Nationwide care-home sing-along and new album in tribute to Dame Vera Lynn

Care home residents across the UK will be joining a mass sing-along in tribute to Dame Vera Lynn on Remembrance Sunday.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 6:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 6:22 pm
new album

It comes as Decca Records confirms a new album from Dame Vera who died earlier this year.

Keep Smiling Through, which will be released on November 6, will feature one of her last-ever recordings and other previously unreleased and re-orchestrated versions of classic songs.

Spokeswoman Nicole Otero confirmed the countrywide sing-along for Dame Vera who lived in Ditchling.

“In a tribute to Dame Vera and to celebrate the album release, on Sunday November 8, communities of care home residents across the UK will unite in isolation to join in a virtual mass sing along with The Smiling Sessions brought to you by Shapeshifter Productions, a registered charity, to sing We’ll Meet Again.

“Not since the song’s original release in 1939 and subsequent war years that followed has it ever held a more appropriate meaning and message of hope for the nation.

“Keep Smiling Through features brand-new, never heard before versions of re-orchestrated classic Vera Lynn songs with her beautiful, timeless and inspiring vocals.

“The album also features one of the last known recordings, her recital of High Flight, a moving poem written by a WWII fighter pilot read by Dame Vera and accompanied by music. There is also a specially recorded medley and a brand-new version of White Christmas as bonus tracks.

“A national treasure we sadly lost in June 2020, Dame Vera’s iconic voice has raised the nation’s spirits and given us pride and strength, through many difficult times. Her legacy lives on to bring the nation together to sing in the spirit of community.

“Care home residents have been the hardest hit by the global pandemic, with shielding precautions still in place today. Many of them have had their lifetimes immeasurably enhanced by Dame Vera’s wonderful songs.

“The Smiling Sessions who, under normal circumstances, host weekly sing-alongs within care homes across the UK, have switched to hosting the sessions virtually with a weekly broadcast into care homes throughout lockdown to connect and bring enjoyment to the isolating residents.”

Arthur Cassidy, chartered psychologist, associate fellow of the British Psychological Society highlights the importance of singing for health, 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.

“The Remembrance Sunday sing-along 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.”

Nicole added: “Featuring The Royal Air Force Squadronaires, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, The D-Day Darlings and The Alex Mendham Orchestra, Keep Smiling Through is the perfect commemoration of Dame Vera Lynn’s incredible life through her songs and music.”

The tracks are: Somewhere Over The Rainbow, We’ll Meet Again, My Son, My Son, White Cliffs Of Dover, As Time Goes By, Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye, Close To You, High Flight, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, When You Wish Upon A Star, From The Time You Say Goodbye, White Christmas and Medley (White Cliffs Of Dover/Somewhere Over The Rainbow/We’ll Meet Again).

• Talk is increasing of further lockdowns in the UK. What do you think of the situation? Join the Big Conversation and have your say on everything from healthcare to how the pandemic has affected you personally and how we make our communities stronger: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/bc-worthing