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Multimedia: Lukewarm Reactions for Singapore's Latest National Theme Song




On August 9, Singapore will celebrate its 47th year of independence from its merger with Malaysia. The event is usually celebrated with much pomp and circumstance, replete with fireworks, parades and much flag-waving.

Traditionally, each year's National Day parade is accompanied by a patriotic new theme song intended to foster national spirit. The practice of celebrating the country through song harks back to 1984, when the song "Stand Up For Singapore" was created to celebrate Singapore's 25 years of self-government. However, the idea of creating a new song every year for the National Day parade only caught on in 1998, with singer Kit Chan singing "Home." These songs are broadcast frequently on national television and radio in the month leading up to the actual day and are commonly sung in schools to celebrate the national spirit.

While Singaporeans have generally welcomed each year's song, this year's tune, "Love At First Light," sung by local singer Olivia Ong and seven-year-old Natanya Tan, has left many unimpressed and many more not even aware of its existence. Alfian bin Sa'at, the acclaimed Singaporean writer, poet and playwright best known for provocative works like the 2009 play Nadirah, recently posted his analysis of this year's song on his Facebook profile. "There's genteel lens flares, hazy light through white curtains and panoramic shots of the kinds of views that 1% of Singaporeans enjoy," writes Sa'at, in a comment which has been circulating online. On Twitter, an overwhelming majority expressed a preference for previous years' songs and lamented a supposed "decline" in the quality of National Day songs.

Despite the vitriol, there are still fans of the song who speak up for it.

Asia Blog has compiled a list of all the National Day songs that have been released since 1984. Which one's your favorite?

Storified by Asia Society · Mon, Aug 06 2012 10:21:37

1984: Stand Up for Singapore
Stand up for Singapore (1984)themarches09
1986: Count On Me Singapore - Clement Chow
Clement Chow - Count On Me Singapore(1986)johnnpg
1987: We Are Singapore
We are Singapore (1987)themarches09
1990: One People, One Nation, One Singapore
One People, One Nation, One Singaporesget88
1998: Home,  (Chinese version) - Kit Chan
NDP 1998 Theme Song - Homendpeeps
1999: Together, 心连心 (Chinese version) - Evelyn Tan and Dreamz FM
NDP 1999 Theme Song - Together by Evelyn Tan and Dreamz FMndpeeps
2000: Shine on Me - Jai Wahab, Mavis Hee, 星光 (Chinese version) - Mavis Hee
NDP 2000 Theme Song: Shine on me by Jai Wahab and Mavis Heendpeeps
2001: Where I Belong, 属于 (Chinese Version) - Tanya Chua
NDP 2001 Theme Song: Where I belong by Tanya Chuandpeeps
2002: We Will Get There, 一起走到 (Chinese Version) - Stephanie Sun
NDP 2002 Theme Song: We Will Get There by Stefanie Sunndpeeps
2003: One United People, 全心全意 (Chinese Version) - Stephanie Sun
NDP 2003 Theme Song: One United People by Stefanie Sunndpeeps
2004: Home - Lin Junjie
NDP 2004 - Home by Lin JunJiendpeeps
2005: Reach Out For the Skies - Rui En and Taufik Batisah, 勇敢向前飞 (Chinese Version) - Rui En
NDP 2005 Theme Song: Reach out for the Skies by Rui En & Taufikndpeeps
2006: My Island Home, 幸福的图形 (Chinese Version) - Kaira Gong
NDP 2006 Theme Song - My Island Home by Kaira Gongndpeeps
2007: There's No Place I'd Rather Be - Kit Chan
NDP 2007 Theme Song: There's No Place I'd Rather Be by Kit Channdpeeps
2007: Will You - Various artistes
NDP 2007 Theme Song - Will Youndpeeps
2008: Shine For Singapore - Hady Mirza, 晴空万里 (Chinese Version) - Joi Chua
NDP 2008 English Theme Song - Shine for Singapore (Hady Mirza)ndpeeps
2009: What Do You See - Electrico, 就在这里 (Chinese Version) - Kelvin Tan
NDP 2009 Theme Song - What Do You Seendpeeps
2010: Corrinne May - Song for Singapore
NDP 2010 Theme Song - Song for Singaporendpeeps
2011: In A Heartbeat - Sylvia Ratonel
OFFICIAL NDP 2011 Theme Song - In A Heartbeatndpeeps
2012: Love at First Light - Olivia Ong and Natanya Tan
NDP 2012 Theme Song - Love at First Lightndpeeps

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