National Day Parade (NDP) is just around the corner and you know what that means – that’s right, a new NDP song.
This time, a music video of a new NDP ceremonial song composed and sung by senior army officers has drawn both fans and critics alike.
Titled “A Nation’s March”, the three-minute video is meant to introduce key members of the NDP 2012 Parade and Ceremony committee as they sing along to a song which will accompany the marching contingents from the Military, Home Team, Uniformed Youth Organisations and civilian contingents as they march onto the floating platform at Marina Bay on August 9 this year.
But while the original song seems to have struck a chord with some Singaporeans, the music video also has its fair share of detractors for its off-key vocals.
Since it was posted on YouTube last Wednesday, the video has clocked over 31,000 views and garnered some 290 ‘dislikes’. The number of ‘likes’ trailed closely behind at 270.
“It’s embarrassing to show our military officers like this,” commented YouTube user JonE23.
“The guys in this video are soldiers, and I'm sure they're good ones... Let them be soldiers. Don't choose them to do something like this that they are obviously neither trained nor proficient at.”
Lipsynchapore added, “This video is totally disrespectful to music and singing. And to think the government paid for this. For goodness sake, let the singers sing, and the soldiers protect the country.”
Other internet users, however, applauded the soldiers’ efforts and courage to “sing for their country” despite knowing they are not pitch perfect.
“For a military commander to step forward to sing for his country even though he knows that he may humiliate himself on the Internet takes courage. And this is the value we see in all the soldiers who defend our country,” wrote a user by the name of BananaSquare.
Said KuonKyoko, “Even if the people singing in here might not be good, they tried their best. This song is composed and sung by fellow Singaporeans, which give us a sense of home.”
Another added that he “felt warm inside” after watching the music video as he could feel the soldiers’ love for their nation.
A separate behind-the-scenes video that was uploaded to YouTube showed Lieutenant Colonel (NS) Clarence Tan, the parade commander, and Military Expert 5 Philip Tng sharing some of the difficulties the group faced while recording the song.
“To just sing a verse itself is not easy… just waiting for your turn, and coming in and singing at the correct pitch (is not easy),” revealed Tng, chairman of the band and also a musical conductor.
Tan added, “(There were) a lot of challenges for today because if you look at us, we are not singers.”
“But it’s a fun session for all,” he said. “Everybody enjoyed it even though it’s complicated for us.”
Commented another YouTube user liftlives, “They can't sing, but if they can fight, I'm satisfied. Singapore's too concerned with excellence anyway, why not appreciate the fact that they bothered to make an mv to show their love for their nation?”
This is not the first time an NDP video has sparked debate. Last year, the NDP "Fun Pack song" sung to the tune of a Lady Gaga hit was scrapped at the last minute due to copyright issues.