Singapore— It’s a song that has been in the middle of a bit of a firestorm recently.
Many were shocked, even dismayed, to discover that a version of Count on Me Singapore, a National Day song, has been used as a patriotic song in India.
The altered version has sparked accusations of plagiarism.
The Indian version apparently started circulating sometime in May last year. A quick search of “We Can Achieve” on YouTube still results in a number of uploads from different people and groups.
The song was first used in 1986 as the National Day Parade anthem. But in the Indian version, the word “Singapore” is replaced with “India” or “Mother India.”
One Indian teacher named Amuzica Swar posted a video last year on her YouTube channel showing her singing that song with three students.
She took down the video after many commenters blasted her for plagiarism and left unkind comments
Her version of the song had been popular, having been viewed over 60,000 times, according to a report on Coconuts Singapore.
And while it’s no longer on Ms Swar’s YouTube channel, it can still be found elsewhere online.
Ms Swar said that she had been unaware of the song’s origins and had only learned about it by listening to other people’s versions in India.
She wrote in one comment, “I was unaware of this information regarding this song. I hope you won’t mind as it is not a worst presentation by the students. Many others also sang this song and I followed. So please kindly accept.”
While some versions of the song credit the original writer. Mr Hugh Harrison, who also wrote Stand Up for Singapore and We are Singapore, the majority of the uploads do not.
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has weighed in on the issue in a Facebook post on Saturday (Mar 13).
“We have noticed that a remixed version of our national song “Count on Me, Singapore” has been made it into several videos.
“This is one of our most beloved and recognised national songs, we are happy that it seems to have struck a chord with people in India as well. It seems to have been posted by teachers in India, featuring some students who seem to be enjoying the song.
“We thank Singaporeans for coming forward to express your sense of pride in our national song. It may be a copy of our song, but sometimes, imitation is the best form of flattery!,” wrote the MCCY.
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