No theme song this year
NDP 2014 will use familiar songs instead of having a new theme song
Last year's theme song One Singapore was slammed by netizens for being corny and childish.
A year before, the music video for Love At First Light was seen as out of touch.
Some said 2009's song 'What Do You See?' was hard to sing along to and lacked broad appeal.
In recent years, National Day theme songs have been a source of contention.
But this year, there won't be any chatter over what new song we will have to learn to sing for our 49th birthday.
That's because for the first time in 16 years, the National Day Parade (NDP) will have no accompanying theme song.
Instead, the executive committee for this year's parade have decided to bring back familiar tunes like Count On Me Singapore, Stand Up For Singapore and Home.
The New Paper understands that they will include songs from all four national languages.
Speaking at the media launch yesterday, executive committee chairman Colonel Wong Yu Han said the decision was in line with this year's theme - Our People, Our Home.
"These songs express us as a people so it's therefore most appropriate to use (them) as part of our celebrations," Col Wong, 41, said.
"As you sing these songs again and again, every year you attach a new meaning and deeper memories. This just makes sense for us," he added.
Jazz musician Jeremy Monteiro, 53, who had a hand in NDP classics like We Are Singapore, Count On Me Singapore and One People, One Nation, One Singapore, welcomed the decision.
The 2002 Cultural Medallion recipient said having a new theme song every year made the celebrations feel contrived.
"(Using familiar tunes) allows things to be more organic and natural," he said.
MAKE IT SPECIAL
Monteiro suggested that new songs could be written every five years or when Singapore reaches a major milestone.
He added that while government initiative is important, songwriters do not need to wait to get commissioned.
"If there's a national mood or feeling about something, they can just write a song, finance the recording and get a film-maker to work with them.
"So rather than just a top-down approach, there are also bottom-up initiatives," he said.
As you sing these songs again and again, every year you attach a new meaning and deeper memories.
- Colonel Wong Yu Han
Previous years' theme songs
Composed by NDP music director Elaine Chan and written by NDP creative director Selena Tan, the song was sung by the 68 members of the Sing A Nation choir.
Love at First Light
Composed by Iskandar Ismail and written by Paul Tan, the song was performed by local singer Olivia Ong and seven-year-old actress Natanya Tan.
What Do You See?
Written and performed by local rock band Electrico.
Reach Out For The Skies
Composed by Elaine Chan, the first woman to do so, this theme song was written by Selena Tan. It was performed by Singapore Idol winner Taufik Batisah and actress Rui En.
2004 & 1998
The song that started it all, Home was the first of yearly songs commissioned for NDP. It was composed by Dick Lee and originally performed by Kit Chan.
The song was remixed in 2004 for three child soloists and a girls' choir.
What you can expect from NDP 2014
This year's NDP parade will have between 12 and 14 non-uniformed contingents.
This is the largest non-uniformed contingent since the parade was moved to the floating platform in 2007. Last year's parade featured 10 contingents.
The parade will feature "Heartbeat" moments to recognise people who helped build Singapore, said executive committee chairman Colonel Wong Yu Han.
The show segment will have four acts directed by Dick Lee.
NDP songs will be compiled and distributed to schools, shopping malls and community centres. Mini national flags for vehicles will also be given out.
Eighteen Primary 4 and 5 pupils will be chosen to become "Junior Red Lions". They will meet and train with the Red Lions at iFly Singapore, and will appear on stage during the parade.
A mobile application will also give Singaporeans an opportunity to share pictures and videos wishing Singapore a happy birthday. Already available on Google Play Store, it will be available for Apple users soon.