National Day: 7 songs and videos celebrating the nation's 53rd birthday

SINGAPORE - With National Day round the corner, that time of the year is here again.

The time when housing blocks are adorned with red and white flags, when Primary 5 students return home from National Education shows with temporary tattoos emblazoned on their cheeks, and when patriotic music videos make their rounds on social media.

This year is no exception, with local a capella groups and the Singapore Chinese Orchestra rising to the occasion.

The Straits Times looks at some of this year's best video tributes to Singapore.

1. 1023's Tamil medley

The six-piece a capella group made up of ethnic Chinese members impressed many with their mashup of Tamil songs Munnaeru Vaalibaa and Singai Naadu. To avoid butchering the lyrics, the members of the group were careful to check their pronunciation with their Tamil-speaking friends.

Their efforts definitely bore fruit, demonstrating Singapore's colourful array of cultures, and gaining a cool 3,000 reactions (as of Aug 2) to their Facebook video in the meantime.

2. MICapella's latest medley

This year's NDP debutants, MICappella, released their latest medley of NDP songs, following their hit video in 2017.

The Sing-Off China 2012 runners-up spent more than 10 hours shooting this year's video, titled Evolution of NDP Songs V2.0. Their medley is a throwback to the 1960s, beginning with Singapore, Sunny Island, and takes us through the years with patriotic songs sung in the nation's four official languages.

3. SAF Music and Drama Company revisits 51-year-old song

Four Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company singers present their take on Singapore Town, first performed in 1967 by Christian group The Sidaislers.

Dressed in bright-coloured outfits, the cheery quartet take viewers on "a little trip around Singapore town", to places including the Toa Payoh dragon playground, a housing block in Chinatown, and Little India.

4. Singapore Chinese Orchestra's Home instrumental

Composed by Dick Lee, Home was 1998's NDP theme song and has been a mainstay at National Day celebrations ever since.

Despite hearing the familiar melody umpteen times, the orchestra's rendition still sounds fresh with a Chinese orchestra twist, and is a welcome addition to the many versions of the tune.

The video is both a feast for the ears and eyes, featuring local hawker delicacies and drone footage of iconic sites like Kampung Lorong Buangkok.

5. Charlie Lim's We Are Singapore arrangement

Faced with the weighty task of remaking a song older than himself, 29-year-old Charlie Lim stood unfazed, joined by Vanessa Fernandez, Aisyah Aziz, Shak'thiya Subramaniamm, THELIONCITYBOY and Joanna Dong.

Thirty-one years after it was written, We Are Singapore of 2018 casts the nation against the tumultuous geopolitics of current times. The lyrics of Lim's mellowed-down rendition call for Singaporeans to look within themselves for strength to adapt to the times, and its realism should resonate with listeners.

6. NDP Parade and Ceremony contingents' cheers

These may not be music to everyone's ears, but they trigger as much emotion as the previous five entries nonetheless.

NDPeeps, the official Facebook page for NDP, uploaded a treasure trove of videos by each of the Parade and Ceremony segment's contingents for a friendly cheer competition.

Contingents from within three categories - military, schools and civilian - are pitted against each other.

7. Tan Cheng Bock strums ukelele and sings Count On Me, Singapore

Former veteran People’s Action Party MP Tan Cheng Bock gathered his friends from Raffles Institution to put together a rendition of a timeless classic, Count On Me, Singapore.

The seven were seen in a video strumming the ukelele as they sang. 

Dr Tan said that they hope to express their love for Singapore through the video.

"It's a timeless song of hope and vision for a better Singapore. May the song speak for your heart as it does for mine," he said in a Facebook post.