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Earlier this summer, Dame Vera Lynn died at the age of 103-year-old after an incredible music career. Now the We’ll Meet Again singer’s farewell album has been announced in Keep Smiling Through. The new record features one of the World War II icon’s last ever recordings, plus previously unreleased and re-orchestrated versions of classic tunes.
To celebrate Dame Vera’s album release, care home residents across the UK will take part in a virtual mass singalong of We’ll Meet Again.
They will be accompanied by The Smiling Sessions, who would usually be hosting weekly singalong sessions in care homes across the UK, but have switched to virtual activity as older people are isolating throughout the pandemic.
The mass singalong will take place most appropriately on Remembrance Sunday, November 8 this year.
Here’s the full tracklist for Dame Vera’s posthumous farewell album, Keep Smiling Through.
1. SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW Feat. The RAF Squadronaires
2. WE’LL MEET AGAIN Feat. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & The Brighton Festival Chorus
3. MY SON, MY SON Feat. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
4. WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER Feat. The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
5. AS TIME GOES BY Feat. The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
6. WISH ME LUCK AS YOU WAVE ME GOODBYE Feat. The RAF Squadronaires & The Brighton Festival Chorus
7. CLOSE TO YOU Feat. The RAF Squadronaires
8. HIGH FLIGHT Feat. The RAF Squadronaires
9. A NIGHTINGALE SANG IN BERKELEY SQUARE Feat. The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
10. WHEN YOU WISH UPON A STAR Feat. The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
11. FROM THE TIME YOU SAY GOODBYE Feat. Feat. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
12. WHITE CHRISTMAS Feat. The D-Day Darlings
13. MEDLEY (White Cliffs Of Dover / Somewhere Over The Rainbow / We’ll Meet Again) Feat. The Alex Mendham Orchestra & The Brighton Festival Chorus
Track 8, High Flight, is one of Dame Vera’s last known recordings.
It’s her recital of a moving poem written by a World War II fighter pilot, which is accompanied by music.
Additionally, track 12 is a brand-new version of White Christmas, while track 13 is a specially recorded melody of some of her best-known songs.
On the importance of the upcoming Remembrance Sunday singalong for health, Dr Arthur Cassidy said: “I cannot highlight enough the profound significance of The Smiling Sessions initiative in its attempt to improve the overall physical psychological health and well-being of those residents in care homes and sheltered housing.”
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Dr Cassidy added: “The Remembrance Sunday singalong will undoubtedly enrich the brain processing speed of all residents and will potentially influence in a positive way, their mood regulation state and both episodic and semantic memory processing.
“The resonance of We’ll Meet Again, together with the colourful visual effects of fellow isolating members of their generation on screen, will facilitate happy memories of events in their entire life span and add meaning to the quality of their everyday lives.”
Dame Vera’s new album is produced by Decca Records, who she first recorded with over 80 years ago at the age of just 22.
While just 10 years ago, when she was in her early 90s, the singer became the oldest living artist to land a UK No 1 album.
This saw her set a new record as the only recording artists in the world to have songs in the charts from the 1940s to the 21st century.
In the last few months of her life, Dame Vera once again became a symbol of British morale during the coronavirus pandemic.
For the 75th anniversary of VE Day, she duetted virtually with Katherine Jenkins at the Royal Albert Hall. While the track became an NHS Charity Single around the same time.
Additionally, Her Majesty The Queen echoed Dame Vera’s We’ll Meet Again lyrics during her April 5 television address to the nation regarding the pandemic. Queen Elizabeth II’s speech saw Dame Vera’s We’ll Meet Again surging up the charts once again.
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