New NDP song is updated version of 1987's We Are Singapore

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Local singer Charlie Lim (right) spent a week watching YouTube videos of old NDP songs to figure out what worked for a modern take on the 1987 classic We Are Singapore. PHOTO: MINDEF

SINGAPORE - The theme song for this year's National Day Parade will be a modern take on the 1987 classic We Are Singapore, updated by local singer Charlie Lim.

Mr Lim, 29, who has rewritten the verses of Hugh Harrison's song to include lyrics like "the future is uncertain and everything must change", unveiled the song to the media at The Float @ Marina Bay on Tuesday (May 22). The theme and logo of this year's parade were also revealed.

Mr Lim, who performed a live acoustic rendition of the song, said: "They wanted to refresh the song which was written in 1987 and was very relevant in its time, but I think now we want to look at things from a younger generation's perspective."

To come up with the song, Mr Lim spent a week watching YouTube videos of old NDP songs to figure out what worked.

"It was kind of scary to take on something that everyone knows and sings," he said. "I recorded a demo in my bedroom and we actually used that. In fact, the vocals you hear on the actual track are actually from the original demo. We actually tried recording it in the studio, but decided that it had a better performance and came from a more heartfelt place."

NDP 2018 executive committee chairman Brigadier-General Alfred Fox said the theme for this year, "We Are Singapore", captures the unity of Singaporeans.

The logo encompasses the crescent and five stars within the typography of "SINGAPORE" sitting in a speech bubble.

"The theme is enduring, clear and direct," said BG Fox. "It means many different things to many different people and if you ask Singaporeans, it is about geography, it is about culture, identity, vision, even food to some. It's really who we are and encapsulates many different meanings."

This year's parade, to be held at the floating platform on Aug 9, will be split into the usual three segments - the pre-parade, parade and ceremony, and show. It will involve almost 14,000 participants, volunteers and personnel behind the scenes and on stage.

The pre-parade segment will feature Naval Combat Divers performing a water jump where they will parachute and land in the waters of Marina Bay for the first time, alongside the Red Lions - the SAF's parachute team and annual crowd favourite.

The parade and ceremony segment will see the largest number of participants ever at the floating platform venue, along with the return of the Combined Schools Choir last seen in 2013.

There will also be an enhanced aerial flypast and display by the Republic of Singapore Air Force to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

BG Fox said the budget for this year's parade is "comparable to last year's parade". It was previously reported that parades at the floating platform range between $15.7 million and $17.9 million.

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