The Government released the official National Day Parade (NDP) theme song for 2019, yesterday (22 May). Written by Dick Lee and featuring prominent Singaporeans like Mediacorp artistes and even Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, this year’s song is entitled ‘Our Singapore’.
‘Our Singapore’ is also the overarching theme of this year’s NDP, which is supported by brands like Grab, POSB, Starhub and Tiger Balm. The logo for this year’s NDP bears the words “OUR SINGAPORE NDP 2019” and features a white lion and five red stars.
The theme song for this year features 27 singers from several generations – from seniors to children – and comprises of a mashup of older NDP songs like ‘We Will Get There’ and the original ‘Our Singapore’.
In the caption to the song’s music video, the NDP Committee said that the song “comprises carefully curated verses sung by 27 artistes representing different generations to express their generation’s hopes, dreams and aspirations.”
The Government committee added that the song “pays homage to the contributions and sacrifices of earlier generations as we are today living the dreams of our pioneers.” as it declared: “We are now pioneers of our future, as we continue to build Singapore for tomorrow.”
The lyrics sung by the seniors seems to urge listeners to remember the days when Singaporeans stood united against the struggles of the early years of independence. Younger Singaporeans sing about how we have “moved ahead together” and “built a brave new world where we could shine and grow.”
Urging listeners to “look towards tomorrow” and “carry on the dream as far as it will go,” the artistes go on to sing “And amazing as it seems, it all started with a dream. But the dreaming isn’t done because the best is yet to come.”
Young children then take over and sing: “Look where we are, we’ve come so far and there’s still a long, long way to go…With family and friends, together we’ll stand and in the end, hand in hand, we will get there.”
This year’s NDP song matches the Government’s messaging on how Singaporeans have to be united as the nation steps into the future. During his Budget 2019 speech earlier this year, presumptive future Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that Singaporeans have to play their part to build a “Strong, United Singapore”.
Touching on the 200th anniversary of Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival in Singapore as he delivered his opening remarks, Mr Heng said: “In our bicentennial year, let us reflect on the twists and turns in our history, so as to chart a path forward for an even better future for our people.”
Cautioning that financial resources are not enough to build a “Strong, United Singapore,” Mr Heng appealed to the people to play their part. He said: “We call on all Singaporeans to partner with the Government, and support one another to succeed in this endeavour.”
In a more recent interview with Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), Mr Heng – who serves as both Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister – said that the greatest challenges Singapore faces have to do with governance.
Asserting that Singapore has had “constructive policy over the past 50 years,” he asked whether the nation will still be able to “reach a good consensus on the key issues that we as a society have to tackle together” in the future. He said:
“Our greatest challenge is to create and maintain a sense of unity and togetherness in the midst of these great changes taking place around us. We have had a constructive policy over the past 50 years.
“Will we continue to have this in the future? Will we still be able to reach a good consensus on the key issues that we as a society have to tackle together? Are we ready to continue making decisions that are difficult in the short term but necessary in the long term?
“It’s about governance. If we succeed and we have a sense of unity in the people, then we will remain strong.”