As National Day is fast approaching, Singaporeans are evidently getting more and more excited with every passing day. Whether they’re looking forward to Singapore’s birthday or to the public holidays, which we think is more likely the case, the celebratory mood is clearly creating waves at all corners of the city.
Look around and you’ll find Singaporeans displaying the national flag from their balconies, on their cars, and at their work desks. But more than that, we’re hearing traces of different National Day songs being played on the television, through our local radio stations and when we’re out and about at the mall.
Here, we give you a quick round up of the Top Ten National Day Songs that Singaporeans just can’t get enough of and some that we've gotten more than enough of.
Stand Up For Singapore
A song ingrained in the minds and hearts of all Singaporeans, Stand Up for Singapore is certainly one National Day song that will have you tapping to the beat.
Start with a line and there’s bound to be someone to finish it for you.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and designated to be a national song by the Singapore National Arts Council in 1984, this song has gained much success in bringing together a nation of diversity. Little known to us, the man behind the slightly annoying music and lyrics of Stand Up for Singapore is a guy who goes by the name of Hugh Harrison.
Let's say he managed to weave some of his magic into the song and somehow managed to strike a chord us Singaporeans, but thank goodness a birthday is only once a year. We can't emphasise it any further, but again, thank goodness.
Just imagine the song being played on our local radio throughout the year. Yeah, you know what I mean.
Image Source: insing.com
Count On Me, Singapore
With his talents seemingly recognized by both the government and the National Day committee, Hugh Harrison was given the honor of showcasing his musical talents to the nation once again with the 1986 National Day song, Count On Me, Singapore.
Count On Me, Singapore was materialised in the good hands of the talented trio: Hugh Harrison as song composer, Jeremy Monteiro as music director, and Clement Chow as the performing artiste.
Famous for its memorable chorus, “count on me Singapore, count on me Singapore; count on me to give my best and more, count on me Singapore”, this song does it yet again, getting stuck in our heads for several possible reasons.
Whether its because of creative music direction, or because of lyrics and melody akin to what a child would sing to in kindergarten, we let you be the judge.
Image Source: http://timesofmylife.wordpress.com
We Are Singapore
Continuing this trend for the third consecutive year in 1987, the men entrusted with the responsibility of putting together yet another song for the nation were none other than Hugh Harrison and Jeremy Monteiro.
As much as this does get us hooked, the repetitive nature of the song is almost child's play. But nonetheless, this duo had us singing along to its simple, but evidently captivating lyrics - lyrics that were able to surface a sense of pride and belongingness to our homeland, Singapore.
Image Source: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4095/4878162247_6e2f2473df.jpg
One People, One Nation, One Singapore
In 1990, the National Day theme song to accompany Singapore’s birthday celebrations was One People, One Nation, One Singapore – the song that also marked our nation’s Silver Jubilee, our 25 years of freedom and independence.
Unlike the previous years, it was Jim Aitchison who paired up with Jeremy Monteiro to compose the year’s official National Day theme song.
While the name of Jim Aitchison might not ring a bell to many, Singaporeans of that generation may be more familiar with his pseudonym, James Lee, which is the name he gave himself as the author of the local young-adult fictional series, Mr. Midnight.
Not only did he win the hearts of his young readers, we couldn't help but to fall in love with One People, One Nation, One Singapore, placing it on our Top Ten list for its overwhelming patriotic, sincere and affectionate energy.
Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cyberpioneer/4859266822/
How can we not mention this hot favorite?
Sung by the lovely and undeniably talented local singer-songwriter, Kit Chan, Home is one National Day song that will always remain close to the hearts of all Singaporeans.
Released as the theme song for 1998, Home took a different direction in terms of sound and appeal – one that was less ‘grandiose’ and more ‘festive’ in nature.
With One People, One Nation, One Singapore being the final of the four “official” National Day songs, Home was the first in a line-up of yearly National Day theme songs to commemorate Singapore’s birthday celebrations.
Home made its official debut with a live performance by Kit during the National Day Parade held at the Padang – the historical grounds on which Singapore was declared an independent nation.
And of course, we simply can't express how proud we are to have her contribute to our nation such a lovely musical piece.
The multi-faceted Kit Chan, crowned with the title of one of Singapore’s “national treasures”, magically transformed these beautiful lyrics into a musical masterpiece – a masterpiece that wouldn’t have been made possible without the brilliance of composer, songwriter, and playwright, Dick Lee.
