 2 performances this coming November, is a collection of skits and songs from WWI and WWII. Some tunes are peppy marches, lively dances and some, just plain silly. Others are soft, quiet, sentimental, close to the heart, some with intriguing backgrounds. We often associate these songs with iconic singers- bookmarks in musical history.
Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem “On the Road to Mandalay” in 1892 on return from 7 years in India. It includes Kipling’s recollection of the beauty of the Burmese maidens.
Dame Vera Lynn ( 1917-2017), a British singer, was one of the voices most associated with songs from the world wars including “I’ll Be Seeing You”, written in 1938, recorded by Bing Crosby and several others including Johnny Cash in 2002.
Lilli Marlene was written as a poem in German, 1915, set to music in 1928 and broadcast at sign off every night from a radio station located in Belgrade. The singer, Lale Andersen, conjured up warm memories of the sweet hearts waiting at home on both side of the line.
Wish Me Luck, 1939, an up beat, keep a stiff- upper- lip -and -carry- on theme, was recorded by comedian Gracie Fields. We’ll Meet Again, also released in the same year, was chosen as this musical’s title, appropriately so.
White Cliffs of Dover, 1940: “Blue birds” refers to the RAF and the RCAF flight pilots in their blue uniforms. “Thumbs Up” was the sign a pilot relayed to ground crew that he was ready for take off on a mission.
When the Lights Go On Again, recorded by Vaughn Monroe in 1943, is a song of hope in a time of darkness and fear, a wish for the future of the world, still appropriate today.
We’ll Meet Again plays on November 10 at 7:30 and Nov. 12 at 2:00 in the Urbandale Arts Centre. Tickets are available for $15.00 at Kemptville and District Home Support. 613 258 3202, the Municipal Office and Brewed Awakenings. Proceeds go to K&DHSI.