Many people will never admit that they actually like any of the Made in Singapore National Day songs. From the retro-istic "Count on Me, Singapore" to "Stand Up for Singapore"... National Day songs have come a long way.
It used to be that the songs were more of the encouraging sort - encouraging people to feel for Singapore, to be a part of a nation on its way to great things, to be 'Singaporeans' instead of just Chinese, Malay, Indian or Eurasian. Once upon a time, we had to be reminded to feel proud to be Singaporeans, that we're all the same under the crescent moon and stars... and regardless of our faith, beliefs or race, we stand as one.
We've moved on.
When the songs started to adopt a more 'pop' culture feel, many people were left disoriented, many questioning the purpose of having a 'National Day Song' that hints only at patriotic feelings. They wondered as to the underlying meaning(s) of the lyrics, and of having to read between the lines. Many were not comfortable with having a song that's hardly 'in-their-face' yelling: "HEY!! WE ARE SINGAPORE!"
Most of us just cringed at the campfire-like tunes with lyrics that educate and advocate, rather than emotionally entertain.
Change is good. It creates progress, and it moves along the notion and hope that more people, especially the youngsters and the impressionable ones - would actually enjoy listening and perhaps, even - sing along to a song that would otherwise be labelled as another cheesy 'let's-clap-in-tandem-and-sing-along-Karaoke-style' NDP production.
So the songs have notes that perhaps only singers can hit. The tune is not as predictable as 'Row Row Row your Boat'. There are more chords and keys than the normal across the board 'it'll still sound good even if you sing it acapella style in the bathroom'. So what?
Music is a Universal Language. It reaches people of all walks of life in ways that nothing else probably ever could. No matter how different two people are, perhaps their love of music may bond them together. Even those who don't speak a certain language may like a tune just basically on the feelings evoked when they hear that song.
Get used to the new style National Day songs. I like them... even if I'm not a Singaporean. I've been a Permanent Resident here for over 30 years - perhaps I'll want to be a full fledged Singaporean one day. But for now, I can identify with the songs. I'm waiting to be surprised by this year's song.
Some time ago, we decided to participate in the 'Building a Loving SG' initiative. I think that all children should be given the opportunity to be equipped with as much resources as required for education in schools, and this is just a small way that we try to contribute toward that cause.
Building a Loving SG
As part of Singapore's 47th National Day Celebrations, close to 200,000 LEGO® bricks and LEGO® minifigures and over 500 volunteers will re-create a Marina Bay Floating Platform replica depicting the National Day Parade. The "Building a LovingSG" structure will span an area of 12 by 9 metres, about the size of a volleyball court.
How to Participate?
By donating as little as a $5, you will receive a pair of customized LEGO® minifigures. One of the LEGO® minifigures will be placed on the seating gallery of the platform, while the other is for your keepsake as a reminder of your participation. Only 25,000 customised LEGO® minifigures are created for this purpose, so hurry and grab yours now!
All proceeds will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund whose mission is to reach out to every child in need and provide them with the resources to do well in school - and beyond.
More information here.