Our All-Time Favourite NDP Songs: Head-To-Head
STORY: Farhan Shafie
05 August 2019
Three things in life are certain: death, taxes and come the 9th of August, National Day songs. The very best ones will fill you with nostalgia and pride while others might leave you red-faced from cheesiness. Nothing beats the classics however, and in recent years there have been attempts to rework the older songs into something more modern. We’ve compiled a list of popular NDP tunes and pitted both the newer and older renditions against each other. Find out which versions came out on top!
We Will Get There (2002) by Stefanie Sun
Our Singapore (2015) by JJ Lin
Our Singapore (2019) by TOO MANY TO COUNT
Stefanie Sun’s rise to stardom in the early 2000s led her to be selected for a few NDP songs at the turn of the millennium. Her best was “We Will Get There” which boasts a rousing chorus and super fun dance moves that almost every Primary School kid memorised during assemblies back in the day. JJ Lin’s inspiring ditty, which was commissioned for Singapore’s 50th anniversary, has one of the most soaring refrains ever created locally. The “whoas” leave your spine tingling and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser. The 2019 edition combines the best parts of both songs and includes a bevy of talents from multiple generations. Move aside Avengers Endgame, 2019’s “Our Singapore” has the best all-star cast crossover ever.
Winner: Our Singapore (2019) by TOO MANY TO COUNT
Home (1998) by Kit Chan and Dick Lee
Home (2015) by Homes (StarHub)
Home is, quite simply, one of the best songs ever written. It has a heartwarming melody, melancholic lyrics, and is delivered with understated grace by the criminally underrated Kit Chan. You will not know the power of this song until you hear it during NDP while living or studying abroad. Meanwhile, the 2015 version was a project by StarHub that tugged on our heartstrings by showcasing oft-unheard voices in our community – namely, from Special Needs, Children’s and Elderly Homes. Certain parts of the tune were sung in different languages from Malay, Mandarin to Tamil, lending it further depth. It’s a close call, as both versions are gorgeous and stirring, but in the end we have to go with the one that started it all.
Winner: Home (1998) by Kit Chan and Dick Lee
We Are Singapore (1987) by Hugh Harrison and Jeremy Monteiro
We Are Singapore (2018) by Charlie Lim featuring Vanessa Fernandez, Aisyah Aziz, Shak’thiya Subramaniamm, THELIONCITYBOY, Joanna Dong, and ITE Show Choir
Did you know that when this song was first released 32 years ago, Singaporeans deemed it “uninspiring”? Now, it’s a bonafide classic. The highlight of “We Are Singapore” is, of course, the powerful bridge that incorporates our National Pledge. If that doesn’t bring about a swell of patriotism, we don’t know what will. The 2018 version was reworked by the supremely talented Charlie Lim and features a haunting prelude that breathes new life into the song. However, it also changed the pledge into a rapping bridge. (Yikes!) While that might appeal to the younger populace, we think that most Singaporeans would prefer to see this classic untouched.
Winner: We Are Singapore (1987) by Hugh Harrison and Jeremy Monteiro
Singapore Town (1967) by The Sidaislers
Singapore Town MV (2018) by Music and Drama Company (MDC)
Most people would be surprised to know that the original Singapore Town is more than 50 years old, almost as old as our country itself. Its evergreen tune and catchy island vibes make it a favourite among the older generation. If you’ve ever been a tourist around Sentosa, you’ve probably heard the song endlessly around the beaches, such is its appeal to visitors. The updated version, which was released last year by the Music and Drama Company, retains much of the original’s charm but strips the arrangement to just its bare essentials. Simple percussion, a ukulele and the beautiful voices of the singing quartet serves as a backdrop to the colourful music video that showcases Singapore in all its rustic beauty. A lovely upgrade for the next generation!
Winner: Singapore Town MV (2018) by Music and Drama Company (MDC)
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