Sunday, 16 November 2014

The pursuit of Under Happiness – Pharrell-style

I’m am a bit of a frustrated songwriter.

MediaCorp recently organised a songwriting competition, The Gift Of Song, to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday next year.

The three finalists were announced on Thursday.



I’m not one of them.

That’s why I’m a bit of a frustrated songwriter.

MediaCorp said it was looking for “a song that celebrates who we really are as a people – our distinct personality that is immediately recognisable to any Singaporean”.

It wasn’t until last week that I found a suitable subject for such a song – the National Workplace Happiness Survey results.

According to the findings released on Tuesday by the Singapore Human Resources Institute and consulting firm Align Group, workers in Singapore scored an average of 59 out of 100 in the workplace happiness index.

Under the survey’s banding system, a score between 0 and 50 is considered “Unhappy”, between 51 and 67 is “Under Happy”. Score between 68 and 100 and that's considered “Happy”.

This means Singapore workers are “Under Happy”, which led to #UnderHappy being the top trending hashtag on Twitter the next day.

This inspired me to write a song called Under Happy, which I think is perfect for SG50.

But it’s too late for me to submit my wonderful composition to the MediaCorp songwriting competition. So I’m sharing my lyrics to the song with you, dear reader, sung to the tune of Pharrell Williams’ Happy:



It might seem crazy what the survey says
Results are here, you can't run away
It’s the National Workplace Happiness Survey
Happy now? Or unhappy? This is what it says

I'm under happy
Clap along if you feel like a customer at Mobile Air
I'm under happy
Clap along if you were ever cheated at Sim Lim Square
I'm under happy
Clap along if all you want is a brand new iPhone 6
I'm under happy
Clap along if all you get are salesmen and their tricks



Here comes this new term, never heard before?
What's “under happy”? Let me tell you more
Some HR people just made it real
To describe the way many workers feel
What’s that?

Under happy
Clap along if you just made a movie that can't be seen
I'm under happy
Clap along if you make films and your name is Tan Pin Pin
I'm under happy
Clap along if you heard they said no to your appeal
I'm under happy
Clap along if you feel that censorship makes you ill



Cheer me up, can't nothing
Cheer me up
Your love's not enough
To cheer me up, can't nothing
Cheer me up, I said (let me tell you now)
Cheer me up, can't nothing,
Cheer me up
Your love's not enough
To cheer me up
Can't nothing, cheer me up
I said

I'm under happy
Clap along if you saw Interstellar and you're confused
I'm under happy
Clap along if you don't understand the ending too
I'm under happy
Clap along if you're not sure how McConaughey-hey survived
I'm under happy
Clap along if you've just wasted three hours of your life



I'm under happy
Clap along if you feel like a blogger who has just been sued
I'm under happy
Clap along if you're afraid they'll throw the book at you
I'm under happy
Clap along if you have no money to pay anything
I'm under happy
Clap along if you can raise cash by crowdfunding



Cheer me up, can't nothing
Cheer me up
Your love's not enough
To cheer me up, can't nothing
Cheer me up, I said

I'm under happy
Clap along if you're not happy or unhappy
I'm under happy
Clap along if you don't strongly agree or disagree
I'm under happy
Clap along if you think these surveys are a waste of time, hey hey hey
I'm under happy
Clap along if you still fall for them every time

- Published in The Straits Times, 16 November 2014

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