92-Year-Old Tops Beatles on British Charts

"We'll Meet Again" seems like one of those songs forever frozen in a time and a place: Britain in World War II. It was sung by Vera Lynn, who came to be called the "Forces Sweetheart."

Now 92-years-old, Lynn has a good reason to raise a glass.

The re-released recording of her songs on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the war has shot to No. 1 on the U.K. charts with a bullet. It's even eclipsed the re-release of the Beatles discography.

"Personally I just can't believe it and I question. I wonder why. Nostalgia perhaps," said Lynn.

Nostalgia may explain why Lynn fan Marion Grey has joined the grey stampede to the record stores. "Well, I like her singing and my age, of course," Grey explained.

But it takes more than people of a certain age to push an album to the top.

What's going on here is Britain is at war again - now in Afghanistan. More soldiers are going away to fight -- more sacrifice. There's more need for the expression of that feeling that Vera Lynn still apparently provides.

"Let's hope that they will soon be home soon and good luck chaps and all the best to your families as well that you have left behind," said Lynn.

Of course, Britain has changed a lot in the 70 or so years since Vera Lynn was everybody's sweetheart. Or has it? Somehow the sentiments she evoked in a country at war then, are still valid in a county at war now.

Like the song says, "we'll meet again."

"We'll Meet Again" on YouTube:


  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips returned to the CBS News London bureau as a correspondent in 1993. He has covered many major stories since then, including the war in the Balkans, the death of Princess Diana and the weapons inspection conflicts in Iraq.

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