Friday, August 14, 2009

Stirring and Galvanising a nation

The formal ceremony began when the Singapore flag was borne by a march-in party comprising students from Peicai Secondary School. The military band, also from Peicai ,got ready and from the conductor's signal played the marching tune. As soon as I heard the first few notes..I recognised this song or rather anthem immediately. Unk Dicko and those of my generation have sung this anthem as school boys when Singapore was still a British the 1950's.
The anthem is "Land of Hope and Glory", a very majestic, truly uplifting and stirring tune...compared to the more staid " God Save The Queen".
As everyone present stood up in readiness for the flag raising, I took a side glance at my grand kids to see how they were reacting to all this pomp and pageant before them. They looked serious! Kids often mirror adults, I guess.

As the band continued to play, I was thinking aloud whether the members of the band knew the history and great significance of this anthem. Later, during the " makan" time, I asked a number of the grassroot leaders who were in their 40's and early 50's if they were aware what tune was played by the band. None had the answer! I recounted briefly the history of this anthem and how unk Dicko used to sing it. Till this day...I still know the lyrics by heart!
But after the event was over, it got me thinking very hard. How come Singapore does not have such stirring and majestic anthems since we are already 44 years old?

Yes, we have our NDP songs...and they are lovely to sing along to. But those are of a different genre, more like jingles.
And our Majullah Singapura is very good and proper as the National anthem for serious, official functions.

I was thinking along the lines of an anthem such as mentioned," Land of Hope and Glory". Surely in our midst there must be some talent who can create stirring tunes such as that...for Singapore.

Every single occasion that I heard this majestic tune played, my mind goes back in time...images filled with power and glory and majesty of the once mighty British Empire.
I hope our government and other agencies can develop this idea further.
We definitely need more than the usual NDP songs to stir and galvanise a nation of people.

No comments: