Saturday, 5 July 2014


It's all Buck's fault.  he made a comment the other day in which he asked where were the bluebirds?  He was referring to my picture of the Seven Sisters (which are in Sussex) and the bluebirds in the song were at Dover (which is in Kent) - but it got me thinking in the way that questions like that so often do.

Of course, the reference was to Vera Lynn's song which was so popular during the Second World War.  Vera - now Dame Vera - was then known as the Forces' sweetheart and has remained very popular with the British public ever since.  She comes across as a very modest lady but one with an enormous stage presence.

Back in 2009, Dame Vera became the the oldest living artist in the world to have a number one album after she beat The Beatles to the top of the charts.  She was then aged 92.  This year - aged 97 no less - she has had an album in the top 20!

What most English people know is that there are no bluebirds in this country.  Nat Burton, the lyricist of the song, was an American who had never been to Dover.  Indeed, the song was written a year before America joined the war but it encapsulated the belief that better times would come.

Bluebird was also the name of both a car and a boat.  Malcolm Campbell set the world land speed record in Bluebird in 1924 - 146mph - and in 1935, he was the first to break the 300mph barrier.  Two years later, he set the world water speed record at 129mph in... Bluebird.  His son Donald became and remains the only person to set both world land and water speed records in the same year (1964).  His car and boat were named...    Bluebird.  Donald Campbell was killed while making a further attempt to increase the world water speed record in January 1967.


Buck said...

Haven't you posted about Dame Vera before? I'm not complaining, mind you. You could put one of her songs up every day and I wouldn't mind a bit.

Thanks for the link.

Brighton Pensioner said...

Now you come to mention it, Buck, I think perhaps I have posted about her before.