war-music-fullannefs-smallBy Anne Finlay-Stewart

When I was very young, I went to the cenotaph with my father on Remembrance Day. He was a veteran of the Second World War and all the other veterans were the age of my father and my grandfather. Each year I got older and they got older and it became harder to think of them as the young men they had been, the teen-aged sons of those Silver Cross mothers who were waiting for them to come home. But back at our house, my father would put on the records and sing, and we could both imagine ourselves back in the 1940s.

This weekend a group of local musicians are going to celebrate the songs and the entertainers who kept up the spirits of the servicemen and women in the Second World War, and of the people they loved doing their bit back home. Whether you remember them on the radio or heard them from your parents or grandparents, these songs will be a trip down memory lane.

Think - Vera Lynn, Bing Crosby, the Andrews Sisters - I'll be Seeing You, White Cliffs of Dover, Accentuate the Positive, Rosie the Riveter.

"I fell in love with Vera Lynn and this era of beautiful songs of hope and community and love," said Kelda Mikalson,who has organized the show. "We face challenges in our own time and Canada is once again entering a conflict overseas. It is good to remember what we can do and be together."

Some of the musicians are taking the show to a local retirement residence for Remembrance Day, and they hope
to offer this music to the community through the anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2015.

Hope and Longing: Songs of the Second World War
With Kelda Mikalson, Keira McArthur, May Ip, Bethany Matthews, and more

Southampton: Saturday, November 8, at St. Andrews Church, 7:30 pm - tickets in advance or at the door
Owen Sound, Sunday, November 9, at the Harmony Centre (former Knox Church) 2 p.m. - pay-what-you can

Anne Finlay-Stewart is Community Editor of She can be reached at [email protected].



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