Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra – these are all very big names in the music industry. If you were a songwriter/record producer in the last century and you could have had even one of them record your song, you would’ve had a hit on your hands. These are just three of the dozens of artists who recorded Sammy Fain’s and Irving Kahal’s popular song: I’ll Be Seeing You.
Most people think of this song as a World War II nostalgia piece, (even though it was first published in 1938). It evokes scenes of soldiers saying good-bye to their gals in train stations and on ship docks. Not knowing when, or if, they’ll be coming home to them. It’s not a great stretch to think we’re in a similar situation now. We may not be going overseas to fight fascism, but with COVID quarantine we don’t know when, or if, we’ll be able to see in-person and hug our loved ones again.
This is where the silver lining comes in. We are lucky (it may not seem like it, but we are) because we have technology that obviously didn’t exist during WWII and we can see each other. If not in-person, at least on a screen. We can hear each other, and pick up on the tone in our voices without having to interpret the meaning of a phrase used in a letter. Inflection is highly under-rated.
So, whether it’s a Zoom call, a Facebook group chat, or WhatsApp, or Google Play, when we say I’ll Be Seeing You we can actually mean “seeing” you. Which is something I’ll bet our grandparents would have been very thankful for. We are very fortunate to be able to count our blessings, virtually!
Oh, and by the way, Billie Holiday’s 1944 recording of the song was the final transmission sent by NASA to the Opportunity rover on Mars when its mission ended in February 2019.