All this week we have been singing songs from our ‘Wartime’ songbook. At every session this week the response to these songs has been amazing.
When we had finished singing ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ we chatted about the ‘bluebirds’ and what they look like and where they come from, or if this was a reference to the undercarriage of the spitfire planes and was it a symbolism carried through to other wartime songs?
We talked about how boys and girls who were evacuated during the war would substitute their own name for ‘Jimmy’ in the line ‘…and Jimmy will sleep in his own little bed again’.
‘Run Rabbit Run’ had us talking about the many evacuees that came to live in Ryedale during the second world war and how some people are still in touch with the now grown-up evacuees even today.
We had a chat about the origins of the word ‘Blighty’ – which we discovered comes from the original Hindi word ‘bilayati’ meaning foreign.
We sang ‘Yours’ and chatted about Vera Lyn; we sang ‘Now is the Hour’ and folk told how it was always the last song to be played at a dance; ‘Chattanooga choo choo’ and ‘Moonlight Serenade’ had us remembering Glenn Miller and his orchestra and my Mum recalled how she was taught ‘Paper Doll’ by her Dad when he came back from America and she then sang it at a school talent contest and won a necklace for her efforts.
All of these memories are moving and wonderful.
And so easily brought back by a little time and singing together.