"Sincerely Yours, Vera Lynn:" Performing Class, Sentiment, and Femininity in the "People's War"


  • Christina Baade Christina Baade, McMaster University, has published or has forthcoming work on American klezmer and popular music broadcasting at the wartime BBC, including a chapter in Floodgates: Technologies, Cultural Ex/change and the Persistence of Place and an article in Popular Music. This paper relates to her current book project, "Victory Through Harmony': The BBC, Identity, and Popular Music in World War II."


Vera Lynn embodies nostalgic constructions of World War II as a good war. Though phenomenally popular, her radio performances inspired debates over sentimentality and women's voices on air. This article examines how her performances enacted national wartime values while provoking controversy and argues that even "compliant" cultural production does important political work.


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