NDP Fun pack song attacked

From ‘Bad idea’, 6 July 2011, My Point, ST Forum and ‘Lady Gaga rip-off ripped out’, 6 July 2011, article by Jeremy Chow, ST

(MS CHRISTINE CHAN): ‘A YouTube video of a recent rehearsal for this year’s National Day Parade (NDP) features a pre-show performance by local artists singing about the contents of the fun pack for the NDP crowd to the tune of Lady Gaga’s hit single Bad Romance. While featuring popular music to create a youthful and entertaining buzz is well-meaning, to cheapen a hit song with lyrics about the trivialities of an NDP goodie bag is in bad taste.

The banal treatment ruins the experience of the original song and insults the intelligence of spectators and home viewers. The parade not only celebrates the nation’s founding, but it also showcases Singapore as an island that has overcome great odds to be a First World country. To have a well-loved song destroyed by lyrics about goodie bags reflects poorly on us. As the NDP is still in rehearsals, it is not too late to make amends. As a young person and Lady Gaga fan, I hope this number will be excluded.’

…Dick Lee: Why do we need to sing about biscuits, sweets and Newater? It’s not worth celebrating these items in a bag….If I were Lady Gaga, I wouldn’t be very pleased.

Superlatives like ‘epic fail’, ‘lame’, ’embarrassing’ came fast and furious when this clip went viral, and it’s clear from the video that the audience wasn’t amused, with cheerleaders trying their darnedest to get people excited over a goodie bag  So now they know how flight attendants feel when they’re giving safety demos to passengers. If I were deprived of food, water and a mobile phone for a week I’d probably have something to prance about, but to go Gaga over a goodie bag is like throwing fireworks after finding out what’s inside a pencil case. Incidentally, the fun pack was painstakingly designed to be biodegradable, with a visor, a hand-fan and a Mr Bean shaker. It’s practically your very own samba fiesta in a bag, which explains everything then.

Can’t hardly wait.

Lampooning Lady Gaga is fine as long as you make it witty, at minimum, relevant. But even the hardiest Phua Chu Kang movie fans fed on a stock of clumsy schtick would find this rather unbearable after a few listens.  I mean, this actually makes the YOG’s Oh Yeah Oh Yeah cheer sound, and LOOK, good. The ‘Love Your Ride’ jingle is a work of sterling genius in comparison. There’s no effort to even make a pun out of the original song’s title, which makes this more of an insult, rather than a tribute to the diva herself. Everyone performing that song in the video has my deepest sympathies. It could have been worse, though. Gurmit Singh could have sung this dressed as Phua Chu Kang.

But what really bugs me about this song is that it’s taking its subject matter  (fun pack) way too seriously, that it ceases to be cheesy after the very first line. It seemed like the writer came up with the lyrics while pressed against the wall with a flaming pitchfork, held by a singing purple dinosaur who would only let him off if he churned out something in a couple of minutes. I took the pain of dissecting the lyrics line by line, to give an indication of how much thought was put into this.

Let’s start with the bag/That’s right, grab your bag/It’s the fun pack bag/Attack the fun pack

The bag in ‘fun pack bag’ is redundant. Isn’t the pack itself a bag? Just look at the last words of this stanza. Bag, bag, bag, pack. What the hell. Mother Goose would be squawking with displeasure.

Take out your light stick, it’s two of a kind/It’s interactive, means you can join/Just pretend/Oh oh oh it’s a disco

Means you can join..what?How is a light stick interactive? Can you sms with it? Do people even use the word ‘disco’ anymore?

I want Newater and I want a cold drink/You and me let’s share a bit/I want a biscuit and I want a sweet/You and me, let’s share this treat

This is the fountain of youth right here. Sing this line and you’ll be instantly transported into a crib, Huggies and all. And redundancy again; Newater IS the cold drink isn’t it. Or so I hope.

But what really takes the cake is the bridge. I’m not sure what the intentions of the writer were when he came up with this, but it sounds like something you would want to attach a xxx suffix to.

You know I want you/And you know that I need you/I want a wet, wet tissue.

The fun pack will naturally spawn its own spoofs-within-a-spoofs in the coming days. Enter the Pun Pack, and let the real fun begin. Meanwhile, just in case there are fun pack supporters out there who want to challenge me to come up with something better, here’s my version.

I want that visor/it makes me look cool
Anyone to thinks otherwise/ Is just a damned fool
I want it now/ Now, now, now, if not how?

Chorus: I want my funpack so I can shine a light stick
And wave it like I’m a Star Wars Kid (whoa-oh-oh)
I want this song to end/It’s taking too long
Bring on the Munnaeru Vaalibaa song

Munnaeru Vaalibaa song

Postscript: The Fun Pack song was eventually given the boot out of the NDP parade, citing copyright issues as the reason. There is a God. It will be a while before we hear of Haresh Sharma again. I know everyone’s got to pay the bills, especially playwrights, but this is not the way to sell-out dude, more so if you’ve once been shortlisted by CNN in 2009 as one of 20 Singaporeans described as  ‘unique, fascinating, and contributing to the city and society in their own way’.



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