Saturday, 9 May 2015

NDP 2015 theme song: Our Singapore

JJ Lin will join Dick Lee to sing Our Singapore
NDP event will kick off with a segment paying tribute to Lee Kuan Yew
By Jermyn Chow, Defence Correspondent, The Straits Times, 8 May 2015

AFTER working through several drafts over four months, singer-songwriter Dick Lee thinks he may have hit the right note with this year's much-anticipated National Day Parade (NDP) theme song to celebrate SG50.

The 57-year-old has not only penned Our Singapore, but will also sing it with home-grown Mandopop star JJ Lin at the parade.

The song was released online last night on the NDP website.

Among those in the Padang stands on Aug 9 will be regional heads of state - the first foreign leaders to attend an NDP since 1969.

Lee, who wrote four other songs before settling on the ballad last December, said: "It just felt right. I was looking at all the SG50 plans and realised there is a lot of focus on the past and not really enough on the future. I thought, why not write a song about the next step? So the lyric came."

The heat has been on Lee to write an NDP song to surpass his 1998 anthem Home - one of the best-loved NDP songs that is sung at every parade.

"I didn't want people to compare whatever I will write to Home," he said. "There was a lot of pressure... the more that was put on me, the more stressed and more hesitant I was."

The new tune has attracted compliments in early reactions.

Communications manager Joyce Peh, 27, said: "The lyrics are simple and meaningful, and the song has a musical-like feel to it. It is quite refreshing."

However, when asked for their favourite National Day song, many picked Home, which was first sung by local singer Kit Chan. Engineer Chua Qiru, 26, said: "Home is a simple song that many Singaporeans can relate to. It brings people together."

Last year, NDP organisers broke tradition and did not have a new song after criticisms of past efforts. Noting that NDP theme songs have been "hit-and-miss", Brigadier-General Melvyn Ong, who is in charge of this year's show, said: "We thought there must be a song for Singapore at 50." He also gave more details of the parade, which he described as "inclusive" and "epic". It will be themed Majulah Singapura - "Onward Singapore" - after the national anthem. There will be 7,000 participants, about 2,000 more than previous years, who will take part in a parade over six chapters, tracing the progress of Singapore over the past 50 years and looking to a better future.

Kicking off the show will be a segment paying tribute to Singapore's first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died on March 23, aged 91.

Besides keeping a seat empty in his honour, there will be a video clip remembering his life and achievements. The Republic of Singapore Air Force's aerobatics display team the Black Knights will fly in a "five-star" formation in an aerial salute to him.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the five stars represent "the ideals that Mr Lee spent his life pushing for - democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality."

Other highlights include:
- An aerial display by RSAF warplanes forming the figure 50;
- Two fireworks shows, at the Padang and Marina Reservoir; and
- A vintage segment showcasing participants in the army's old Temasek green uniforms and the now-defunct Singapore Fire Brigade's helmets.
The main show will be at the Padang, with 26,000 seats, while a bayside show at The Float @ Marina Bay has a capacity of 25,000.

Together, they offer double the number of seats up for grabs this year.

BG Ong said that many people volunteered to take part, adding: "They don't just want to watch. They want to be a part of it."

Retired army officer Swee Boon Chai, 68, rounded up more than 50 other military veterans to take part in the vintage parade."We may be old soldiers but we want our drills to look sharp and smart."

National Day song well received
Dick Lee's new song, Our Singapore, was praised for heartfelt lyrics and catchy chorus
By Ankita Varma, The Straits Times, 9 May 2015

Composer Dick Lee can heave a sigh of relief now. The pressure he had said he felt from the task of writing this year's Golden Jubilee National Day song has lifted after the song Our Singapore was unveiled two days ago to a largely positive reception.

On The Straits Times Facebook page, comments from netizens were encouraging, with most saying that the lyrics were heartfelt and nostalgic.

Says finance professional Jimmy Yang, 29: "It's more mellow than the catchy NDP numbers of recent years, but it stays with you. I like that the sentimental lyrics are balanced out with an easy chorus that can be sung along by the crowd."

The chorus is characterised by easy-to-remember lines that go "oh, oh, oh, our home, our heart, our Singapore". The verse, however, is a little wordier.

Student Matilda Leong, 23, says: "At first the words seemed a bit complicated for a National Day number, but after listening to the song a few times, I began to appreciate how forward-looking the lyrics are. It's an apt way to celebrate how we're moving ahead in this SG50 year."

Initial reactions from the local music industry were promising as well, with musicians and songwriters Life! contacted saying their first impressions of the song were positive.

