We Are Singapore remade for NDP 2018

Song rewritten with new lyrics in line with this year's theme bearing the same name

NDP 2018 executive committee chairman, Brigadier-General Alfred Fox (right), and singer Charlie Lim holding up this year's parade logo at the launch yesterday.
NDP 2018 executive committee chairman, Brigadier-General Alfred Fox (right), and singer Charlie Lim holding up this year's parade logo at the launch yesterday.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

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

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 yesterday. The theme and logo of this year's parade were also revealed.

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, 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."

NDP 2018 executive committee chairman 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 word "Singapore" sitting in a speech bubble.

"The theme is enduring, clear and direct," said Brigadier-General 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 parachuting and landing in the waters of Marina Bay for the first time. The Red Lions, the Singapore Armed Forces' parachute team and annual crowd favourite, will also be performing. The parade and ceremony segment will see the largest number of participants ever at the floating platform venue.

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. It was previously reported that parades at the floating platform cost between $15.7 million and $17.9 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'We Are Singapore remade for NDP 2018'. Subscribe