Remembering 10 of Singapore’s most forgettable National Day songs

Screengrabs of music videos of actress Evelyn Tan and Mandopop band Dreamz FM at left and singer Hardy Mirza, at right. Photos: NDPeeps/YouTube
Screengrabs of music videos of actress Evelyn Tan and Mandopop band Dreamz FM at left and singer Hardy Mirza, at right. Photos: NDPeeps/YouTube

With Singapore’s independence day around the corner, we bring you the National Day theme songs of the past that we think deserve another listen. 

Celebratory songs are a permanent fixture of Singapore’s National Day celebrations since it was introduced in 1984. Every year, a new Singaporean artist takes the mic on Aug. 9 to serenade the nation with tunes of patriotism, pride, and a sense of belonging. This year’s song Everything I Am sung by singer Nathan Hartono is no exception.

Nathan Hartono lends soothing vocals to Singapore’s COVID-National Day song

But only a few have become timeless classics. Out songs from past National Day celebrations, those that continue to strike a chord in our patriotic hearts include tunes like 1998’s Home, 2001’s Where I Belong and 2005’s Reach Out For The Skies.

Much older ones that go back to the 1980s include Stand Up for Singapore, Count on Me Singapore and We are Singapore.

Then there are the ones that many don’t usually remember. Here are some of the bops we forgot existed.

1999’s ‘Together’

Together was performed by actress Evelyn Tan and Mandopop band Dreamz FM and written by Ken Lim, most notably known for being a judge for Singapore Idol.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus.

Together we make a difference, one voice, one destiny
We remain undivided, our hearts in harmony
Together we make a difference, our friends, our families
We will share a special dream, together we feel the Singapore heartbeat.

2009’s ‘What Do You See’

What Do You See was performed and written by indie rock band Electrico. 

This is another one of the few songs that did not mention “Singapore” directly and had a grunge feel much like something American rock band The Killers would do.

Check out these lyrics:

See the moon and the stars, look how far we have come
Look around at our faces, they shine brightly in the sun
With our hopes and dreams, imagine what tomorrow it may bring
What do you see? What do you see?

2003’s ‘One United People’

One United People was performed by singer Stefanie Sun and written by composer Joshua Wan, who also wrote this year’s song, “Everything I Am.”

These jams spare no subtlety:

One Singapore
One Nation strong and free
A thousand different voices
Sing in harmony
We will stand together
Together hand in hand
As One united people
For Singapore, my homeland

2015’s ‘Our Singapore’ 

Our Singapore was performed by Mandopop singer JJ Lin and written by composer Dick Lee.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus:

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
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Our home, our heart, our Singapore

2006’s ‘My Island Home’ 

My Island Home was performed by Mandopop singer Kaira Gong and written by composer Joshua Wan.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus.

And I will sing
A song of home
A land of peace
Where dreams are born every day
My home
Wherever I may be
I believe
You will always be a part of me 

2007’s ‘There’s No Place I’d Rather Be’

There’s No Place I’d Rather Be was performed by singer Kit Chan, who sang the nation’s favorite theme song, “Home.” It is written by composer Joshua Wan.

Here are the words to a part of the song:

There’s no place I’d rather be
You’ll always be a part of me
And even though I’ve roamed the world
It’s still my home I long to see

2000’s ‘Shine on Me’

Shine on Me was performed by former singer Jai Wahab who now owns a hair salon and written by producer Jim Lim who was once a member of the Mandopop band Dreamz FM.

Here’s the hook:

Stars and Crescent shine on me
Make us more than what we can be
All our dreams come true
As we all grow stronger

2008’s ‘Shine for Singapore’

Shine for Singapore was performed by singer Hady Mirza, who won the second season of Singapore Idol. It was written by composer Benny Wong.

Here’s the chorus:

Shine for Singapore
This is your song
Deep inside your heart where it belongs
It’ll always stay
Strive for your goals,
You will achieve with visions so bold

2010’s ‘Song for Singapore’

Song for Singapore was performed and written by Los Angeles-based singer Corrinne May.

Here are the lyrics to the chorus.

Come on and sing
Sing a song for Singapore
With every generation there’s more to be grateful for
So come and sing
Sing a song for Singapore
You’re my brother you’re my sister
I’m thankful for my Singapore
My Singapore

2007’s ‘Will you’

Will you was performed by a team of local artists that included singers Janani Sridhar, Asha Edmund, Lily Anna Rahmat, Jai Wahab, Shabir Mohammed, Sebastian Tan, Gani Karim and the late Emma Yong. It was written by singer Jimmy Ye.

This was one of the few songs that did not include the word “Singapore” in its lyrics:

So will you swim the current?
Will you scale new heights?
Will you make it happen?
Will you let your dreams take flight?

Other stories you should check out:

Nathan Hartono lends soothing vocals to Singapore’s COVID-National Day song
Singapore to turn 55 with all-day virtual birthday party

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