From ‘Pointless to have new ones every year’ 29 July 2010, ST Forum
(Victor Khoo) Is it necessary to compose new National Day songs every year?
My sense is that these new compositions seem to be written to promote the artists singing them rather than as a song that Singaporeans can truly connect with.
There is nothing wrong with the two classics, Count On Me Singapore and Stand Up For Singapore, which are inspirational and tug at the heartstrings.
It would be wrong if the organisers’ intention is to cater to the young generation because this would suggest that older Singaporeans are left out.
It would be better if the creative sparks organising this year’s National Day Parade re-record a fresh, uptempo version of the two classic songs. Then they will be recognisable and easy for all to sing or hum along to.
With the kind of criticism thrown and enormous pressure faced by National Day song performers, e.g Electrico, what on earth makes Victor Khoo think that our local artistes would use this as a platform for stardom? Bland lyrics, boring videos, limited overseas appeal, people watching it for free on TV and not buying CDs, not being able to perform the song at concerts because it’s lame. It’s practically career suicide! And not all uptempo remixes of Stand up for Singapore are easy to hum to, as you can see from this clip of a rap entourage taking a classic, pulverising it with phony hip hop grooves, disemboweling it of all meaning and nostalgia, and scrapping its bloody innards on the ground off the sole of their Timberland boots. As for its exclusive appeal to youth, don’t you know it’s totally not cool to listen to National Day songs? If anything, NDP anthems like the irrepressible Stand up for Singapore belong on the mixtape of any Line Dancing tournament.