Monday, July 28, 2008
Finding nostalgia in National Day Parade songs
National Day is coming and strangely, in my mind for the past few days, a couple of the past National Day Parade songs have been ringing in my mind. My personal favourites are: Stephanie Sun's 一起走到, and Kit Chan's 家. I like the lyrics in these and the tunes too. I also quite like the song Will You for its uplifting tune. Generally, I like the Mandarin National Day songs that are sung by Stephanie Sun and Kit Chan. I can't say why, there's a particular quality that I like about their voice and their way of singing National Day songs.
I recall that when I was in Primary School, assembly time and the time when the teachers were having their so-called Staff's meeting was the time for the students to practise singing National Day Parade songs especially when National Day drew near. Did you have such experience singing National Day songs during assembly time in your school days?
It is strange how my experiences towards National Day songs could differ with time. When I was in Lower Primary, I vaguely recall that I would still sing the National Day songs with lots of interest. I would even try to remember every words in the lyrics because back then, thanks to my mother, I was given a cassette tape that contains an album of National Day songs. If I remember correctly, one of the songs that was in the album was Stand Up for Singapore. Interestingly, when it was time to practise singing National Day songs when I was lower Primary, I would eagerly stand up whenever it was time to sing the chorus "Stand Up for Singapore..."
Strangely, perhaps it was the time when self-consciousness had set in, my attitude towards National Day songs became different when I was in Upper Primary. Somehow, most of my classmates when I was in Upper Primary would not singing National Day songs even if the teacher-in-charge urged the assembly to do so. If I had sang, I would then be the odd-one-out among an entire group of Upper Primary students who won't sing the National Day songs. I would also prefer not to sing with a group of people for I can't seem to figure out how my voice would harmonise with the rest of the crowd. When the rest of the school was singing Stand Up for Singapore, it was rather clear that the Upper Primary students preferred a nonchalant approach. There was hardly any Upper Primary School students who had eagerly stood up when it was time to sing the chorus!
Even during the times when I was in Secondary school and in Junior College, I did not have much inclination to sing National Day song in public. If I did hum a bit of them, it was because those had good lyrics and good melodies, but I would sing in the comfort of my own private space. Admittedly, being not in favour of being in the crowd, I tend to stay low-key during the school's National Day functions.
Strangely, was it nostalgia, after I had just graduated from the University, I found myself starting to hum Stephanie Sun's 一起走到. It was the National Day Parade song for the year. I think it was the inspiring lyrics and the cheerful tune that attracted me to the song. I found myself singing it to lift my moods up when I was on my way to work. I didn't sing on the MRT train but I would sing it while walking that path from the MRT station to my then workplace.
In my current job, I realised I have been having a tendency to play National Day songs during certain events for children. I was hoping that at the very least, the children might be familiar with some of the National Day songs, as compared to any of the classical tunes that I would personally fancy more. Furthermore, National Day songs seem to have qualities of being motivating and inspiring, which I hope may somehow encourage the children to bring out their best in their everyday lives.
What are your experiences with National Day songs?
Anyway, I chanced upon this official URL with National Day songs from the past:
Enjoy the songs.
12 days to Singapore's National Day.
Happy National Day Singapore.
National Day, I suppose, it would be very different without the National Day songs.
What are some of your favourite National Day songs?