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Wartime hit “White Cliffs of Dover” used by British National Party as anti-immigration anthem

Forces Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn furious for the misappropriation, plans to sue 18 february 2009

Wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn is consulting her legal team after the BNP made use of her hit song, “White Cliffs of Dover” on a promotional CD against immigration, proceeds of which will help boost the BNP’s coffers.

The 91-year-old Forces Sweetheart says she had no idea her iconic hit would be used in the album and has no alignment with the controversial right wing party.

The CD, which is named after her 1942 hit song ‘White Cliffs Of Dover’, also features another Lynn song, ‘All Alone in Vienna’, along with other pro-Britain wartime music by the likes of Glenn Miller, Flanagan and Allen and The Andrews Sisters.

‘Here, recaptured in re-mastered glory, are the songs the soldiers sang from the deserts of North Africa to the beaches of Normandy. An unforgettable trip down memory lane,’ is stated on the CD. 

The ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ album, which features a Spitfire on the front, is sold online through the BNP’s trading arm, Excalibur, for £4.95 (+20% delivery). A portion of the money it raises will go towards the BNP’s party funds.

“Vera Lynn, Glen Miller and others produced the music by which the English-speaking world went to war from 1939 to 1945. Here, recaptured in re-mastered glory, are the songs the soldiers sang from the deserts of North Africa to the beaches of Normandy. An unforgettable trip down memory lane,” states the online description, classifying the album in the nostalgia section.

"Her position is that the song was included without her approval," Lynn’s solicitor, Nigel Angel, said. "She does not align with any political party.”

Dame Vera is renowned for her fundraising and donates proceeds from songs she has sung to British troops to charity. But funding the BNP does not appear to be in her line.

Lynn’s MP, Norman Baker, offered his support to the singer, saying: "The BNP will try to imply they have the support of individuals by this kind of action when they clearly don’t have their support – it’s extremely regrettable."

The White Cliffs of Dover was written by an American called Nat Burton in 1941. It became a massive hit in 1942 when sung by Dame Vera Lynn.

BNP deputy leader Simon Darby said: "It is a commercially available piece of music and it is not as if we have bootlegged it.

"It is something you could buy off Amazon and we are proud to stock. There are a number of songs on the album and by no means are we implying Dave Vera is a nationalist.
"I think it’s been misconstrued as anti-immigrant but it is much ado about nothing."

The full track listing for the White Cliffs of Dover album is as follows:

The White Cliffs of Dover- Vera Lynn; This is the Army Mr Jones – Irving Berlin; Hang out the Washing on the Siegfried Line – Flanagan and Allen; Comin’ in on a Wing and a Prayer – The four Vagabonds; Beneath the Lights of Home – Deanna Durbin; Coming Home – Lou Preager; Ma I Miss Your Apple Pie – Ambrose; I’ll Never Smile Again – Joe Loss; The Home Coming Waltz – Ivy Benson; Its a Pair of Wings for me – Nat Gonella; Long Ago and Far Away – Geraldo; All Alone in Vienna – Vera Lynn; The Nearness of You – Leslie Hutchinson; Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – The Andrews Sisters; Obey Your Air Raid Warden – Tony Pastor; She’ll Always Remember – Glenn Miller.

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