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The best National Day songs of all time

Love it or hate it – we share our top NDP songs from the past 20 years

NDP
Photo: NDP
By Time Out Singapore editors |
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Another year, another National Day song. Rate it or hate it – it’s the one thing that defines the National Day Parade other than the exuberant displays, large-scale performances, and over-the-top fireworks. Cheesy, cringe-worthy but somewhat catchy, these guilty pleasures hit big on the nostalgia factor. But with the likes of last year’s We Are Singapore and this year’s Our Singapore – one is a contemporary update on the 1987 classic and the other is a mash-up of 2002’s We Will Get There and 2015’s Our Singapore – it begs the question: are local songwriters running out of ideas or that nostalgia sells? Here are the songs we handpicked to soundtrack our walk down Memory Lane on National Day.

RECOMMENDED: The guide to National Day and the best places to catch fireworks for free on National Day in Singapore

Singapore flag
Photo: Unsplash

Home by Kit Chan (1998)

“Dick Lee’s surprisingly relatable song has probably hit home (pun absolutely intended) at some point in our lives, especially for those who are away from Singapore for an extended period of time. Whether we’re homesick for the efficient transport system, fuss-free kopitiam culture, mouthwatering local cuisine, or the weather, this song reminds us that sometimes we do take our sunny island for granted.”
– Dewi Nurjuwita, Art & Culture Editor

Fireworks, Singapore
Photo: Mike Enerio/Unsplash

Moments of Magic by Tanya Chua, Fann Wong and Elsa (1999)

“This song is truly a ~magical~ bop. It’s also our official millennium song that brought together an epic trio of Fann Wong (homegirl can sing!), Tanya Chua and Elsa Lin. And since we probably won’t live to hear the next millennium NDP song, this one’s all we’ve got.”
– Fabian Loo, Food & Drink Writer

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Singapore
Photo: John T

Where I Belong by Tanya Chua (2001)

“Every year, like a routine, we get a new shopping mall, a Jack Neo movie and a National Day theme song – that we never asked for. None of them has drawn any strong reactions from except maybe 2001's NDP theme song Where I Belong. Yes, I agree there can be nothing as great, wholesome and mainstream as Home but this is a close second. Besides, as a history enthusiast, I appreciate vintage footage of the Singapore skyline."
– Delfina Utomo, Digital Editor

Singapore
Photo: Alaric Sim/Unsplash

Reach Out For The Skies by Taufik Batisah and Rui En (2005)

“Fresh from winning the first Singapore Idol, the charismatic Taufik Batisah was the talk of the town and every Singaporean teen was gushing over him – making this song a popular one. I remember doing the simple choreography with my friends and pretending that we were Taufik, Rui En and the dancers. If you ask me to show you the dance steps, I’ll gladly perform it for you!”
– Kashmira Kasmuri, Designer

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We Are Singapore, NDP song
Photo: NDPeeps/Youtube

We Are Singapore by various artists (2018)

“Cover songs are either a hit or miss, and this modern take on the 1987 classic by Charlie Lim fares better than the original. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still quite forgettable compared to previous NDP songs but the diversity in both song and video makes up for it. Plus, extra brownie points for the cats. Oh, and rapping the Singapore pledge? Now that’s something else."
– Cam Khalid, City Life Writer

NDP
Photo: Youtube

Our Singapore by various artists (2019)

“Not gonna lie, I had chills the first time I listened to this year’s NDP song, Our Singapore. The nostalgia of Stefanie Sun’s We Will Get There performed by legends like Rahimah Rahim and Jacintha Abisheganaden combined with the vocals of new-kids-on-the-block – and actual children – never fail to pull at the heartstrings. Seeing everyone come together to pull this off reminds me that we are indeed one people, one nation and one Singapore.”
– Nicole-Marie Ng, Editor

Celebrate National Day the Singaporean way

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