Song / White Cliffs Of Dover
Robson & Jerome / White Cliffs Of Dover
"(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" is a popular World War II song composed in 1941 by Walter Kent to lyrics by Nat Burton. Made famous in Vera Lynn's 1942 version, it was one of Lynn's best-known recordings and among the most popular World War II tunes.
The song was written about a year after the Royal Air Force and German aircraft had been fighting over southern England, including the white cliffs of Dover, in the Battle of Britain. Nazi Germany had conquered much of Europe and in 1941 was still bombing Britain. With neither America nor the Soviet Union having yet joined the war, Britain was the only major power fighting the Axis powers in Europe (see The Darkest Hour). The American lyricist, Nat Burton, wrote his lyric (unaware that the bluebird is not indigenous to Britain) and asked Kent to set it to music. Notable phrases include "Thumbs Up!" which was an RAF and RCAF term for permission to go, and "flying in those angry skies" where the air war was taking place.
The lyrics looked toward a time when the war would be over, and peace would rule over the iconic white cliffs, Britain's symbolic border with the European mainland.
In the 1990s, British pop duo Robson & Jerome recorded the song as part of a double A-side release, coupled with "Unchained Melody"; the single stayed at No. 1 for seven weeks in the UK, eventually selling nearly two million copies, becoming the best selling single of the year and also making it the number one song with the longest title, including brackets.