Till this very day, Home still manages to tug at our heart strings, making us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.
Image Source: glamourgirlsinaction.blogspot.com
Chan Mali Chan
A commonly played song during our annual National Day Parade is the Indonesian folk song from Nusa Tenggara, Chan Mali Chan.
So, it may not have its origins in Singapore, but this song surely gets the crowd going with its catchy and upbeat lyrics.
Does this line, "Chan Mali Chan oi oi, Chan Mali Chan oi oi!" sound any familiar to you? If it does, I'm pretty sure it had you chirping along as well.
Designated as a community song by the National Arts Council, Chan Mali Chan is often placed right smack into the parade’s playlist to unite all Singaporeans, just like you and I, to join voices, have fun, and go all-out crazy with the crowd.
Image source: commons.wikimedia.org
“Together we make a difference
One voice, one destiny…
Together we make a difference
Our friends, our family…”
These are two familiar lines found in the 1999 National Day theme song titled “Together”. Yet another personal favorite, as well as a favorite of many others, this song somehow manages to warm the hearts of Singaporeans over and over again.
With music and lyrics produced by Singapore Idol Judge, Ken Lim, complimented by the perfect combination of vocals from MediaCorp artiste Evelyn Tan and now-disbanded music group Dreamz FM, Together preserves its popularity as a National Day song full of life and devotion.
As much as passion and emotion goes, we think they did an excellent job.
Image Source: ndp.org
We Will Get There
Seriously, is there a need to explain why We Will Get There made it on our list? We doubt so, but we’re going to do it anyway.
For one, highly acclaimed Singaporean singer-songwriter Stefanie Sun - the local songstress adored by many - was the girl with the sweet and beautiful voice behind this song.
As yet another ‘national treasure’ to Singapore’s music and entertainment scene, Stefanie’s ability to give emotion and meaning to the song, aroused the spirit of patriotism in all of us Singaporeans.
We just love the fact that her vocal abilities stretched to the point of giving the already beautiful song an extra 'oomph' and that added touch of overflowing sweetness.
Image Source: http://www.showimg.com
Reach Out For The Skies
Accompanying the theme of “40 Years of Nation Building” for the National Day Parade in 2005 was the song Reach Out For The Skies.
What made this theme song such a crowd-pleaser was its specially choreographed dance routine that got Singaporeans enthusiastically grooving to. Guilty as charged here! Just hope I wasn't caught red-handed.
Apart from the boogie woogie, there's no doubt that the choice of singers commissioned to perform this song was a major bonus.
With several local songbirds singing past National Day theme song, it was hardly a surprise that the winner of Singapore Idol 2004, Taufik Batisah, was the obvious choice for 2005.
He, together with local singer and MediaCorp TV sweetheart, Rui-En, led the nation into song and dance during the National Day Parade that year for one helluva nationwide celebration.
Image Source: Hype Records
What Do You See?
Finally, ending our list on a high is the 2009 National Day theme song entitled What Do You See?.
Written and sung by local award-winning, pop-rock and indie band, Electrico, the song sent Singaporeans singing along and bobbing their heads to the beat during their live performance at the nation’s 44th birthday celebration, held at The Float at Marina Bay.
Since Electrico generally has a much greater appeal to the younger English-speaking audience, we figure it's the reason why there was a Chinese version built upon the original.
Translated to ‘Right Here’, the Chinese version of the song was rewritten by composer Xiao-han and sung by MediaCorp TV Channel U’s Project SuperStar winner, Chen Wei Lian.
While both songs have their fare share of fans, I personally love this refreshing addition. As Singapore gets older year by year, I think it was a pretty smart move to have such a young and 'hip' band make our nation feel young at heart all over again.
Image Source: http://is.asia-city.com
If you haven't already heard this year's National Day theme song, well, where have you been? Just less than a week away, National Day 2012 will feature the song entitled Love At First Light. Alhough the title sounds a little cheesy, we must say we're impressed by the vocals of little 7-year-old Natanya Tan, who is joined by local songstress Olivia Ong in making this year's theme song possible.
Let us know what you think of Love At First Light. Will you give it thumbs up or thumbs down?
Share with us what some of your favorite National Day theme songs are. We'd love to hear from you too.
In advance from us at Top Ten Singapore, here's wishing all Singaporeans out there a very happy National Day!