Tunes played during gun carriage procession

SINGAPORE - A gun carriage will convey Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body from the Istana to Parliament House on Wednesday, March 25, morning, where he will lie in state until Saturday.

There will be a foot procession from Sri Temasek led by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his wife Ho Ching and family members for about 70 metres.

The Singapore Armed Forces Band will play Beethoven Funeral March No. 1 as the foot procession commences.

While the funeral march is commonly called that in Britain, it is not composed by Beethoven.

The grand, yet solemn march is the work of German composer Johann Heinrich Walch (1776-1855).

It is played each year on Remembrance Sunday services in London in memory of servicemen in the two World Wars and other conflicts.

The reason for the misattribution is not clear, but the name has stuck as the BBC calls it the "Beethoven Funeral March" in its broadcasts of Remembrance Sunday ceremonies.

As the carriage comes to a stop at the Istana Plaza, a bag piper from the Singapore Gurkha Contingent will play Auld Lang Syne before the carriage passes through the Istana guard house and gate.

Most have sung and heard this traditional Scottish tune, which is often used at funerals, but it is also sung on New Year's eve, and graduations.

Here are the lyrics, which calls for the remembrance of old friends and times:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne.

We'll take a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

Mr Lee, Singapore's first prime minister, died on March 23 at the Singapore General Hospital. He was 91.

The public may pay their last respects to Mr Lee at Parliament House from 10am to 8pm daily between Wednesday and Saturday, March 29.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.