Here are our picks for the top ten songs to play during your VE Day Celebrations. There are plenty more beautiful songs to choose from, but after some research, we found that the following songs linked to WWII in some way and helped to boost morale.
We’ll Meet Again
Released in 1939 by English songwriters Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, “We’ll Meet Again” was one of the most famous songs of the Second World War era, its lyrics resonating with many families and soldiers separated due to the war.
After the Queen's speech at 9 pm on Friday 8th May, the Royal British Legion is inviting everyone to a nationwide sing-along of “We’ll Meet Again.” Better get practicing!
|Do De O Do||George Formby||
Released in 1932, “Do De O Do” was an earlier song of Formby's, but still shows his comical songwriting and ukulele skills.
Formby spent much of the war working with the Entertainments National Services and entertained several million servicemen and civilians.
|In The Mood||Glenn Miller & His Orchestra||
After experimenting with the arrangement of the original music, Miller released his version in 1939. The Glenn Miller Orchestra was an American Swing Dance Band topping the charts from 1939 to 1942.
|Sunrise Serenade||Glenn Miller & His Orchestra||
Sunrise Serenade was released in 1939 by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra. It was rereleased as a V-Disc by the U.S. War Department in July 1944.
V-Disc was a record label formed in 1943 to provide records to U.S. military personnel.
|Mad Dogs and Englishmen||Noel Coward||
Mad Dogs and Englishmen is a comic song originally written by Noel Coward becoming his signature tune. It was first performed in 1931 at a theatre show but went on to be released in a studio format.
|Run Rabbit Run||Flanagan and Allen||
Run Rabbit Run premiered in October 1939 and became a popular anthem for the British during World War II.
The song was popularised by the hoax story surrounding the two rabbit victims of the missed German Luftwaffe bombs in Shetland, the lyrics of the song allowed it to parodied in ways that would mock the enemy at the time.
|With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock||George Formby||
Released in 1937, the sheet music is credited to Harry Glifford and Fred Cliffe. Formby’s comical take on the song was not viewed well and due to overzealous censoring was banned from the BBC radio not long after its release.
|Somewhere Over The Rainbow||Judy Garland||
Originally composed by Harold Arlen for The Wizard of Oz film, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” was sung by actress Judy Garland and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The song became popular in WWII due to is lyrics creating a feeling of hope within the song.
|The White Cliffs of Dover||Vera Lynn||
Another of Lynn’s signature songs, “The White Cliffs of Dover” was composed in 1941 by Walter Kent and performed to troops by Lynn in 1942 and throughout the war, it became a key sound of WWII.
|There'll Always Be an England||Joe Loss & His Orchestra||
A patriotic song, created in the summer of 1939, “There’ll Always Be an England” became popular upon the outbreak of WWII. In September 1939, Vera Lynn performed the song and during the first two months of the war, over 200,000 copies of the sheet music were sold.
There are plenty of places to stream your music, for example:
Alternatively, check out your local and national radio stations that will also be celebrating VE Day on Friday.
Don't forget that the Royal British Legion is inviting everyone to a nationwide sing-along of "We'll Meet Again" after the Queen's speech at 9 pm!