Friday, 15 June 2012

An Army Marches On Its Vocal Chords?

To foreign ears the composition of the anthem for the annual National Day often seems a bit forced and overblown.

Probably because in the West (apart from excruciating songs produced for major sports events such as the Commonwealth Games), it is rare that anyone makes the effort.

While it is easy to stand on one side and knock overt symbols of patriotism I never felt so inclined.

However I have to say that this year's effort as publicised has reached a new nadir.  It's not the sentiment, it is the delivery that lets it down, as can be judged from the video below.

They say that an army marches on its stomach but clearly the coerced artistes were either slightly tone deaf or they had just consumed a large plate of char kway teow that disagreed with their digestion?

Even the most patriotic Singaporean has found this year's rendition hard to take.  

Kirsten Han in the Huffington Post wrote: "The thing is, though, this isn't new. In fact, Singaporeans more or less begin to expect these cringeworthy songs. It's as if no significant event in our country is complete without a propagandistic song that we can all awkwardly bond over".

However there is another dimension to this musical delivery.  The Services who took up the challenge spend the better part of their day protecting their Nation; they are not auditioning for Singapore Idol, although when I come to think of it, the Forces' performance is no worse.

It should also be remembered that this particular video was designed as a not too serious introduction to the song itself by "Key Appointment Holders for the NDP 2012 Parade & Ceremony committee". 

On the big day "A Nation's March" will be sung by the marching contingents from the Military, Home Team, Uniformed Youth Organisations and civilian contingents as they are march to form up on parade.  

I am sure when the time comes they will do the nation proud and the National Day Anthem will sound a hundred times better.
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