NDP song’s rhythm is awful and unpleasing the ear

From ‘NDP song leaves much to be desired’, 3 June 2017, ST Forum

(Joe Teo Kok Seah): Despite listening to this year’s National Day Parade theme song – Because It’s Singapore! – on several different occasions, my peers and I cannot help but find the rhythm awful and unpleasing to the ear.

Apart from the lyrics, whether a song endears itself to the public is largely determined by its rhythm or melody.

The importance of the rhythm cannot be overemphasised.

… When compared with other NDP songs, it becomes all the more evident that this year’s song is poorly composed.

It is quite unnecessary to create a new song every year for NDP, just like no one contrives to produce a song for every Christmas and Chinese New Year.

What impresses me about this letter is not the writer’s brutal honesty, but the fact that he and his poor friends had to listen to ‘Because It’s Singapore!’ MORE THAN ONCE. I couldn’t make it past the 2 minute mark, knowing that not even a chest-thumping, horns- blaring, harp-ripping, soprano-screaming crescendo could save this mess. I’d imagine this would be the official toilet-break song during the NDP parade, smack in between Munneru Valiba and Chan Mali Chan. Or you could play it post-parade, so that attendants would run away in panic and our foreign workers could clean up everyone’s shit and go home early.

As grating as this sounds, it’s also a deceptive piece of work, not because of the video’s hidden propaganda, but because its title has an EXCLAMATION MARK! in it, which gives us the expectation that it should sound as uplifting and catchy as Tubthumping by Chubawamba. Disappointingly, it’s as enervating as putting wet surgical gauze on an oozing groin sore.

It also reminds me of a tune more deserving of the exclamation mark (and an NDP song) – one that has a similar chorus that goes ‘Because In Singapore’. Singapore Town is an underrated gem, lively and full of ersatz tropicana. Then again, everything else is a gem compared to this earfuck. You could put ‘Home’ on autotune and it would still make you weep with pride. This drivel just makes you look for the ‘Next’ icon.


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