Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Our Nation, Our Songs.

"These songs are so ingrained in our hearts and minds,
They can truly be called Singapore Songs - Our Songs..."

"You gotta do it, you gotta do it your way." ~ J. Lopez.

"Isn't it Ironic?" ~ A. Morissette

Funny that our nation, all too eager to find it's own identity, proudly proclaims the abovementioned statement on our official NDP (Nat'l Day Parade) website and borrows a song that states that "we gotta do it our way". There's also a really unsettling feeling when what's obviously a choir tries to belt out a J.Lo song. They do quite well until they get to actually singing it. The song loses it's attitude and as a rallying cry, it really whimpers...Try downloading version 1 and cringe as Singaporeans sing Latino.
I really thought we were getting a hang of writing relatively good National Day songs...The ones from the past 3 years have been actually quite listen-able. (I am a closet Singapore song junkie actually...) Pity that there's a drought this year. Was there no good songwriting for 2004?
It really gets you thinking, if a nation that spends all this time looking for it's national identity finally gives up the ghost and rehashes songs from the past, does that mean that it's found itself? Or has it given up?
I personally feel that there will never be a fixed Singaporean identity...at least not one that we'd proudly proclaim to the world. There's a certain pride in coming from a nation that manages to adapt to changes by constantly undergoing transformation. We don't have history to burden us, nor any sense of sentimentalism. There's a certain resignation when all that is taken out of our hands and what's left is the proverbial note that says "Deal!". So we deal.
We don't have a Singaporean culture because whatever we are is borrowed. We are the people who see a nice showflat and copy. We take and assimilate and thus, our culture is Rojak. It's from all over the place and I think that we should celebrate it. Why lament the fact that we lack the local? Why not celebrate the mish mash that we are?
All that said, I still think that Singaporeans singing J.Lo = BIG nono.

*By the way...this would be my 100th post. Yay!


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