D-Day 75 years on – the music still plays its part

Ruth Simmons
June 6, 2019

Even in the darkest of times, music has the power to take us to a different place, a place where we can deny our fears and trick our brain and heart into feeling something different.

Today, as we mark the anniversary of D-Day, we are feting and honouring the veterans who are still alive (and in their 90s) and remembering all those who gave their lives.

It is poignant to remember the music that took this generation through the most difficult days. This was a generation who never knew if they would ever see each other again, even if they were saying goodbye to go to school or work — let alone going off to fight. “See ya later” or even “laters” took on a whole new meaning for any parting.

Checking out Classic FM’s playlist tribute to the war years as a music supervisor I find myself looking at this playlist with different eyes.  All these songs have stood the test of time and still can be heard in all national celebrations and family parties. These were songs that were written, sung and recorded to help people get through pain and loss, and at the same time encourage positivity and the will to go on.

So what would the brief for these songs look like? ‘Nostalgic’? ‘Hopeful’? ‘Patriotic’? ‘Inspired’?

Of course, contemporary music still plays those roles in managing people’s emotions. It got me wondering how different would today’s playlist look If we were briefed for songs that made us feel inspired, hopeful and nostalgic. What songs would we have submitted? (I hesitate on “patriotic” In today’s political climate – “patriotic” may skew the list.)

These are a few of ours:

These songs have stood the test of time and we hope that they are still around in another 75 years. What would your list look like? Let us know your 5 top songs that work to that brief. The best list will receive a bottle of bubbly so we can all celebrate and thank the extraordinary contribution a whole generation made for the rest of us to live in the most peaceful period ever in history.