By Alexandra Scordato
|Dame Vera Lynn. Image Source.|
Vera Lynn was born on March 20th in what we know now as East London and began performing at a very young age. She rose to fame in 1939 after her song “We’ll Meet Again” became a hit.
At the start of World War II, the Daily Express in Britain polled the soldiers, asking them who their favorite singer was, and Vera Lynn was named favorite, after which she received the nickname: “The Force’s Sweetheart." During the war, she started her own radio program called Sincerely Yours, where she would send messages through the radio from the home front to them.
Her song “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” is a prominent song in the show, and was the inspiration for the play's title. Two of her other well-known songs, “The White Cliffs of Dover” and “Yours” are also featured.
The Andrews Sisters, born in Mound, Minnesota, were a well-known trio whose hit “To Me, You Are Beautiful” put them on the charts in 1937, and by 1940 their subsequent albums solidified their fame. During World War II, they entertained soldiers all across the world, volunteering their time and energy to make soldier’s lives better. Three of their hits are prominent songs that Helen’s father George sings in the show: “Beer Barrel Polka”, “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh!”, and “Ferryboat Serenade”.
Two other famous songs and their respective singers are featured in the show: Jimmie Davis’ “You Are My Sunshine” and Carroll Gibbons “I'm Gonna Get Lit Up (When The lights Go On In London)”.
Listen to all of the songs featured in And A Nightingale Sang below!
A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square 1940 by Vera Lynn
The White Cliffs of Dover by Vera Lynn
Yours by Vera Lynn
Beer Barrel Polka (Roll Out The Barrel) by The Andrews Sisters
Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, Oh! by The Andrews Sisters
Ferryboat Serenade by The Andrews Sisters
You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis
Carroll Gibbons - I'm Gonna Get Lit Up (When The lights Go On In London)