Singapore's National Day is coming on 9th August

When Singapore's National Day is mentioned, it isn't just about being part of the National Day Parade nor getting a NDP goodie bag for being able to get one's hands on the tickets itself. It's also new theme songs every year. And talking about Singapore's National Day Theme song, I cannot help but be reminded of last year's NDP where, Home was included.

Back in the 90s, I would religiously watched it every year on television. I'm just not into squeezing and sweating it out with a lot of strangers at the National Stadium. Not to mention how hard it is to queue for tickets every year. And once the Parade is over, it's also another "mad" scramble to get transport out of there as roughly 60,000 people (Singaporeans, Permanent Residents of Singapore and probably visiting tourists who do managed to get tickets, those lucky people) who will show up at the live parade, especially if they do get tickets. Trying to squeeze myself for public transport with another 60,000 Singaporeans? No thank you, I'll prefer to stay in the comfort of my home where I can get toilet breaks, nom nom breaks and stuffs like that when commercial pops up.

Many years down the road, I kinda watched it on and off, not so much of a religious fan of the parade coverage anymore. Since it's almost practically the same with every year. The passing of the parade, ministers and the president arriving, shows, fireworks, you get the idea. Last year out of curiosity as to how the latest NDP is like, I decided to watch it. And like the youtube video I posted above, Home was being sung, as well as the official NDP theme song In A Heartbeat by Sylvia Ratonel, starring Sharon Au in the music video version. Back to the issue of the song Home, when I first heard it (was originally sung by Kit Chan), I thought it was the most beautiful NDP theme ever. The lyrics were simplicity at it's very best. No matter how exotic a destination you may go to, your home country will always be your home.

This song was "inserted" midway into the parade and lo and behold, Sheik Haikel did a rap part in this beautiful song. Destroying the song's feeling, tempo and emotions, just because of his rap lyrics. I was rather glad someone wrote into the newspapers a few days later to raise the issue of why the "rapping" is needed when the song already delivers the message it intends to. Not trying to diss Sheik Haikel here, yes, he may be Singapore's Godfather of Rap. But seriously, there are other moments to display his rap talents, not during a segment of Singapore's National Day Parade, especially not within Home. It just left such a sour and rancid after-feel that I promptly switched to another channel and watched movies instead. 2011 was the year I somehow felt less Singaporean than I normally am. And personally for me, I felt that 2011 was the year Sheik Haikel became a song troll a à la Kanye West on Katy Perry's E.T..

Please, Mr. Dick Lee, no more "rap" during Singapore's National Day Parade. And with the most heartfelt plea, no more "rap" in any Singapore's National Day theme song either. Leave the song as it is, full of emotions, feelings and the like of being a Singaporean and what it's like to be a Singaporean. There's no need for anything closely related to rapping during Singapore's proudest moment. And that day only comes once a day, not twice like Chinese-speaking citizen's birthdays where we celebrate it during the Gregorian calendar and Chinese calendar. Like what Mr. Lee Kuan Yew said in 1965, "not on any other day, but 9 August. And only on 9 August." Singapore's birthday falls on 9 August, and only on 9 August, no other dates. Please respect that with no more raps anymore!

And now back to this years National Day theme song, Love at First Light, sung by Singapore's Olivia Ong and Natanya Tan.

Apparently, quite a number of Singaporeans hated this song via by the 300+ dislikes visible on YouTube. Reason being that little Natanya Tan ruined the song. Like how so? As compared to Mediacorp Saving Gaia 2012 song, I think, felt and decided that Natanya Tan did a great and awesome job with Olivia Ong.

If you would clicked on the Saving Gaia song link, it started out with a group of kids singing in their normal voice (or tones, whichever way you like to call it) and when the song comes to the individual part, there's where a lot of us cringe at it. Everyone became a impromptu "falsetto". The song is actually great, the lyrics are meaningful and insightful. The worst part? They ate the lyrics and I have absolutely no idea what they were singing ^^; Until MediaCorp decided to implement lyrics on the screen so we all know what the little kids were singing to us. That in my opnion, is bad..

Now, to look back to Love at First Light by Olivia Ong and Natanya Tan. I can't even say how wonderful a job Olivia and Natanya did for this song. Obviously, I understand whatever Natanya was singing in the music video that has been airing on our airwaves in Singapore, so much so that lyrics-on-the-screen won't be needed. Each word is pronounced clearly despite it being in a song, which is rather hard for someone or even anyone who isn't musically trained at all. It's a beautiful song.

And still the same old feeling from me, no more rap from Sheik Haikel in Love at First Light please. Seriously. This is a beautiful song, there's no need to destroy it as well..


Riih Rion is bashful when facing cameras and video-cams. But she soon realized she is more comfortable behind a PC screen than in front of a lens. Riih is passionate about beauty products, paranormal & folk lore from anywhere in the world and sushi. Especially sushi. Come visit her blogs or drop her a comment :D

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