Popular Music

“When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World”

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The song “When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World” sung by Vaughn Monroe was played during World War II. This 1940’s song has deep meanings and can be interrupted in manyways. The tunes and vocal in this song is very mellow and relaxing. It is almost soothing and comforting for the people listening during the war time. This song has instruments that are not too harsh to the ears. The lyrics are reassuring that once the war is over, everything will be perfect. Monroe starts off the song with the line “When the lights go on again all over the world, and the boys are home again all over the world” to me is happiness. The lights turning on again to me symbolizes the end to the war. The boys returning home means they are off duty and most importantly alive. The message to war time listeners is to verify that everything will finally go back to normal. “And the ships will sail again all over the world, then well have time for things like wedding rings and free hearts will sing” means that people will go on with their daily normal happy lives without stressing over the war. The song is something that both men and women can reminisce on since things will change for the better. Lights being off symbolizes darkness, unhappiness, death, heartache and anything that is considered cheerless. Whereas the lights turning on, symbolizes brightness and joy. The boys coming back home is something that gives everyone happiness. It is knowing that someone’s son or father is alive. This song was a hit because of its positivity. This is also a message to wartime listener of what will happen when the war is over. The lights turning on again is connected to the war being over.

The song was written by Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus and Eddie Seiler and recorded and sung by Vaughn Wilton Monroe and his Orchestra. Benjamin and Marcus worked on varies songs together. In the 1940’s during wartime, they worked on songs like “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” and “When the Lights Go On Again All Over the World” alongside with Eddie Seiler. Benjamin, Marcus and Seiler worked on music between the years 1911 to 1952 so they had other works that they are well known for. Monroe created his orchestra around 1940 and he was the main singer.

The song came out in 1942 and it signifies world war II. Its lyrics are soothing and positive for those who are expecting their son’s, brother or father to come home. This song is also to bring single couples together since there would be “more time for things like wedding rings” mentioned in the song.  This song was mostly heard during world war II in London. This song targets audiences who are affected by the trauma of war. The many factors of this include losing a loved one, experiencing physical injuries or being away from someone you love for a long period of time. Those returning from war would often find themselves having flashbacks of war. The song’s connection is therefore a beautiful one in that it symbolizes hope for a better tomorrow where the American people can rejoice.

There are other popular versions of this song that was sung by Vera Lynn and Lucky Millinder. Those songs were also number one on charts. As mentioned before another song that came out during the same time was “I Don’t Want to Set the World On Fire” which was written by Marcus, Seiler and Benjamin.


The song’s history traces back to the aftermath of World War II. Marked as a tragic and unforgettable part of history. Many grieved over the loss of loved ones but also rejoiced in reconnecting with them. The second World War will always be regarded as one of the most significant events that inflicted every individual’s life.





1 Comment

  1. Nice reading of the lyrics in this post. Did you find a recording of the song? If so, can you link to it or include it in the post please so that others can hear it? Also, what did you find out about Vaughn Monroe? Was he a popular singer at the time?

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