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"(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover" is a popular World War II song made famous by Vera Lynn with her 1942 recording--one of her best known recordings. Written in 1941 by Americans Walter Kent and Nat Burton, the song was also among the most popular Second World War tunes. It was written before America had joined World War II, to uplift the spirits of the Allies at a time when Nazi Germany had conquered much of Europe's area and was bombing Britain.

The song's lyrics looked toward a time when the war would be over and peace would rule over the iconic white cliffs of Dover, Britain's de facto border with the European mainland. At the time British and German aircraft had been fighting over the cliffs of Dover in the Battle of Britain.

"The White Cliffs of Dover" is one of many popular songs that use a "Bluebird of Happiness" as a symbol of cheer. However, there are no bluebirds in Britain; they are an American species and so it is quite unlikely that there will ever be "bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover".

Other people to cover the song or sing about the white cliffs include Howard Morrison Quartet, Glenn Miller, The Righteous Brothers, Kay Kyser, Kate Smith, Blur, in the song "Clover Over Dover", Coil, in the song "Ostia (The death of Pasolini)"; The Decemberists, Louis Prima, Robson and Jerome, Clutch, Andrew Bird, Current 93 and Fatboy Slim. Other poetry includes Alice Duer Miller's "The White Cliffs", on which the 1944 film The White Cliffs of Dover was based. The cliffs are also mentioned in Jimmy Cliff's hit Many Rivers to Cross and rap duo EPMD's Crossover.

On 18 February 2009, a story the The Daily Telegraph announced that Vera Lynn was suing the British National Party (BNP) for using her version of the The White Cliffs of Dover song on an anti-immigration album without her permission. Dame Lynn's lawyer claimed sales of the song would help boost the BNP's coffers and would link Vera Lynn's name to the party's right-wing views by association.[1]

On 12 October 2009 Ian Hislop presented a half hour BBC Radio 4 programme about the song. [2]


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