Local indie band The Sam Willows' member Sandra Riley Tang, 24, says: "It's definitely one of those numbers that I can hear the whole stadium singing together."

Last year, her band performed a well-received cover of Home, the most popular National Day song till now, which Lee, 58, had also written in the late 1990s when he was based in Hong Kong and feeling sentimental about Singapore.

The song was the reason he had felt even more pressure when writing Our Singapore.

But composer Jeremy Monteiro, 54, who is behind classic national songs such as One People, One Nation, One Singapore and We Are Singapore, says it would be unfair to compare Our Singapore to Home.

"Home was a very personal song whereas Our Singapore has more of a collective sentiment. It's why there's no need to pit one against the other - they're both incredibly rousing in their own right," he says, adding that he was immediately taken by the new song on first listen.

"The lyrics have so much heart in them and really have the potential to galvanise the nation. It's already so moving when sung with just a piano accompaniment, I cannot wait to see the end result once it is properly produced."

Sydney Tan, 55, who produced both Home and Our Singapore, says that they aimed for authenticity with the new song with lyrics that would not only appeal to all Singaporeans, but also honour memories of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first Prime Minister.

"After Mr Lee's passing, the first line of Our Singapore took on a new meaning and really brought things into sharp focus," he said.

Two versions of the song have been recorded - a contemporary version performed by JJ Lin and a reflective version sung by Dick Lee. It is not yet known when the two recordings will be released.

A video of the song, directed by film-maker Eric Khoo, will also be released in the coming weeks.

“The lyrics have so much heart in them and have the potential to galvanise the nation.”

- Composer Jeremy Monteiro on Our Singapore, the Golden Jubilee National Day song by Dick Lee


Music and lyrics by Dick Lee

Verse 1

It isn’t easy building something out of nothing

Especially when the road ahead’s a rocky one

But if we gather all our courage and conviction

And hold our dream up high The

challenge will be won


So now we look around us and we see

A nation built with love by you and me

A land to treasure right down to the core

Our home, our heart, our Singapore




Our home, our heart, our Singapore

Verse 2

Through many years gone by, we’ve moved ahead together

We’ve built a brave new world where we could shine and grow

And now we only have to look towards tomorrow

To carry on the dream as far as it will go


And amazing as it seems

It all started with a dream

And our dreaming isn’t done

‘Cause the best is yet to come

You have heard Dick Lee and JJ Lin, now take a listen to SPF Band’s rendition of this year’s National Day theme song, “...
Posted by Singapore Police Force on Saturday, August 8, 2015

Applications open for NDP and preview tickets
By Jermyn Chow, The Straits Times, 8 May 2015

SINGAPOREANS and permanent residents can apply for tickets to the National Day Parade (NDP) and its preview from today until May 17.

Applicants can ballot for two, four or six tickets to the NDP preview on Aug 1, or the parade on Aug 9.

Those who apply for fewer tickets will have a higher chance of getting them, according to the NDP executive committee.

The tickets are free and people can apply for seats at the Padang, the floating platform or "either location", if they do not mind where they sit. Those who choose the last option will receive tickets for either of the two venues.

Both locations will allow viewers to participate in the celebrations.

Applications can be submitted via SMS, the official NDP website ( or at SAM and AXS stations.

To apply via SMS, details should be sent to 8240-0050 in a set format as follows:SPACESPACESPACESPACESPACE

For the Padang, applicants should key in the number "1".

For The Float @ Marina Bay, applicants should key in the number "2".

For either location, applicants should key in the number "0".

Each NRIC holder is limited to one application. Tickets will be allocated by an electronic ballot system, and each ticket admits one spectator to the parade.

Children and infants must also have a ticket.

Successful applicants will be notified from June 1 to June 5 via the contact number they provided in their applications.

Tickets can be collected from June 5 to June 14 from 10am to 10pm at the Marina Square Shopping Mall Atrium, where the NDP exhibition will be held.

All successful applicants in last year's eBalloting exercise will not be eligible this year.

This year's National Day Parade will be themed "Majulah Singapura", calling on all Singaporeans to reflect on our...
Posted by Singapore Civil Defence Force on Thursday, May 7, 2015

National Day Parade 2015 – Vintage Parade #NDP2015 #SPFPrideThis year’s National Day Parade (NDP) will feature a...
Posted by Singapore Police Force on Friday, May 8, 2015

<<Participating at NDP again at 76 years old>> Mr Sardar Ali, aged 76, will be one of our pioneers who will re-enact...
Posted by Ng Eng Hen on Friday, May 22, 2015


No comments:

Post a Comment