Monday 11 May 2015

Dick Lee rhymes 'core' with 'Singapore' because NDP song for SG50

Last year, no new official NDP song was written for National Day.

Two possible reasons:

First, organisers were burned by the reaction to the previous year's song, One Singapore, which set a new standard for NDP song hate.

Second, they wanted to save it for this year's big SG50 celebrations.

Well, here is the official NDP song for SG50 called Our Singapore by Dick Lee.

So far, the online reaction to the song has been mostly negative, though not as bad as it was in 2013.

From JJ Lin's "Oh yeah, oh yeah" (YOG song), to last last year's NDP song's "Oh-oh-oh-oh", to this year's "...
Posted by The New Era on Friday, May 8, 2015

Singaporeans just want to sing Home
Posted by New Nation on Saturday, May 9, 2015

Lee himself has said that he has resisted writing another NDP song because he didn't want it compared with his ever popular Home, which is exactly what is happening.

For many Singaporeans, no new NDP song will ever be as good as Home.

Personally, I think Home is overrated. It's just another lyrically-awkward Dick Lee dirge that struck a chord with Singaporeans when it was introduced at a particular time in our nation's history in 1998.

I've always been irritated by the line "This is home, truly".

"Truly"? As opposed to what? "This is home, maybe"?

When people talk about how much they prefer Home and other "classic" NDP songs like We Are Singapore, I believe it's due more to familiarity and nostalgia than the quality of the songs themselves.

So Lee's new song, Our Singapore, never stood a chance. You can't fight sentiment.

That said, for a song composed specifically for SG50, Our Singapore is especially disappointing.

It's another lyrically-awkward Dick Lee dirge.

The most memorable part of the song is the "oh oh oh" part. Unfortunately, it reminds me of the "oh oh oh" part in the 2013 NDP song, One Singapore, which everybody hated (except me).

There's also some historical inaccuracy in the first line "It isn't easy building something out of nothing" which implies that Singapore was "nothing" in 1965.

I mean, some have already criticised the "swamp to skyscrapers" narrative in the telling of Singapore's modern history. So to suggest that Singapore was "nothing" 50 years ago is an abuse of poetic licence.

But for me, the song's biggest sin is when Lee rhymes "A land to treasure right down to the core" with "Our home, our heart, our Singapore".

It's even more annoying because it's repeated a couple of times since it's part of the 'core'-us. (Get it?)

But what's this "core" anyway?

Is it a reference to the "Singaporean core" in the Population White Paper?

Or just another lazy rhyme?

I thought the idea is to NOT chase Singaporeans out of Singapore during the four-day Golden Jubilee weekend.

This song ain't gonna help.

It's no Un-Un-Unbelievable.

EARLIER: We don't have a new NDP song to kick around anymore

UPDATE: What else rhymes with 'Singapore' besides 'core'