List of Singaporean Patriotic Songs - Types of Songs

Types of Songs

Broadly speaking, there may be said to be two types of Singaporean patriotic songs. The first type are traditional folk songs that have, over time, come to have special meaning to Singaporeans. Many of these are in vernacular languages – Malay, Mandarin and Tamil, for instance. Examples of such songs include Malay song "Di Tanjung Katong" and Tamil song "Munnaeru Vaalibaa".

The second type are the comparatively modern songs, mostly in English, that were composed specifically for national events – particularly the National Day Parade held annually on 9 August – and for use in schools. Each year since 1985, the National Day Parade Executive Committee has designated one such song as a National Day Parade theme song. The song is usually broadcast on radio and television starting from a month before National Day, and is given prominence during the Parade itself. Examples of such songs include "Stand Up for Singapore" (1985), "Count On Me, Singapore" (1986) and "One People, One Nation, One Singapore" (1990). In 2007 there were two National Day Parade theme songs, "There's No Place I'd Rather Be" and "Will You?".

In 1984, the National Arts Council inaugurated the Sing Singapore Festival, the aim of which was to discover and promote home-grown music and artistes. According to the Council, it also hoped to nurture a love for music and singing and cultivate a greater sense of togetherness amongst Singaporeans. The programme led to the creation of a number of new songs by Singaporean composers, some of which were selected for National Day celebrations. These included "Home" (1998) by Dick Lee, "Where I Belong" (2001) by Tanya Chua, and "A Place in My Heart" (2003) by Kevin Quah. Local singers such as Kit Chan and Stefanie Sun have performed songs in the Sing Singapore collection.

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