Caveats In NDP 2017 Lyrics

The theme song for National Day 2017 has been released, and Singaporeans across the island share similar sentiments — ugh.

However, one Singaporean decided to do something to show why this and many other NDP songs had fallen off the mark — one reason is because of the overly propagandist lyrics that just don’t reflect the reality of life in Singapore.

Dislikes

If you haven’t heard the song, there’s the music video:

The reception for “Because It’s Singapore!” has been underwhelming, with its YouTube video raking in more dislikes than likes.

So why does the song appear to be so unpopular with Singaporeans?

It might be because of its fluffy lyrics, along with unprofessional sound edits (the instrumentals are louder than the vocals in certain parts).

Caveats

We don’t mean to compare, but if a song is going to be replayed on the radio, shopping malls and public toilets weeks at a time, at least make it one that is relatable?

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A post by designer Teo Yu Siang on his website decided to show us why the lyrics of the song aren’t relatable, by listing out the caveats behind its lyrics.

After he’s done, we will realise that behind the pretty lyrics that make living in Singapore sound like a magical journey to the land of endless possibilities, lie many hidden caveats that don’t necessarily apply to the entire population.

Sure, we can sing about living as one united people and growing the country hand in hand, but the reality is just not true.

Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of the lyrics and the caveats Mr Teo came up with:

1. Together we’ll build our dreams:

Only dreams that drive our economy, please. Sporting dreams are welcome but are best pursued at your own cost.

Oh, and we reserve the right to disqualify dreams that become too critical.

Who could’ve forgotten how the country rushed to claim his success when Joseph Schooling won gold at the Olympics? Even though he wasn’t supported financially by the same people.

We also remember when the National Arts Council pulled a grant from “The Art Of Charlie Chan Hock Chye” — build your dreams, but with terms and conditions.

2. Together we’ll stay as one nation, undivided:

Except for gay people, of course. They apparently deserve to be discriminated against and persecuted.

Want to change this? Attend Pink Dot on 1st July.

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The government has no plans to repeal Section 377A for now, and only Singaporeans and PRs are permitted to attend Pink Dot.

We might be able to stay as one nation, but very much divided.

3. Together we’ll brave the heat, the cold, the storms:

Provided you have a traditional nuclear family (even though less than half of families are nuclear as of 2014). Single parents, you’re on your own—you’ll have to find your own means of getting a roof over your heads.

Want to change this? Help sign this petition created by AWARE.

Single parents are only entitled to a 2-room HDB flat in mature estates. They become eligible at 35 years old.

So Singaporeans don’t brave the weather together because there are limitations for some of them. Watch our video to learn more.

4. Hand in hand:

Heterosexual hands only, please.

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Refer to Section 377A. Enough said.

5. Nothing in this world compares:

Our politicians’ salaries are also, ahem, incomparably high.

It’s quite hard not to compare, to be honest.

5. Everyone is family, friend and neighbour:

Everyone except the marginalised minority. If you aren’t a nuclear family, then you aren’t a family, period.

Also, foreign workers—those who help build our homes—don’t deserve to be our neighbours. Not in our backyards, thank you very much.

Refer to the case of the unwed mother who adopted her own child so they can reap more benefits, as a child is considered illegitimate if his/her parent is not married.

And see the case in 2008 where an unused school (Serangoon Gardens Technical School) was proposed to convert into a foreign worker dormitory; 4,000 households signed a petition.

They seemed to have forgotten that foreign workers are the reason they have houses to live in and pavements to walk on — no, not everyone is family, friend and neighbour.

6. Where we love and know we’ll never be alone:

Heterosexual love only, please. Others can go ahead and be alone and unmarried.

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This doesn’t get old.

Remember you must get married, else you you’ll be alone (potentially homeless too).

7. (Just believe):

Don’t go believing in the wrong opinions or the wrong kind of news though. You should only believe in the right stuff.

Just believing isn’t enough, we aren’t 5-year-olds — we need to think and know the reason behind what we are being told to believe in.

8. We are Singapore

Not that endearing song from 1987.

Sadly.

We also love Home by Kit Chan.

Don’t Sugarcoat

Don’t get us wrong, there is much to love and appreciate about our country.

There’s no doubt that Jay Lim (who sang and composed the lyrics) and Lee Wei Song (music) worked hard to make this song the It Song for the year. The video itself was nice to watch too, in a “retro” kinda way.

It’s simply unfortunate that the lyrics were so sugarcoated that they seemed to come from a textbook on how to indoctrinate people; perhaps it was edited many times?

Throwing a bunch of words that form politically correct sentences hardly make for a good National Day song.

On behalf of Singaporeans who aren’t big fans of ‘Because It’s Singapore!’, we hope 2018’s NDP song will touch us more by revealing real life in Singspore, warts and all.

Featured image adapted from YouTube and teoyusiang.com