Friday, July 31, 2009

THINGS SO SINGAPOREAN..should be an NDP song!

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July 26, 2009
Song with local appeal 10 min-->
Ode to Singapore posted on YouTube finds fans young and old, with calls to make it an NDP song
By Nicholas Yong and Valerie Wang

Civil servant Judith d'Silva (left) and singing teacher Ann Hussein wrote Things So Singaporean, an affectionate and slightly irreverent ode to Singapore. --PHOTOS: ALPHONSUS CHERN, ST FILE, YOUTUBE
Even as some Singaporeans are learning to sing this year's National Day Parade theme song, there are calls for an uncommissioned song to be included in the National Day Parade celebrations.

Things So Singaporean is an affectionate and slightly irreverent ode to Singapore written and composed by civil servant Judith d'Silva and singing teacher Ann Hussein. The song mentions things and habits that are uniquely Singaporean, such as using tissue packets to reserve seats at hawker centres, leaving slippers outside the front door and queueing to buy lottery tickets.
In contrast to the moody-sounding What Do You See?, which was commissioned for National Day Parade 2009, Things So Singaporean has caught on like wildfire among Singaporeans after a video clip of it was posted on YouTube.

Tampines North Primary School has adopted the song for its National Day celebrations this year and Raffles Girls' Primary School has used it in its social studies classes. The pupils from Raffles like it so much that they have memorised it.
Ms Poon Wei Ling, 29, a social studies teacher at Raffles, says: 'Many of my pupils were able to identify and relate to certain parts of the song and they laughed at the part about using packets of tissue to reserve seats.'
One of her pupils, Belinda Zhang, 11, says: 'I think it could be used as an NDP song. It's not dull and the melody is quite cheery, it really makes you want to sing along.'

Ms d'Silva, 57, wrote the song in May last year because 'I have always wanted to write a song about Singapore that people can recognise and relate to in concrete ways'.
It had to be 'easy to sing, easy to learn, with a catchy tune and beat', she adds.
Indeed, an online campaign has started to make Things So Singaporean official.
Public officer Victor Tan, 28, who heard about the song through a former colleague, was sufficiently moved by it to set up a Facebook page called 'Let's make Things So Singaporean one of the songs of NDP 2009!'.
Read the full story in The Sunday Times today.

Unk Dicko's comments:
I first met the songwriter Judith at NJC's 40th Anniversary celebration Dinner in mid May this year. She happens to be the twin sister of Julia d Silva...both of whom are among the original 1st batch of NJC students. And Julia played a key role in arranging our very memorable 40th Anniversary 1st Gunung Tahan Expedition Re-union on 20th June 2009. This was the only reunion we ever had in this 4 decade span. You can read that blogpost

About a week before this, Julia sent me a Youtube link to the song "Things So Singaporean" asking if I had heard it before. I haven't.
When I eventually settled myself down comfortably to listen and watch the was the kind of Singaporean song that I have not heard in a long, long time. To catch the beat better I played it over again at least 4 times.
This is the kind of song that gets better if you listen to it more often.
And the lyrics...Singaporeans of all kinds will love it!
I immediately emailed Julia my initial reactions which has not changed one bit todate.

My response:

On 14-Jun-09, at AM 05:33, dick yip wrote:
Dear Julia,

Wow ! What a song ! I played it over and over at least 4 times just to listen carefully to the rhythm, the flow and the background music within. My conclusion and's a TOP CLASS song, with lovable lyrics that all S'poreans can identify with easily. It has a nice, catchy beat to it...esp the chorus. My deepest hope is that THIS song will be played and sung for NDP 2009. It has meaning, has character and is TRULY Singaporean all the way! Will find time to forward to others as well as make a special Blog post on my Blogs.
Pl send my warmest compliments to Judith and team.

[ Online report above is from Straits Times Online Breaking News ]

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