It is a treat to the ears when some of Singapore's biggest pop stars and acts lend their voices to this year's National Day Parade (NDP) theme song.
Rahimah Rahim, who has been part of Singapore's entertainment scene since the 1960s, and Stefanie Sun, one of the most recognisable home-grown songbirds, are among a star-studded line-up of 27 artists who have recorded Our Singapore, a mash-up of National Day tunes such as We Will Get There (2002) and Our Singapore (2015).
The song composed by creative director and singer-songwriter Dick Lee is aimed at recognising the contributions of earlier generations and signalling the passing of the nation-building baton from one generation to the next.
The music video, released yesterday, features nearly 300 Singaporeans aged between five and 93 from all walks of life.
Other big names include Kit Chan, Taufik Batisah and JJ Lin, rappers Sheikh Haikel and Shigga Shay, veteran radio DJ Brian Richmond, jazz drummer Louis Soliano, and rock icon Ramli Sarip.
The song is one of the ways that Singapore's 54th birthday bash will focus on the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration and the theme of collective ownership of the Singapore Story.
Brigadier-General Yew Chee Leung, chairman of the NDP 2019 executive committee, said the theme - Our Singapore - is simple to understand and complements the Bicentennial celebrations.
"We want to emphasise the collective ownership of Singapore, just as early generations believed in Singapore, took ownership and put in their blood, sweat and tears to build Singapore to what it is today," said the Chief Armour Officer.
This year's parade returns to the Padang for the first time since 2015 to mark a significant milestone - the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in Singapore.
The Padang was also the site of post-independent Singapore's first NDP in 1966.
This year's show will include a Bicentennial segment featuring eight floats of organisations that have contributed to building various aspects of Singapore society since the 19th century.
HOW TO APPLY FOR NDP TICKETS
From today to June 2, Singapore citizens and permanent residents can apply for tickets to the two preview shows - on July 27 and Aug 3 - as well as for the Aug 9 National Day Parade (NDP).
Applicants may apply via the application portal on the NDP website or through AXS and SAM stations. Each NRIC holder is limited to one application; they may ask for two, four or six tickets. The tickets will be allocated via an electronic ballot system. Successful applicants will be notified on June 24 via e-mail.
They include the Singapore Fire Brigade, the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, the Singapore General Hospital and The Straits Times.
The celebrations will continue the day after the parade, with carnivals by the People's Association at five heartland locations. They will feature segments of the mobile column of vehicles and culminate in fireworks displays at night.
The carnivals on Aug 10 will be held in Bishan, Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands.
Details of this year's celebrations, were unveiled yesterday at a media briefing at the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Dr Sydney Tan, who is NDP 2019's music director, said it was tough to decide who got to be featured in the music video.
He said: "Once we explained to them (those featured) what this is about - that it's not about who is a star and that we're laying down our egos at the door as fellow Singaporeans - there was no problem."
He added: "It was lovely to see the 18-year-olds meet and hobnob with the 90-year-olds and see relationships form. It was brilliant."
For him, the biggest message from the theme song was gratitude.
"It's the realisation that everything I can do today is because of the choices of people who came before me, such as my parents, teachers and mentors," he said.
"Our response to that is gratitude, and that's the main thing about the theme song, when you see this inter-generational picture. "
Besides the artists, the video also features five children who had taken part in ChildAid, an annual charity concert co-organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times.
Last year's NDP theme song, We Are Singapore, was an updated version by singer-songwriter Charlie Lim of the 1987 classic.